He’s the one who stands before. Our father. Our brother. Our uncle. Our grandfather. Our friend. He rarely goes to the doctor. He’s invincible, after all. Except he isn’t. When he did go to the doctor, the doctor gave it to him straight. No bedside manner. Just straight talk with little hope for the future.
You have prostate cancer, the doc said. And we hear nothing but the word ‘cancer’ which evokes thoughts of
chemo and radiation. Your mind races to plan next steps. Surgery, you’re sure, is on the horizon.
Great, you sigh in resignation. There goes my life. Instead of golf outings, events, and being with friends and family, my days will be filled with appointments, nausea, and fatigue.
Did You Know?
Did you know that if you can catch it early enough there is another way? Just five years ago, the people behind
focal laser therapy treatment garnered funding to help treat more patients with prostate cancer.
In memoriam of Dr. Stuart May, a pioneer in an alternative therapy for prostate cancer, The Focal Therapy Foundation was born.
We recently crafted a rack card to be included with patient follow up materials. The goal is something of a pay it forward moment.
You’ve seen what focal laser therapy treatment can do. You’re living proof. And who better to be an ambassador than someone who’s been there?
Just Got the News and Wondering What’s Next?
We reached out to our friends at Desert Medical Imaging (DMI) in Indian Wells, California to find out. While there are a few hospitals and health systems which offer focal laser therapy treatment, these are the pioneers. So, if you find yourself here, this is what you can expect.
- An email from their Patient Coordinator, who himself has been diagnosed with and received treatment for Prostate Cancer. Almost immediately, you’ll have someone to talk to who can answer questions and help put your mind at ease.
- A follow up email from Dr. Bernadette Greenwood, who will explain this procedure is still in trials, her role, and what you can expect. You can find more information about the procedure at ClinicalTrials.gov clinical trial number NCT02243033.
We know medical terminology can be daunting, so we’ll put as much as we can as simply as we can.
Prior to Laser Focal Therapy
- Routine MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) of your Prostate. You might consider this a laser focused-x-ray. But to pinpoint location and determine if it can be removed, we’ll add in an MRI Guided Biopsy.
- MRI Guided Biopsy (not part of the treatment) and if when this is completed, it meets the
requirement for laser focal therapy, we’ll take next steps which is the procedure in the clinical trial.
Because this is still in clinical trials and considered experimental, most insurances will not cover it. However, it is gaining ground as providers seek for their patients to have a quality of life rather than a roster of doctor and hospital appointments.
Chemotherapy and radiation don’t have to be a part of your lifestyle. There is another way. But as the costs grow, particularly in a procedure such as this, we know how financially frustrating and downright scary it can be. This is why The Focal Therapy Foundation was created. Like you, we want to be the “ones who stand before” when it comes to getting the services you need.
Sharpening Our Focus
Several years ago, we were granted a gift to help alleviate some of the financial strain faced by men choosing to follow this path. Success doesn’t lie. To our knowledge, within their 5-year span of trials, there has been a 100% success rate of survival. As the new year begins, we’re sharpening our focus on our efforts to help more men have healthier lives.
We encourage you to have your prostate
checked regularly. Be the “one who stands before” in your family and stay healthy for yourself and for
With over 174,000 men 65 and older diagnosed with prostate cancer last year alone, we know there are more who could use this alternative therapy. The key is to catch it early.
And if you’ve been part of the trials and have found your quality of life improved, we encourage you to follow in our founding donor’s footsteps. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, we encourage you to forward them our website or Facebook page, and click Donate.
*Disclaimer: All information is for educational purposes only. For any questions related to the clinical trial, please reach out directly to DMI. For questions about The Focal Therapy Foundation or to make a donation, please reach out directly to the Foundation.