Prolaris® provides clarity for prostate cancer treatment decisions. A patient story.
Elevated PSA levels warning
Tim Petracca was a healthy 63-year-old when he attended a regularly scheduled check up with his primary care physician – only to find that his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels were elevated compared to previous years. It was a shock because Tim lives a very active lifestyle and expected nothing out of the ordinary. He felt fine and had no symptoms indicating anything was wrong. Based on the elevated PSA results, his doctor recommended an MRI and a prostate biopsy.
A positive prostate biopsy and prostate cancer
Tim received his biopsy results quickly after the procedure. Unfortunately, the lesions identified in his MRI confirmed prostate cancer was present. After learning about his diagnosis, Tim’s doctor recommended surgery or radiation as a form of treatment to fight Tim’s cancer. Tim had concerns about these suggestions because his brother had also been diagnosed with prostate cancer years prior and received a radical prostatectomy. As a result of the surgery, his brother has experienced urinary and sexual function problems ever since. Tim wanted to find out if there was a way to avoid such radical forms of treatment at this stage in his life.
Being proactive with Prolaris prostate cancer testing
Tim knew he needed to explore his options to better understand an ideal course of action for his treatment. He began researching on his own. He began researching on his own and found out that he qualified for the Myriad Prolaris Prostate Cancer Prognostic Test, a genetic test that measures the aggressiveness of a patient’s individual cancer.
He spoke with his urologist and advocated using the Prolaris test to make the best decisions for his cancer treatment. Prolaris not only determines how aggressive a patient’s cancer is, but it can also identify risk of it spreading to other parts of the body. Tim’s Prolaris result ultimately indicated that he was a great candidate for active surveillance because his cancer aggressiveness was low.
Following an active surveillance protocol
As a candidate for active surveillance, Tim has been faithful to his protocol, which includes safely monitoring his PSA levels every 90 days and having an MRI and biopsy annually. If there is any indication that his cancer starts to show signs of progression, additional treatment can be recommended.
Be an active decision-maker for your cancer treatment
Being an active participant in his own treatment helped Tim understand his cancer and its risks. Working closely with his doctor allowed them to collaborate and identify optimal treatment for his specific cancer. He recommends that patients ask many questions about treatment, treatment outcomes and ways to identify the best treatment options.
Tim is grateful for genetic testing saying “Prolaris gave me the ability to maintain the lifestyle that my wife and I have lived with for many years and get to enjoy for many more.”