Thursday, October 27, 2016

Radiation Oncologist, Part 1

During the brief meeting with my urologist on October 5th I did have a chance to ask about getting a second opinion from the radiation oncologist I’d heard about. My urologist agreed, and said he’d contact his office right away. I didn’t get a call back from the radiation oncologist’s office to set up an appointment for almost a week. I don’t know why it took so long. By then, the earliest available appointment was for October 26.

The radiation oncologist was very informative. He answered most of my questions about the biopsy report, reviewed my PSA history and symptoms, and described in detail the pros and cons of the major treatment forms. For me, he recommended either radiation or surgery (not brachytherapy, aka radioactive seeds). When I asked about proton beam therapy, he agreed that it would do as good a job of getting rid of the cancer as surgery or radiation. However, he expressed doubts about the side effects and gave me copies of several journal articles on the topic. He also had the opinion that proton beam therapy is best for a small number of situations where surgery is difficult and radiation may be problematic. These include some brain tumors, some cancers of the eye, and some cancers in small children. He believes that proton therapy centers are branching out into prostate therapy mostly to help pay for the expensive equipment they need when it’s really appropriate. 

The oncologist answered my questions so thoroughly and discussed options in such detail that we ran out of time. Rather than cut me off, however, he immediately had his staff make an additional appointment for the following Monday. That gave me time to review the material he’d given me and think up new questions.

No comments:

Post a Comment