One Man’s Story Of Surviving Prostate Cancer And Helping Others
When I was 55 years old, I had a slightly elevated prostate-specific antigen of a little over 5. I went ahead and had a biopsy. The biopsy came back negative. I assumed I was fine I felt fine. I stayed fit and ran 15-20 miles a week. After a few years, my wife, a nurse, would say, You have to go and get yourself tested. Finally at 60, she said Phil, get a physical! I did. The PSA level was up to 30. The most recent biopsy said I had advanced stage prostate cancer with a Gleason score of 10. I was still running daily and had no sense that I had cancer.
It was really tough to figure out what to do. I felt my choices were limited because the cancer was so advanced. When I look back now, I wish I did not wait so long to be tested again. We have to be our own advocates. We have to be reminded that bad stuff can happen if we do not keep tabs on our health.
When diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, I was fearful of the unknown. What helped me most was to learn everything I could about my options. I began to learn what I could do and what to expect, and it helped. By learning everything I could, it helped me make treatment decisions along with my doctor. I asked a lot of questions.
Whether we are talking with a surgeon or radiation oncologist, men should not be afraid to ask questions and get second opinions. We must learn everything we can about treating prostate cancer and about the side effects of treatment.
Treatments To Control And Prevent Symptoms Caused By The Spread Of Prostate Cancer To The Bones
Palliative External beam radiotherapy
Radiopharmaceuticals: Strontium-89 , samarium-153
Radium-223 dichloride is now licensed and called Xofigo. This is not widely available in the UK but BPC is one of a relatively small number of specialist centres using this treatment.
Zolidronic acid is a bisphosphonate given by a 15-minute intravenous infusion every 34 weeks. It reduces the risk of bone complications, including pain and fractures.
Xgeva : this is a newly licensed drug available at BPC.
Surgery may be undertaken to treat bone fractures or to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord by bone metastases.
What Happens Now This Doctor Wants To Help Survivors Navigate The Answer
In her work as Director of the Cancer Survivorship Division at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and beyond, Dr. Melissa Hudson is helping ensure that pediatric cancer survivors are able to get the care they need.
She rolled up her sleeves and said, I know I gotta do this, said Dr. Melissa Hudson, about a mother whose child survived a complicated brain tumor. She was able to get the care her child needed, but it shouldnt have been so difficult, said Dr. Hudson, director of the Cancer Survivorship Division at St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital. We need to do better at connecting pediatric cancer survivors to care and resources.
A better understanding of cancer biology and treatment gained over the past 50 years has contributed to an increase in pediatric cancer survivors. Studies looking at whether treatment intensity can be reduced without making it less effectivecalled de-escalation trialsled to changes like radiation being reduced or eliminated because we realized we were overtreating, said Dr. Hudson. Diagnostic and clinical care improvements also emerged, such as using imaging instead of surgery to determine the stage of Hodgkin lymphoma.
Ultimately, its vital to not only reduce the negative impact that cancer treatments can have on a persons quality of life, but also ensure cancer survivors have access to the care they need, so that they can do more than just survivethey can thrive.
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Life Expectancy Of Stage 4 Liver Cancer
Life Expectancy of Stage 4 Liver Cancer is not very impressing at all. The stage is concerned as one of the most critical Liver Cancer. The impact of the Liver Cancer Stage 4 is very bad, and the condition gets worse with time. On average patient may survive for 6 months. However, if the complexity of Liver is less then, people may survive for even couple of years. However, the life expectancy of Stage 4 depends upon the condition of the people.
Cancer Sucks Survivorship Doesnt Have To
Matthew Zachary is an advocate in the adolescent and young adult cancer survivor community who recently created OffScrip Media, an audio network devoted to sharing stories of patients and advocates.
Matthew Zachary doesnt do anything halfway. After being told in 1995 at age 21 that hed likely be dead in 6 months from brain cancer, he survived and went on to found Stupid Cancer in 2007, an advocacy organization credited with kickstarting the adolescent and young adult cancer movement.
With help from other survivors and advocates, he built a new community of AYA cancer survivors and families, one he wished he had in 1995. To Matt, survivoradvocates are a driving force in all cancer research progress. He described the Cancer MoonshotSM, the governments effort to accelerate such progress, as what advocacy really pushed for. Were actually using a term Kennedy did, . We couldve never had this conversation 50 years ago because we were dying, but its happening now thanks to advocates efforts and advances in prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship.
In 2019, Matt stepped down as CEO of Stupid Cancer and created OffScrip Media, a podcast network sharing voices and stories of patients and advocates. This year, hes celebrating his 25th cancerversary. I dont know how Im still here, he said, But I intend to keep living with punch, meaning, and purpose.
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Stage 4 Prostate Cancer Survivor
Nowand they also made the vaccine for me. I so often am asked Well Dennis, how did you get over your stage 4 cancer? Now I had my stage 4 cancer was documented with a PET scan. And the PET scan showed cancer in my lymph nodes, my groin, and my pelvic bone. It was just loaded with cancer cells in the pelvic. And my tailbone was loaded with it. My lower back was loaded with it. So thats why he gave me 2 1/2 months to live when he saw the results of those x-rays.
Well after I came back from being in Tijuana for 3 weeks, and spending $25,000. Dont forget that, I spent $25,000! And I got home, and I am on my shots now. Im still taking my cesium and potassium. And when I get done with the last shot, I called my doctor in Mexico and asked him ifwhats our next move. I said I just completed my last shot today. Well he said I want you to wait about 10 days. And then Id like you to go back and talk to your medical doctor, your cancer doctor, and ask him to give you another PET scan. Lets see how well we did with your treatment. I said Okay.
The Meeting That Changed Everything
Ruth saw a notice in the newspaper from John McDougall. John McDougall wanted to do a study about the impact the diet has on breast cancer.
Ruth noticed that Johns number was a local number in Kailua, Hawaii close to where she lived. She phoned right away and talked to John McDougall. Ruth explained about her breast cancer story to John.
John McDougall taught Ruth the importance of eating a vegan diet. Picturce by Cteitgen
John told her to get her medical records and get into his office, the next day. At the office, John talked about the harmful impact animal products have on our health. He told her that breast cancer was higher in countries that consumed more fat.
Ruth took a nutrition course before that taught her that you need to eat good, high-quality protein. She was eating animal products like chicken, fish and low-fat dairy.
John made her change her diet and told her not to have radiation or chemo. He wanted to show that the food made the difference. Ruths oncologist shook his head when she told him what she wanted to do. He thought she was crazy.
Her husband also said she was mad. She ignored him and started cooking a strict vegan diet. Her diet consisted of whole grains, brown rice, lots of fruits and vegetables.
She ate oatmeal for breakfast in the morning. Ruth also loved eating baked potatoes and sweet potatoes. At a later stage, she started to eat a raw diet after reading a book by Doug Graham.
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Focus On Hope And On What You Love
Billy has also found it heartening to support and encourage others with cancer by sharing much of his own experience with the community that regularly gathers on Connections.
I try to live each day as if I dont have this terrible disease, he says. My advice to others living with metastatic cancer is to focus on the things youve always loved doing. You dont have to try to find a reason to keep fighting cancer, but instead you need to see the reasons that are right there in front of you. His personal joys include cooking and vacationing in Cape Cod with his wife and friends every year and, as of 2012, spending time with his granddaughter, Collette.
Colette being born was one of the happiest moments of my life! he says. Maybe Ill survive to see her go to kindergarten or even graduate from college. I know it sounds ridiculous to entertain such unlikely hopes, but when hope is what sustains you, you just hope. And hope. And hope. Nobody lives forever, but Ill take every second of time I get. I live for the times I see her.
Stage 4 Prostate Cancer Survivor Urges Every Man For The Sake Of All Who Love Him Get A Screening Life Is Precious
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or seek care at an emergency room.
Euvon Jones admits he took his health for granted. “I had great health all the way into my late 50’s,” says the Accokeek, Maryland resident. “I worked, went to the gym, and had an active life. I didn’t think it was necessary to check on my health or get screenings.” But when a limp from hip pain and diminishing appetite and energy levels could no longer be ignored, he went to the doctor. The news was not good. At age 59, Euvon was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer. “Getting that diagnosis just about floored me,” he says.
Euvons PSA was 398. A normal PSA is 4 for a man his age. Euvons cancer was most likely silently growing for years, and a screening could have caught it. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men. One in eight men will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis during their lifetime, but most will make a full recovery when the disease is caught early. Being aware of your risks and ensuring timely PSA screening can make all the difference.
Ultimately, Euvon choose immunotherapy, a process that stimulates a person’s own immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells more effectively.
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How Long Can Someone Live With Stage 4 Cancer
Doctors usually describe a persons outlook using the 5-year survival rate. These are calculated based on data from thousands of other people with a similar cancer at a similar stage.
The original location of the cancer determines its type. Survival rates vary, depending on the type of cancer and how far it has spread within the body.
Below, we describe the survival rates for some of the most common forms of cancer in stage 4:
New Therapy For Aggressive Prostate Cancer Improves Survival
The experimental treatment relies on radioactive molecules that seek out tumor cells, a strategy that may be useful against other cancers.
An experimental therapy has prolonged life in men with aggressive prostate cancer that has resisted other treatments, offering new hope to patients with advanced illness and opening the door to a promising new form of cancer therapy.
Among men who received the new therapy, there was a nearly 40 percent reduction in deaths over the course of the clinical trial, compared with similar patients who received only standard treatment, researchers reported on Wednesday.
Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among American men, after lung cancer an estimated 34,130 men will die of prostate cancer this year. One in eight men will be diagnosed with the disease at some point in their lives. The risk increases with age, and the cancer is more common in Black men.
The new treatment relies on a radioactive molecule to target a protein found on the surface of prostate cancer cells. The study, which followed 831 patients with advanced disease in 10 countries for a median period of 20 months, was published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
This is something new youre driving radiation right to the cancer itself, said Karen Knudsen, president and chief executive of the American Cancer Society. Its a much more sophisticated strategy for targeting the tumor.
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Nering With Mount Sinai
Bill is not the type to take credit for overcoming his advanced prostate cancer. He prefers to hand that over to the team of physicians at The Mount Sinai Hospital who directed his care, including Dr. Hall Michael J. Droller, MD and Richard G. Stock, MD. However, that would be telling only part of his story.
Bill did extensive research during each leg of his journey, as he likes to call his progression from his diagnosis of the most advanced form of prostate cancer to long-term remission. Although Bill had great faith in his medical teams, he was an empowered patient, and preferred to work with physicians who would treat him as a partner in the determination of his treatment.
When Bill was first informed of his advanced disease in 1995, the recommendation to go on hormone therapy with Lupron. In addition, Bill made dramatic lifestyle changes: healthy low-fat, high-fiber foods meditation and a gym membership. The most important and most difficult change for Bill was stress reduction, especially at work.
After a stent with hormone therapy, Bill and his medical team decided to alter his regime to intermittent hormone therapy, when his PSA responded favorably after two years on Lupron and Flutamide.
What To Watch Out For
Larry: Yeah, but you do have to watch your potassium levels, right?
Yes, you do have to watch potassium levels. And you have to know the symptoms if you are getting too much potassium. But I never found that problematic. But, being a retired nurse, I know certain drugs cause people to have too much potassium in the body, so especially if you are taking other medications it would be a good idea to also have blood work done to ensure that youre not, like having too much potassium build up, or also probably nutritional work done so that you know you arent losing too much in the way of the vitamins or minerals and you know. Because one of the biggest cancer related to cancer killers is cachexia. Is basically starving to death.
Larry: Right. Youre absolutely right there. And theres a lot of these, I call them fad diets, that are promoted for people with cancer can actually put people into a cachexic state. Because theyre not paying attention to the reason that you do fall into that cachexic state. So it can be dangerous by following some of those diets that claim to be good for people that have cancer and actually arent.
Yeah. No I agree. Ive seen many ads for If you just do apple cider vinegar for a week it will cure all your cancer!
No, thats not good. Thats not healthy.
Larry: What do you think about the 24 hour cancer cure?
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Gleason Score Vs Grade Groups
The International Society of Urological Pathology released a revised prostate cancer grading system in 2014. The grade group system seeks to simplify Gleason scores and give a more accurate diagnosis.
One of the major problems with the Gleason score is that some scores can be made up in different ways. For example, a score of 7 can mean:
- 3 + 4. The 3 pattern is the most common in the biopsy and 4 is the second most common. This pattern is considered favorable intermediate risk.
- 4 + 3. The 4 pattern is the most common in the biopsy and 3 is the second most common. This pattern is considered unfavorable and may mean local or metastatic spread.
So, although both situations give a Gleason score of 7, they actually have very different prognoses.
Heres an overview of how the two grading systems compare:
|grade group 5||910|
Not all hospitals have switched to the grade group system. Many hospitals give both grade group and Gleason scores to avoid confusion until grade groups become more widely used.
Stage 4 Prostate Cancer: Survival Rates Treatment And Support
Prostate cancer is in stage 4 when the cancer spreads beyond the lymph nodes and into other areas of the body. While the vast majority of prostate cancer cases are caught before this happens, when the cancer is treatable, stage 4 is far more difficult to treat. Therefore, the survival rate among men with stage 4 prostate cancer is much lower.
There are two types of stage 4 prostate cancer: 4A and 4B, according to the American Cancer Society. The type assigned to a persons diagnosis is based on whether the cancer has spread and to what degree, and the value assigned to two additional factors called the Grade Group and the prostate-specific antigen . The Grade Group is a measure of how likely the cancer is to spread quickly, and the PSA is a measure of a protein in the blood produced by cells in the prostate.
With stage 4A, the tumor has already spread into the lymph nodes and may be spreading into tissues adjacent to the prostate, but has not spread to other areas of the body. The Grade Group can be of any value, as can the PSA.
With stage 4B, the tumor may have spread into the lymph nodes, may be spreading into nearby tissues and has spread to other areas of the body like the bones, certain organs and distant lymph nodes. The Grade Group and PSA can be of any value.
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