Lupron Treatment Duration: How long were you on it?

Posted by frankstags @frankstags, Jul 7, 2020

I have been diagnosed with Grade 3 prostate cancer with a 4 + 3 Gleason score of 7. This after having 2 PSA scores last year between 4 and 7. The cancer has not spread to the bones. I have received two Lupron injections 3 months apart and will complete 28 radiation treatments in the next couple of days. No surgery. I have tolerated the Lupron shots well with few but manageable side effects. I have an appointment to receive a third Lupron shot next month. My first PSA test after completing radiation won’t be scheduled for 3 months. From researching Lupron, it appears that this is used for advanced stages of prostate cancer. From what I was led to believe, I was not advanced. My question: How long and how many Lupron shots might I need to go through? I will have this discussion with my urologist hopefully before proceeding with the next shot. Thanks for any information provided by the group.

@semeon

I have been on Lupron for 2 years and recently had another 6 month injection. All symptoms mentioned I have. I was jus wondering any idea how long a person needs to be on Lupron?

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@semeon, I moved your question to the discussion where @frankstags asked the same thing "Lupron Treatment Duration: How long were you on it?" Click VIEW & REPLY to see responses from @bruto1 @dmadi61 @jonbuuck and others. Has your oncologist given an indication how long you'll be on it or what measurements would be used to determine when you can stop?

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After receiving input from this message board, I contacted my doctor and asked him the same question. I received two injections in Feb and May and was scheduled to received another one in August. He agreed to wait until receiving my first post radiation therapy PSA test to discuss further. This will be in the Oct-Nov time frame. At least it will spread me out to a 6 month interval if he feels I need another one. Again, it appears there is no consistent methodology for
determining how many shots are needed.

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Glad you asked! Thanks for sharing. And, yes, as I observed in an earlier response, there appears to no "consistent methodology" for determine the length of Lupron treatment post-radiation and/or surgery if originally indicated. Depending upon the individual, the "cure" may be worse than the disease according to your lifestyle requirements and your age.

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@bruto1

Great question and one that I ask frequently. That said, I get mixed answers from MDs. My suspicion is that most take the "better safe than sorry" approach. Apart from the side effects (far from insignificant in my opinion), there is no doubt that lupron suppresses testosterone which feeds cancer cells. But if cancer is no longer present, why is lupron still needed? After 2 years and now an additional 6 months in your case, I wonder what the risk is by discontinuing lupron? My hunch is that the data is inconclusive. If there is good data, then your physician should be able to share it with you. While there is always risk, what's the percentage? Ultimately you should decide if the risk is worth taking. One major concern with an extended lupron treatment, as in your case, is whether your libido will ever return. The evidence suggests that it won't after extended ADG therapy — or won't to a significant degree. While this may not be a concern for you, it can be a concern for many.

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Thank you for the reply. I will talk with my Dr as these same questions you raised I have thought about and now it’s time to look for answers.

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Glad to help. Please share the answers. Thanks.

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You say your PCa is not in the bones, based on what, a scan, if so, would help the folks to know what kind of scan and what did it say, was it found in the pelvic lymph nodes, nothing visceral…

Her's an article which discusses ADT, Lupron, with radiation – https://www.prostatecancer.news/2016/08/adt-and-radiation-for-first-line.html

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I must be unusual. I had a Gleason of 9 with not spreading. I had a Lupron shot prior to Barchy treatment. I refuse beam radiation after my first PSA was .o4. I also refused another Lupron shot. My PSA's have all been less then 1. When I refuse the beam radiation my urologist said wise move but was not as happy when I refused the second Lupron shot. But said we will wait and see. I was rushed to have the initial procedure because of my Gleason but after that no pressure. Please, remember you are in control.

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@visaliajoe

I must be unusual. I had a Gleason of 9 with not spreading. I had a Lupron shot prior to Barchy treatment. I refuse beam radiation after my first PSA was .o4. I also refused another Lupron shot. My PSA's have all been less then 1. When I refuse the beam radiation my urologist said wise move but was not as happy when I refused the second Lupron shot. But said we will wait and see. I was rushed to have the initial procedure because of my Gleason but after that no pressure. Please, remember you are in control.

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Hi @visaliajoe, welcome. You're so right that the treatment decisions are yours and that you drive the bus. May I ask what led you to decide against a second Lupron shot?

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I had the same Gleason score back in 2007 at the age of 63. was treated with two Lupron shots and 42 radiation treatments. To this day I have endured ED. Tried Viagra, Cialis and all prescription drugs as well as numerous non prescription, including penis injections. Today with a mixture of those drugs I can get about an 85 % erection and can only maintain for a short period with penetration being impossible. Back in 2007 this was the best way to go. For some. Unfortunately for me I fell in that 1-3% category where what can go wrong did. I still have hope for something to work. However, I have two doctor friends who in the past three years used a combination of seeds and minimal radiation treatment. Neither one of them has encountered any ED problems. Good luck to those of you who are dealing with Prostate Cancer.

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@ednh

I had the same Gleason score back in 2007 at the age of 63. was treated with two Lupron shots and 42 radiation treatments. To this day I have endured ED. Tried Viagra, Cialis and all prescription drugs as well as numerous non prescription, including penis injections. Today with a mixture of those drugs I can get about an 85 % erection and can only maintain for a short period with penetration being impossible. Back in 2007 this was the best way to go. For some. Unfortunately for me I fell in that 1-3% category where what can go wrong did. I still have hope for something to work. However, I have two doctor friends who in the past three years used a combination of seeds and minimal radiation treatment. Neither one of them has encountered any ED problems. Good luck to those of you who are dealing with Prostate Cancer.

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Welcome ednh. Sixty-three is much too soon to have to deal with ED. You're not alone. You may wish to join these discussions:

– Prostate Cancer: sex drive after surgery or other treatments https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/sex-drive-after-surgery/
– I've lost all motivation, no sex drive, depressed. Ideas? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/new-to-group-2/
– ED treatments https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/ed-treatments/

Did you know that the Urology department at Mayo Clinic in Rochester has a Men's Sexual Health Clinic? Have you sought advice at a specialized clinic?

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