Gale R. Munson

Gale R Munson (TPCSG – Happy with radiation seeds)

My first PSA (0.4) and Digital Rectal Exam were done in October 1992 at age 63. From there my PSA rose gradually until May 2003 at 3.6; in May 2004 it was 5.0; in July 2004, 5.7. Due to the more rapid increase, my urologist suggested a biopsy, which was done on Aug. 19, ‘04. Six cores returned 4 positive, 1 negative, 1 uncertain, and a Gleason Score of 6, StageT2c.

A CT scan and a whole body bone scan indicated the cancer had not migrated to bone or other nearby tissue, giving me time to consider types of treatment and hope of being cured.
My urologist did a bladder probe which showed a small bulge on the median lobe of the prostate pressing against the bladder. He said the prostate needs to be removed soon to prevent possible damage to the bladder. Because of a previous heart attack, a treadmill stress test was done by my cardiologist, which indicated I should be o.k for surgery.
On 10/28/04, my wife and I met with the urologist; he wanted to set a date for a Radical Prostatectomy. I told him I would like to get a second opinion; this upset him considerably and I knew it was time to find a different urologist.
The next day, I called the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, which had been recommended by a couple of men at a recent support group meeting. The lady I talked to at SCCA said she would set up an appointment for me.
A few days later (on a Sunday), I received an Email from Dr. Paul Lange, head of the University of Washington Urology Department. He offered to see me and, by copy of the Email, asked his nurse to get me in if I wished. On 12/07/04 I met with Dr. Lange. He examined me, did another bladder probe and said the “bulge” on the prostate was not large enough to require surgery. He said I looked like a viable candidate for radiation. (I had said I was “leaning toward seed implant” if practical.) Dr. Lange said “let’s get you in to see the radiation people”, and helped me set up an appointment.
On 12/28/04 I saw Dr. Kenneth Russell, Radiation Oncologist at SCCA and UW Med. Center. He thought that seed implant would be a good treatment method for me, and we proceeded to set it up.
On 3/08/05 (my 76th birthday), Dr. William Ellis, Dr. Russell, and their team, implanted 77 “seeds” of I-125 radioactive iodine. Using a “custom-designed” template as a guide, 26 needles were inserted, each containing a string of seeds. The needles were pushed to the “back wall” of the prostate and then withdrawn as seeds were ejected at intervals of about 1⁄4”. A catheter had been inserted in the urethra to clearly show its location and help avoid damage. The injection process took about twenty minutes. I was released after a brief recovery period and was back in my hotel room before noon. I took one of the prescribed pain pills to help get a good night’s sleep (which proved to be unnecessary).

The following morning, I returned to UW Med Center. The catheter was removed and a scan taken to assure proper positioning of the seeds. I was released and drove home to Olympia that afternoon.
Friday, 3/11, I passed 3 seeds while urinating. I had been told that this could happen, but it was still a little unsettling, as the seeds were still strung together. I called UWMC to see if this might indicate a problem. The nurse said not to be concerned; just put the seeds in the lead pouch they had provided and bring them in on my next visit. At Dr. Russell’s suggestion, another CT scan was done on 3/30 to determine if the missing seeds needed to be replaced. Dr. Russell called on 4/12 and said they should replace the missing seeds and maybe add “a couple more, for good measure”.
On 4/26, the same team implanted 12 more seeds. The next morning a scan was done to assure placement and that afternoon I again drove home to Olympia, feeling fine. Again, NO PAIN!!
On 5/4/05, I returned to UWMC for a follow-up scan. AOK!! I was told I could resume normal activities after a couple of weeks. 5/16 I went back to golf every Monday and on the 19th resumed weekly 4 to 5 mile backcountry hikes.
Minor incontinence lasted for about six months; I wore a “Light Days” pad only when away from home, and did not have any “soaking” episodes. Erections have not been suitable for penetration, but seem to be improving somewhat. Yes, the desire is still there.
My post-implant PSA readings have been as follows: Aug. 2005, 0.30; Nov. 2005, 0.17; May 2006, 0.09; Sept. 2006, 0.06.
I am feeling very well and plan to stay as active as possible. For me, radiation seeds by the team at UW Medical Center was an excellent choice. I will continue having PSA and DRE checks every six months for the next several years as part of a follow-up study.

Phone; 360-456-8173 email grmunson@yahoo.com

Jack Sellers

Jack Sellers – TPCSG (Tacoma Prostate Cancer Support Group)

June ‘ 04 – PSA 0.5 -Doctor felt a lump during my annual DRE (digital rectal examination)

• Had 4 section biopsy and one of the 4 sections was diagnosed as positive
• Scheduled laparoscopic prostatectomy with Dr Gill at the Cleveland Clinic
• Sent biopsy slides back to Cleveland prior to surgery
• Cleveland pathology lab could not confirm presence of cancer
• For the tie breaker, slides were sent to John Hopkins Medical Laboratories, Baltimore, MD.
• John Hopkins Medical Laboratories found no presence of cancer
• Another biopsy was recommended
• I wanted to try the uPM3 urine-based genetic test for detecting prostate cancer.
If it came back positive, I would have another biopsy.
• uPM3 test by Bostwick Laboratories, Richmond, VA came back positive
• Color Doppler-aided 8 section biopsy – results = negative
• Getting PSA levels every 6 to 9 months – ranges from 0.7 to 0.5
• Changed diet to high fiber, low fat with portion control awareness
• Exercise = walking 3 miles/day 4 times/week
• Getting annual DRE

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