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Phil Puddington is quite active and particularly cheerful considering his age, 81, and his medical problems. You wouldn’t be able to tell just by looking at him, but Phil has been dealing with prostate cancer for more than a quarter of a century and has experienced first-hand many advancements in the field of treatments.
A routine medical exam first revealed the issue. By chance, his doctor added an extra blood test on that occasion, for PSA. It was brand new at the time, but now it’s very common to search for Prostate Specific Antigens, a protein associated with cancer. Normal levels go up to 2.5 or 3, higher than 4 suggests a strong possibility of prostate cancer. The follow-up biopsy confirmed the diagnosis.
Phil has been doing regular courses of therapy and even so the disease progressed. Luckily enough, he’s one again taking advantage of emerging procedures with a treatment of radium that mimics calcium to address his bone tumors. Radiation flows directly to the affected areas as bones are calling for calcium, killing the cancer and extending Mr. Puddington’s life in the process. This approach offers significantly fewer adverse effects and is fairly painless.
William St. Clair, his current doctor, is continuously amazed by Phil’s resilience and at the same time commends recent innovations. Only 10 years ago he would have been helpless in this situation, only being able to ameliorate the pain.
An even more state-of-the-art therapy is soon to arrive in Lexington, Phil’s hometown. “HIFU” or High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound targets cancer using MRI scans and leaves most healthy tissue unaffected. This could improve his quality of life even more and give Phil a few more years, which he’s more than happy to have.
In the meantime, the 81-year-old is committed to living life to the fullest, in spite of his long-lasting disease.