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My dad and stilboestrol

Posted 09 Oct 2017 at 15:06

Hello all

Just wanted to come here to get a bit of information, to draw on your wealth of experience, and perhaps a bit of support for my dad. He's in his mid eighties, was first diagnosed with prostate cancer about 25 years ago - had some kind of operation and radiotherapy (which led to bladder cancer, but that's another story). I don't know what his op was, because he's too embarrassed to talk to his daughter about these things!

He's obviously been having his PSA monitored since then: it started to rise earlier this year and his medication was switched to stilboestrol which has given him lots of nasty side effects. He's mortified by the weight gain and the painful moobs, but as well as that he's become really forgetful and vacant. He can't concentrate, gets a bit lost and confused: is this the drug or something else? 

And either he's not totally understanding how far the cancer has progressed, or he's protecting us. Am I right in thinking that stilboestrol is only given in advanced cases? I want to have a frank conversation with him, but I don't know how much he knows. Or wants to know. I live hundreds of miles from him and so can't go with him when he visits the doctor to find out what's going on.

And he's been advised by his GP to give up the drug - what does this mean in terms of treatment now?

Sorry for the rant - I came across this forum when I was trying to do some research about his side effects, and thought folk here would know most about it. Any information/comments/telling me to pull myself together and keep my nose out gratefully (mostly) received. 





Posted 09 Oct 2017 at 17:57

There are other hormone treatments available. Not all have the same side effects. My main thought though is - what is your Dad's GP getting involved for? Your Dad's Oncologist or Oncology Nurse should be advising on this.

BTW, I too, my late brother also, both had bladder cancer after radiotherapy and believe it caused that cancer in both cases.

The op your Dad is reluctant to talk about may simply have been a prostatectomy. But in those days it may have been an orchidectomy. If the latter is so then the suppression of testosterone can only be focussed on that tiny amount produced by the adrenal gland. Is stilboestrol is the best treatment in that case? You need more information if you are to be able to assist your Dad.


Posted 09 Oct 2017 at 21:13
My husband had stillbeostrill for nearly four years and it had held back his advanced cancer brilliantly. He’s got moobs I’m afraid and the forgetfulness, neither has changed since he’s been off it. I really wouldn’t listen to the GP when a specialist has prescribed these drugs, they are great for the people they work in and can hold back the cancer for ages.

Hope all goes well


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