Former Prostate Cancer Patient Shares Importance of Regular Cancer Screenings
“When I found out I had cancer, I promised myself that I would spread the word that screening is so important.”
Prostate Cancer Survivor
Shortly after turning 50, David Hennessy began monitoring his PSA levels – also known as prostate-specific antigen, a protein in the blood that may indicate prostate cancer when detected at increasingly higher levels. When his doctors noticed his PSA level rising, a biopsy confirmed prostate cancer. “The biopsy showed that I had cancer, and I am fortunate in that the cancer appeared to be confined and treatable after being caught early,” he said.
According to American Cancer Society, 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. David began researching his options. He spoke with former prostate cancer patients, several doctors, his treatment team and patients who had been treated at Texas Center for Proton Therapy. “I self-referred to the proton center. I was received warmly by people who cared and whose mission it was to ensure that I got the information that I needed to make an informed treatment decision and that I received the treatment that I needed. No pressure,” David said.
“When I found out I had cancer, I promised myself that I would spread the word that screening is so important. Most men are stubborn and feel bulletproof and won’t get their PSA tested. PSA is a simple, painless blood test. Tell your brothers, fathers, sons, uncles, friends to get checked.” Men with early stage prostate cancer often experience little to no symptoms other than a rise in PSA.
After much research and seeking multiple opinions, David decided that proton therapy was the best option for him. Because of the treatment’s pinpoint accuracy, which can minimize damage to healthy tissue, men get the benefit of extremely precise tumor targeting with a lower risk for potential side effects. Proton therapy helps prostate cancer patients maintain their quality of life – a major component in David’s treatment decision.
David celebrated the end of his treatment in October of 2016 and helped to organize the Prostate Cancer Support Group at Texas Center for Proton Therapy, which meets the first Tuesday of every month.
For more information on the Prostate Cancer Support Group, please visit www.TexasCenterForProtonTherapy.com/SupportGroup or call 469-513-5500.