The guidelines on how and when to treat certain cancers change frequently, often leaving some patients confused about what course their treatment should take.
73-year-old Dennie Richards had been keeping an eye on his PSA for a while, but last year things changed. Richards said, "My PSA levels took a dramatic step up and it was time for the biopsy, and that's when I started looking for a urologist and found Dr. Liss."
Because it was a low-grade prostate cancer, they decided instead of radiation or removal of the prostate, active surveillance was the best option. Dr. Michael Liss, an assistant professor of urology at UT-Health San Antonio and Director of Medical Research at University Hospital said, "You don't need to get treated for all prostate cancers, maybe the intermediate or high-risk. A disease of low-grade cancers we tend to not treat now and we follow."
Richards added, "As it is right now, from my exam and the results of the biopsy, he implied that I would probably die of something else then prostate cancer which is slow-growing."
He has even been able to lower his PSA by managing his diet by limiting his folate intake in a clinical trial. "Your PSA did slowly come down so we don't need to do any more procedures just keep following the PSA for now," said Dr. Liss.
Because prostate cancer is one of the more manageable diseases, Richards says all men need to stay on top of their health to catch illnesses like this early. He told us, "Every year on my birthday I have a physical exam as a birthday present for myself."
Richards made sure to wear that gown, and caught cancer before it caught him off guard. "I encourage everybody to just go. This is one of the easiest cancers to cure, so find out about it before it becomes too late," said Richards.
To find out if you qualify for a prostate cancer or urology clinical trial, just call 210-567-0214. And for more men's health information call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of our Real Men Wear Gowns stories at WearTheGown.com.