Prostate Cancer Can’t Stop Me

Getting treated for metastatic prostate cancer hasn’t slowed down retired engineer George Moore. Read his inspirational story.

Kathleen Engel
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When George Moore traveled to Sarasota, FL, from his Colleyville, TX, home for 46 radiation treatments last August, he and his wife, Carolyn, weren’t about to waste time hanging around the hotel. “We had a blast!” he reports. Although George made the trip to have his single lymph node tumor and five tumors in his bone treated with radiation, there were places to go and things to see. “We went to the beach and to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers. And we ate out a lot!” he cheerfully confesses.

Since his diagnosis with prostate cancer in 2007, life’s been a whirlwind. And his mind for science—and fascination with technology—has been sparked by the miracles of modern medicine he’s experienced along the way. These marvels have afforded him such precise treatment that he is looking forward to his next Sarasota trip in October—for follow-up, yes, but also for more fun.

So, what about the cancer- and treatment-related fatigue you usually hear about? “I do get tired, but at 71, that’s probably not too unexpected,” jokes George, a grandfather of five. “I’ve never felt I couldn’t do things or go out to dinner with people.”

George’s prostate cancer journey
It started back in 2001, when George, then 60, visited a urologist for help with ED (erectile dysfunction) and the frequent need to urinate. George was diagnosed with, and treated for, BPH (benign prostate hyperplasia, or enlarged prostate). But a careful watch on his PSA—which, by 2007, had climbed to 3.4 (from a baseline of 2.4)—prompted his urologist to perform a biopsy. The results: a Gleason score of 7; 10 out of 12 tissue samples were cancerous, with 80% to 90% of the biopsied tissue determined to be cancerous. No mistaking it, George was battling prostate cancer. The first attack at his cancer was a single full radiation treatment followed by therapy with radioactive seeds (brachytherapy).

But when his PSA climbed from 0.2 back up to 3.22 by January 2012, George’s doctor started him on hormone therapy. At the time, George also had a bone scan, which revealed tumors in the bone. His cancer was restaged…to Stage IV: metastatic cancer.

Understanding prostate cancer treatment
Eager to understand the full range of treatment options, George began researching his disease. After reading about the advanced imaging techniques and cutting-edge therapies available to target tumors, George made appointments with two physicians—a medical oncologist and a radiation oncologist—who specialize in prostate cancer.

Now, with his radiation treatment completed and two shots of hormone therapy remaining, George has been told that he is in remission. To protect his bones that may be weakened by the tumors, George receives shots of a medication that helps prevent fractures. “I haven’t had any bone pain,” he reports. “No side effects, really, other than the ED and incontinence I started out with.”

To men in his shoes, he urges: “You want the answers the next day—and the results of a test tomorrow. Be patient. Work with physicians you are comfortable with and who offer the latest treatments.”

April 2013