MEET THE ACTIVE SURVEILLANCE PRESENTERS
Ferd is an active surveillance patient as well as a board-certified facial plastic surgeon. Ferd has followed a comprehensive active surveillance regimen for four years and the 7 mm prostate cancer lesion found at diagnosis remains stable at 7 mm. His imaging tests do not indicate any progression of disease.
Upon diagnosis with a Gleason 6, Jim joined the Prostate Forum of Orange County, an Us-TOO chapter that meets in Fullerton, California. Initially, Jim was able to gain considerable knowledge from other patients already following active surveillance regimens. Jim changed his diet, started exercising at a gym, and improved his overall health.
Jim’s father had experienced serious complications following a prostatectomy and radiation and when Jim was diagnosed with PCa in 2009 he was naturally concerned about maintaining his quality of life. However, with low-grade disease Jim enrolled in the active surveillance program at the University of California at San Francisco. In Jim’s video interview on this site Jim discusses his effort to bypass a standard random biopsy and have a multi-parametric 3T MRI.
At age 61 Francisco was diagnosed with prostate cancer with a Gleason 6. He saw various specialists who each recommended a different treatment. Francisco, an engineer, carefully educated himself about his options, finally choosing active surveillance. At his HMO, Francisco attended regular support group meetings but found the HMO highly resistant to active surveillance. Francisco recalls his travails with his HMO and how they finally came around to endorsing active surveillance.
Lyle is President of the Informed Prostate Cancer Support Group in San Diego. Lyle was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000 and began extensive self-study to learn more about all aspects of prostate cancer. Lyle has often become concerned about the lack of reliable information and misinformation within the prostate cancer patient community. Lyle is known to be always available on the phone or in-person for men seeking more information about their options for managing their prostate cancer.
Mark was diagnosed with PC in 2005. His father had been diagnosed with PCa and the treatments his father received had a serious adverse impact on his life. When Mark was diagnosed he adopted active surveillance but went beyond what most men do and adopted a raw food diet. He chairs a support group of about 50 active surveillance patients who convene each year at the annual Prostate Cancer Research Institute Conference. Mark’s PSA at diagnosis was 4.2 and ten years later it remains at 4.2.
In 2009 Bill’s initial pathology report showed a Gleason score of 3+3=6, Stage T1c, with 5% cancer cells in 1 of 12 cores. Bill carefully evaluated his options and chose an active surveillance regimen while making adjustments with his diet. “The red meat was swapped for tofu and veggies. Oh yes – no dairy.” With diligent adherence to diet and exercise, four years later, in 2014, a pathology report from a targeted biopsy showed no prostate cancer could be found.
When Jerry started active surveillance in 2001, it was called “watchful waiting.” Jerry joined the Prostate Forum of Orange County, California, an Us-TOO support group chapter. Jerry modified his diet and stepped up his level of exercise. While Jerry and others in the group followed active surveillance regimens and regularly saw their urologists, they also consulted with a medical oncologist. Jerry became active on the internet sharing his experience with other PC patients. Jerry’s prostate cancer remained relatively stable for 13 1/2 years until there was an upturn and he moved to treatment.
Dave is a patient in the active surveillance program at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF). After diagnosis in June, 2009, he made major changes in his diet and embarked on a vigorous exercise program. Dave also consults with an independent oncologist outside his active surveillance program who prescribed Avodart & Metformin. Dave also takes Resveratrol, curcumin and vitamin D3. In December, 2014, Dave had an 18-core guided MRI-ultrasound fusion prostate biopsy at UCSF and the pathology report indicated all tissue samples came back benign. In summary, 5 ½ years after diagnosis, no prostate cancer could be found.
Paul has been on active surveillance for 2 ½ years. At diagnosis his PSA was 5.7. Paul’s urologist indicated he was a good candidate for AS and Paul joined a support group and adopted a regimen of active surveillance as he reduced his sugar intake, ate very little red meat and added more veggies and fruit to his diet. He also increased his exercise regimen significantly. His PSA dropped to 4.5. Paul took the Prolaris test and the results supported his choice of active surveillance.
In 2012, Terry’s husband Ed was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Terry, a CPA, did internet research finding active surveillance as a possible option. She accompanied Ed for a consultation with his urologist. Terry recounts how Ed’s urologist emphasized that surgery was the only good option and should be promptly scheduled. However, Ed and Terry had additional consultations with staff in the active surveillance programs at UCSF & Stanford and were assured that that active surveillance was a prudent option. Ed joined the UCSF active surveillance program.
Gene is the COO of the Informed Prostate Cancer Support Group in San Diego. This group meets monthly on the University of California at San Diego campus. In September, 2014, Gene received the Prostate Cancer Research Institute’s Harry Pinchot Award, for his accomplishments with his groups’ outreach services helping men become better informed and function as their own case managers.
Board-certified urologist Bela Denes trained at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. With 25 years of clinical and academic experience Bela now leads the Genomic Health Medical Affairs team as the Senior Director of Urology. In an interview on this site he discusses the Oncotype DX Prostate Cancer Assay, one of the new tests using advanced genomic methods. This test examines the activity level of 17 genes from a biopsy sample and computes a score from 0 to 100, distinguishing aggressive prostate cancer from less threatening prostate cancer. The test results provide useful information for men considering or already following an active surveillance regimen, and for other patients as well.
Karen Kunz, BSN, C.U.R.N., is a certified urology nurse at Myriad Genetics. As the wife of a prostate cancer patient Karen is committed to helping improve the lives of men with prostate cancer. In a video interview on this site Karen describes the Myriad Genetics Prolaris test where genetic information from biopsy tissue samples produces data about the potential aggressiveness or lack of aggressiveness of the cancer cells. Prolaris test results are particularly useful when considering immediate treatment or active surveillance.
Medical oncologist and prostate cancer patient, Dr. Charles “Snuffy” Myers served for 10 years as Chief of the Clinical Pharmacy Branch at the National Cancer Institute. From 1994 to 2002 Snuffy was Director of the Cancer Center at the University of Virginia. His research group demonstrated that a fatty acid common in meat, dairy products and egg yolks promotes the survival and growth of human prostate cancer cells. In 2002 Snuffy established the American Institute for Diseases of the Prostate in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he provides clinical care for prostate cancer patients. His Blog, Ask Dr. Myers, is widely visited.
Robert is a board-certified radiologist with over 25 years of expertise in diagnostic medical imaging. He has interpreted more than 3,000 prostate MRI studies. Bob attended medical school at Penn State College of Medicine. His internship was completed at Hartford Hospital in Harford, Connecticut. A diagnostic radiology residency was completed at Yale University School of Medicine at New Haven Hospital and a fellowship in interventional radiology at the University of California, San Diego. Robert is President of Rolling Hills Radiology in California.
Mark is a board-certified medical oncologist and Medical Director at Prostate Oncology Specialists in Marina Del Rey, California. He also serves as Executive Director of the Prostate Cancer Research Institute. Mark is a co-author with patient Ralph Blum of the book Invasion of the Prostate Snatchers: No More Unnecessary Biopsies, Radical Treatment or Loss of Potency. Mark has advised many patients navigating a regimen of active surveillance along with many men following other interventions and courses of treatment.