As a motivational speaker, I often have the opportunity to speaker to groups and share insights that can be life changing. Most presentations originate from personal experience. The one experience I didn’t expect to have at the “young” age of 47 was the experience of being told I had prostate cancer.
“How could that be? I had no symptoms. This is an older man’s disease,” I thought.
Dan Fogelberg was diagnosed in his early 50’s and is dead at 56. Stephen Stills is facing surgery on his 63rd birthday for prostate cancer (and because it was detected early has a good chance of survival).
I am fortunate. I was diagnosed early – opted for robotic surgery (the DaVinci Method) and am cancer free at age 50 with no side effects!
I have had the privilege of talking with many people about prostate cancer and various treatments (NOTE: I am not a Doctor – therefore what is written here is for general benefit. Do not rely on the content of this blog as medical advice. It is not!) Just the other day I received an e-mail that I have asked permission to share with those who read. The content is shared below:
Name: brenda gerhard
Media Outlet: The Morning Call, retired
Specific Details: Greetings. Maybe we can get the word out to YOUNG MEN with Dan Fogelberg’s illness and untimely death. My husband was diagnosed 2 years ago at age 52 with aggressive prostate cancer which TWO urologists ignored for three years. They dismissed a common symptom, blood in semen, and did everything but give him a simple test. A company doctor noticed a PSA rise during a routine physical and insisted my husband get a biopsy. He had to bully the urologist into doing it. And then the quack urologist told him he was SHOCKED that the biopsy came out positive.
He had the surgery 2 years ago with negative margins and a very good outcome.
But 2 years later, the cancer returned in the prostate bed. He had a Gleason 8 (aggressive) score.
Two years ago we heard about Loma Linda University Medical Center, which uses proton beam therapy with NO SURGERY AND NO SIDE EFFECTS to effectively cure prostate cancer. We had no first-hand info. and didn’t pay enough attention to this wonderful alternative to surgery. This time around we found out that Loma Linda also does salvage proton treatment (as opposed to regular photon radiation, proton beams are targeted precisely to the cancer cells, sparing the radiation of healthy tissue).
We moved to Loma Linda for two months. Treatments take about an hour Mon.-Fri. My husband JOGGED every day during his treatments.
We met plenty of men, mostly older, who have opted for this treatment. Many were too old for safe surgery.
Get the book by prostate cancer survivor Robert J. Marckini, “You Can Beat Prostate Cancer and You Don’t Need Surgery to Do It,” which chronicles the 15-year history and success rate of proton treatment. There are more centers opening up around the country and it is my and my husband’s mission to make sure that prostate cancer patients at least know of this wonderful alternative to surgery.
I would love to tell you (or anyone else) more about this treatment and its phenomenal success rate. Feel free to e-mail or call me anytime.
Yours in health,
Brenda Gerhard, Coopersburg, Pa.
Brenda…thank you for sharing and for your willingness to help others explore the options available. A good friend of mine used this same treatment and raved on his success. For purposes of clarification, I chose surgery knowing that should the cancer reappear I could use radiation as a backup treatment. Sounds like what your husband did.
I have been told that if radiation is the primary course of treatment at the beginning and then the cancer reappeared, surgery is then not an option. (Again…don’t rely on the content here to be medical advice – consult a medical professional).
Hopefully, the content of these blogs will spur discussion and most importantly motivate men in their early 40’s to get a PSA test. Having a PSA test early does two very important things: (1) gives you a bench mark to gage if there is any reason for concern; and (2) gives a clear early warning sign so that, if you find yourself like me, with prostate cancer, you can seek early treatment and LIVE!
Remember: Every Choice Has A Consequence. Choose to have the test…It Might Just Save Your Life!