John and Carole West, Angela's parents
Thankfully, a bone scan was clear, although Dad’s PSA had increased to 8.2. In January 2004, he underwent an MRI scan in conjunction with a short course of neo adjuvant hormone therapy in advance of radiotherapy.
‘I was informed about possible side effects on the bowel and bladder but these far outweighed the prospect of fatal consequences,’ he said. ‘Following the very first hormone injection, my PSA level began to decrease dramatically, to less than 1, providing us with the much-needed prospect that this was going to work!’
In April, he underwent an MRI and CT ultrasound scan in preparation for the targeted radiotherapy which would follow in May. A simulator session followed as a dress rehearsal for the ‘real McCoy.’
Dad completed his third and final hormone session on May 20th. That very afternoon he began 19 consecutive daily radiotherapy sessions (bar weekends) as part of the research program, catchily entitled ‘Randomized study of high dose of hypofractionated conformal radiotherapy in prostate cancer.’
Dad describes the treatment as absolutely painless. ‘The option that was chosen for me was a higher concentration of dose than normal over a shorter period. I suffered no discomfort at all and had zero side effects. My PSA reading immediately following treatment showed a reading of 0.06, negligible. This has changed very little for the past 5 years.’