Hello Tina... Thanks for the update. So sorry to hear that you Dad's cancer has spread. It is such a hard thing to have to hear. I am glad he has seen some positive improvement from his chemo and I hope for continued good results.
I certainly can't comment on the radiation as a preventive measure. It does sound extreme but those cancer cells can be very microscopic and I suppose the oncologist wants to get out ahead of that possibility. I wish him, your mom, and you the best as you deal with making this very difficult decision with your doctor.
Best wishes... Catherine
TURBT 1/21/10 at age 55
Dx: T2aN0M0 Primary Bladder Adenocarcinoma
Partial Cystectomy 2/25/10
Vanderbilt Medical Center
I first want to say thank you to everyone who provided support and advice when I first posted about my dad being diagnosed with bladder cancer. It was certainly a comfort to communicate with others who have gone down this road full of potholes and speed bumps.
Since that initial post, our family has been up and down. Dad's PET scan showed his cancer had spread to his lymph nodes, mostly in his retro peritoneum and chest/throat area. The initial reading also showed a spot on his lung. Unfortunately the urologist told mom and dad this information right before he went in for his TURB procedure. The urologist resected most of the tumor in the bladder.
The next week we met with the oncologist for his initial appointment and to discuss his treatment plan. I had accompanied mom and dad to the appointment which I was grateful so I could hear everything first hand. When the oncologist went over the PET scan with us, he cleared the lungs of any cancer and pointed out the infected lymph nodes. The cancer was stage IV and a small cell type. Thankfully, dad reconsidered and decided to do the chemo therapy regimen recommended which was four rounds of chemo. The doc also wanted an MRI on his brain just to be sure there were no cancer cells in the brain. Thankfully his MRI came back clear.
Since the third week of February, dad has completed three rounds of chemo and started his fourth round today. He has tolerated the chemo fairly well and has actually had marked improvement after each round. He sees the urologist next week and has another PET scan scheduled for later in the month.
The oncologist is seriously recommending 10 low dose radiation treatments to his brain as a preventive measure. Dad is not comfortable with this treatment at all. I am wondering if anyone else out there has had this treatment as a prophylactic measure with no cancer cells detected in the brain for certain?