I have cancer

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Brian (September 15, 2010, 10:15:06 AM):
Not trying to be melodramatic but I have had prostrate cancer for the last 8-10 years and in 2004 was given 18 months to live >:D

So here is an article I wrote for the women on this forum:


What! Why prostate cancer? That’s something men get isn’t it? We don’t have prostates! It doesn’t affect us, does it?
Well the truth of the matter is that chances are that sometime, somewhere, somehow most women will be affected by this prevalent cancer which makes up roughly 30% of all cancers and together with breast cancer is responsible for over 60% of all cancers. Ladies, whether it is your husband, son or father, you need to get to grips with the reality of prostate cancer. In the United States of America alone 186 000 men will contract this form of cancer each year.
So what is the prostate and what does it do? Isn’t it something to do with sex? Yes very much so, but how; in what way?
First the technical bits.
The prostate is a gland that functions in the male reproductive system. It is a walnut sized gland situated just below the bladder through which the urethra passes. It is connected to the seminal vesicle where it stores the fluid which it produces. The prostate contains many small glands which make about twenty percent of the fluid constituting semen

The prostate gland requires male hormones, known as androgens, to work properly. Androgens include testosterone, which is made in the testes; dehydroepiandrosterone, made in the adrenal glands; and dihydrotestosterone, which is converted from testosterone within the prostate itself. Androgens are also responsible for secondary sex characteristics such as facial hair and increased muscle mass. Women who suffer from excessive facial hair may indeed have an excess of the male hormones as well.

To have an erection and secret semen during intercourse, the prostate plays a key role. The gland is surrounded by nerve endings which stimulate the blood circulation system leading to erections. Damage of these nerves will damage the man’s capacity to get a hard on!

Treatment consists of the following options depending on the results of the biopsy and severity (please consult your physician, if in doubt!)

Option 1: Your man does nothing: prostrate cancer is a ‘slow’ killer and depending on his age and the stage the cancer has reached. It may be better to sweat it out. Many men die with prostrate cancer and not from it. Positives: a normal life and sex capacity; Negatives: it will ultimately kill him if something else doesn’t!

Option 2: Send him for Bracchi treatment: this implies ‘seeding’ the gland with tiny radio-active isotopes. Positives: a relatively normal life and sex capacity. If treatment is successful the cancer should retreat in disgust; Negatives: treatment is not foolproof and he may still die. Very expensive procedure.

Option 3: Have the cancer removed in a radical prostatectomy which means the prostrate is surgically removed and if professionally done, should excise the whole tumour. It is often advisable that this is followed by a radiation process which implies getting zapped for 7 weeks, every day except weekends with high intensity radiation in small doses. (In some cases the surgeon may advise the removal of the testes as well.) Positives: The cancer is out of his system and if combined with radiation usually gets rid of any rogue cancer cells still lurking around. Negatives: radical invasive procedure, risk of infections; catheter for about 6 weeks. Sex is usually history due to the almost unavoidable damage to the nerves. However there is good news too: some procedures (depending on the skill of the surgeon and the size of the tumour) have a minimal effect on his capacity to have erections and he is still able to have an orgasm, the only difference is that his sperm such as it may be, is now ejaculated backward into his bladder! Blowjobs are not messy any longer.

Option 4: Radiation for 7 weeks pinpointing the tumour with high intensity radiation in small doses. This is often combined with doses of the female hormone, estragon which suppresses (stasis) the growth of the cancer but does not eradicate it. Positives: Normal life and sex drive. Radiation affects some more than others but usually side-effects are minimal. Negatives: female hormones do what they do to women: hair will grow faster, breasts tend to enlarge (in extreme cases a mastectomy could be considered, horrors!). The success of the radiation is usually only determined 12 to 24 months later; if it didn’t work the other options become slightly more problematic: e.g. surgery may be out of the question if the damage to the gland and surrounding tissue is such that surgery becomes high risk and almost impossible.

The social effects: if he retained his testosterone producing glands (the testes), he will still have the urge for sex but can do little about it. He can still masturbate his small and flaccid winkie if he so wishes.

To summarise, women get your men to have PSA tests done once a year after the age of 40 (possibly even earlier if you notice a slowing of the capacity to pee, any pain or blood in his urine. Men as scared to do these things and will most likely hide the facts from you: “Naw! What me? Never felt better!”
Once he is diagnosed, have it treated as soon as possible. Rather a man without sexual capacity than no man at all…yes? Absolutely. Also remember that the psycho-social effects it has on his self-image can be quite damaging. In addition, due to the cancer being hormone related, the removal of the prostrate has a definite effect on his hormonal balance leading to depression, bouts of anger, and withdrawal.

Your support as the woman in his life is thus of critical importance.
Brian (September 15, 2010, 10:19:13 AM):
Here's a diagramme of where the little bugger hides out!
Faerie (September 15, 2010, 10:49:58 AM):
Yep, very prevalent, my Dad was also given around 9 - 14 months to live in 2006 but in his words - "Hierdie bliksem gaan nie nou vrek sodat die kinders my geld kan mors nie" - and he's still around annoying us, he went the surgical route albeit without the radiation which he politely declined.

Compared to the trauma my Mom went through with her breast cancer, his was actually a breeze, although I do believe men keep their fears more in check than we ladies are able to....
Lilli (September 15, 2010, 11:00:05 AM):
Brian I am very sorry that you have cancer, and hope that there are people in your life who can give you the necessary support throughout. Thanks for the article. My best friend lost his dad to prostate cancer last year, after the guy was diagnosed in 2005 (docs gave him about a month) It was obviously difficult for my friend's dad to deal with, it must have been. He had boatloads of chemo or whatever and that shit does NOT make you feel awesome. But from my perspective, his family and friends suffered a lot too, and didn't always know how to deal with the situation. Knowledge about the problem can only be useful.
Peter Grant (September 15, 2010, 12:56:24 PM):
Shame dude, that sucks. :( Glad you're still hanging in there. :) Keep fighting!


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