“Just hang in there. New things are being developed all the time.”
Every cancer patient hears that – and properly so. It’s true. And here’s an example that came through today:
A new, far-more-sensitive tool to scan a man’s body for prostate cancer that has escaped the borders built around it, crossed into new territory and is thriving on foreign lands. This development is important because these metastases historically have been difficult to pinpoint, requiring carpet bombing by chemo rather than sniper attacks by radiation or surgery.
For years, prostate-cancer patients and their doctors have had to wait until the lesions were large enough to be detected by then-current scanning technology. By then, it was too late or nearly too late.
As of yesterday, there were two new, more-sensitive scanning regiments. Now, there are three – and No. 3 should help me.
No. 1: The Axumin PET scan. This is the radioactive-tracer scan that I had in April after that sudden explosion in my PSA blood-test results. This scan, far more sensitive than was available just a few years ago, found cancer in my lymph nodes from the neck through the chest and abdomen and down to the pelvic region. It was too late for sniper attacks, but carpet bombing began immediately. Even that might not have happened before Axumin scans were available.
No. 2: Ga-PSMA-11 PET scan. Also a radioactive-tracer scan, it was approved by the FDA this past December and is far more sensitive – i.e., able to detect even smaller malignancies. This is great. You want to detect these things as soon as possible. The problem is that this technology requires special equipment available in just a handful of sites around the country.
No. 3: F-DCFPyL PET scan. Approved today by the FDA, this is equally as sensitive as Ga-PSMA-11. The big advantage: This radioactive tracer can be sent to any facility that performs PET scans, presumably including my excellent local facility here in Tallahassee (Radiology Associates).
I plan to ask about this the next time we’re in touch with our specialists here, as it would be…convenient…to know asapest if/when the enemy sets up camps in my bones or organs.
Our good friend Mark Ivester first alerted me to this development, which he learned about this morning on the TODAY program. He has our thanks for that. Here is a link to that report. The video is brief and I highly recommend it, as it places in excellent perspective prostate cancer and the challenges of dealing with it:
A short time later, the Prostate Cancer Foundation shared the same news. Here is that link:
As you can see, this is a pretty big deal.
In other developments, carpet bombing continues on this end in response to the lymph-node assault. A blast of Firmagon in the belly and a blast of Prolia in the arm came via injections last week, and the four mega-pills of other poison – Erleada – go down every night, without a spoonful of sugar (unless Marion is looking elsewhere). 🙂
Once again, kudos to the folks at AllianceRX (the speciality pharmacy outfit) and The Assistance Fund (the financial-assistance foundation). The Erleada runs out tonight. The next ammunition belt of bullets already is on the way, with early-morning delivery set for tomorrow. Out of pocket cost: $0.