Frank de Vries
Brachytherapy real stories
In 2008 Frank de Vries from the Netherlands was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Although the diagnosis initially came as a shock, Frank was keen to beat the cancer and get back to his everyday life as soon as possible.
Frank was offered three treatment options by his urologist: radical prostatectomy (surgery), external beam radiotherapy and brachytherapy. After a few weeks of research and careful consideration, Frank opted for brachytherapy.
Watch the video to find out why Frank chose brachytherapy and to listen to his experience of fighting his cancer, or alternatively read about his experiences below.
"When I received the diagnosis of prostate cancer at the end of 2008, my urologist started to discuss with me the various treatment options and their possible side effects. After a few minutes, I had to ask him to stop as I had yet to digest the news of my diagnosis and could not take all the information in at once."
"I received a useful book called 'The Prostate Book,' which I read through a couple of times, I also started searching the internet for information about prostate cancer treatments and their side effects. My first impression was that there was a good chance that all treatments could provide me with a successful cure. With this in mind, I focused my thinking on the treatments that would give me the least chance of experiencing side effects. I was 62 years old and didn’t want to spend the rest of my life being incontinent or impotent."
"After studying the prostate book and websites, I felt that treatment with brachytherapy reduced my likelihood of becoming incontinent or impotent. Importantly, my PSA levels and Gleason levels were within the ranges suitable for brachytherapy."
"So my choice was quickly made. During my discussions with my urologist, I expressed my preference for brachytherapy. He understood my thinking and supported me in my decision."
"The brachytherapy procedure went smoothly. I was apprehensive of receiving the epidural anesthetic, but it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it might be."
"In retrospect, I would have found it useful to hear from other patients and their experiences of brachytherapy. I do suffer some side effects that I didn’t expect, but I guess that comes with the package."
"It’s now 1 year and 3 months since I underwent the procedure and I still think brachytherapy was the right choice for me. I’ve heard stories from other men who have received other treatments for their cancer and who suffer from a range of different side effects. I obviously would have preferred to have experienced no side effects, but when I hear reactions of men who received other treatments, I'm glad I made the choice for brachytherapy."
Frank de Vries