Men who have a local prostate cancer recurrence, or their PSA starts increasing, after having prostate cancer surgery (a radical prostatectomy), the treatment of choice is considered salvage radiotherapy (SRT). In the post prostatectomy setting, SRT may impose significant risks and complications.
Potential complications or side effects can include incontinence, bladder neck contracture, bladder and bowel symptoms, needing secondary procedures, as well as secondary malignancies. Radiation should never be considered non-invasive, but it can halt the progression of the cancer. Therefore, reserving radiotherapy for those who will most benefit is of great concern.
In this podcast Joel Nowak speaks with Mr. John Harrison who had salvage radiation and has experienced many of these side effects. On two occasions John has used Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment which he describes as well as having a colostomy to allow his colon to rest and hopefully heal.
In addition to having deal with radiation toxicities, he still has to be treated for his progressing prostate cancer. John has just completed a Phase II Clinical Trial as well as using Lupron, aka Hormone Therapy (ADT).
To date, John has had limited relief from his symptoms, but his cancer is under control.
John shares his journey and experiences treating his side effects from both the surgery and the salvage radiation. Despite all of his symptoms he maintains a positive attitude and reminds us that his experiences are his and do not reflect what others might experience.
John considers himself an outlier. As an outlier he offers some sage advice for all of us who are being treated for prostate cancer.