Patient Story: Victor
September 12, 2022
Victor and his wife, Josi, recently reached a milestone they have worked long and hard for: They finally completed a total renovation of their home. Now that Victor has retired, most of their weekends are spent entertaining friends, and they’re loving it. Most importantly, Victor is glad that he’s here to enjoy it.
When Victor was in his 30’s, he was diagnosed with an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The prostate is a small gland located below the bladder in male bodies.
An increase in the size of the prostate can sometimes be caused by normal hormone changes or inflammation. “It was not a big deal to me at the time,” Victor recalls. “The condition didn’t impact my life. However, I was aware that I needed to keep up with my doctor appointments and screenings and I did.”
An increase in the size of the prostate can also indicate a more serious condition—prostate cancer.
Early in 2021, Victor noticed a dramatic change in his urination flow and knew it was an indication that his prostate was enlarged. He made an appointment with his doctor, Overlake Clinics urologist Khanh Pham, MD. Dr. Pham ordered a blood test, the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test. The test measures the amount of antigen in the blood. A high reading indicates the likelihood of prostate cancer. Victor’s score was 5.7, far above the normal range of 2–4.
The next step in diagnosis was a biopsy of Victor’s prostate. Samples were taken. “And sure enough, I had prostate cancer,” Victor recalls.
Some low-risk prostate cancers can be followed with active surveillance rather than treating with more aggressive measures. For Victor, however, aggressive treatment was a must. He had two options: radiation or surgery.
Victor and Josi decided on the surgical removal of his prostate. “I didn’t want to worry about it anymore,” he says. “I wanted it to be over.”
In October 2021, Victor had his surgery. He still has regular screenings and says his current PSA score is minuscule. “I’m glad I can enjoy my life,” Victor says. “Our lives have changed dramatically, but we’re happy with the choices we made and the care we received.
“I encourage others to keep up with the screenings,” he says. “It’s important.”
When it comes to your health, knowledge is power. In order to understand your risk of developing cancer, it’s important to evaluate your risk factors and to make plans to manage any potential risks. Overlake offers genetic counseling and cancer screening tests. Learn more about Overlake's cancer care services here or call 833.766.5524.