Larry Wolfe knows all of the treatments for prostate cancer. He's had treatment for it twice.
He underwent weeks of chemotherapy and radiation but he says that was not the worst part.
"I had radiation treatment and hormone treatment and the hormone treatment was the worst," said Wolfe, who added he instantly experienced hot flashes. "It basically makes a man go through full-blown menopause overnight."
He says while it was brutal for him, it also took its toll on his wife.
"I went for probably three months where I would sleep for maybe three or four hours a night," Wolfe said. "Much to my wife's dismay, I had the temperature on in the bedroom in the 60s and I had a fan blowing on me."
All men are at risk for developing prostate cancer.
About one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, but only one in 39 will die from it.
Dr. Michael Papagikos was Wolfe's radiation oncologist. He says the good news for all men is that treatments for prostate cancer have improved significantly.
"I'll give you an example," Papagikos said. "Most people who require radiation treatment for their prostate cancer might have to come every day Monday through Friday for seven to nine weeks. For a big section of men, we can now shrink that down to five treatments so that's an example of the improvements we have seen."
The hormone therapy is still part of the regimen, but for Wolfe, who is now considered cancer-free, it's worth it.
He also has a newfound respect for women who go through menopause.
"Oh absolutely, I have complete respect for it now," Wolfe said, laughing. "My wife said I will be very understanding when it comes to her time."
As we do the first Monday of every month, we, along with our sponsors at NHRMC, are offering you one of our Plaid Packs. They contain important information about different types of cancer, including skin cancer. Click here to visit the Plaid Pack page for more information.
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