With an esteemed career in pathology, Dr David Evans OAM spent most of his life diagnosing people with cancer and other diseases; but that still didn’t prepare him for his own cancer diagnosis.
Thankfully, his doctor focused on the positives.
“He said, ‘I’ve got good news and bad news. The bad news is you’ve got prostate cancer, the good news is it’s not highly active’,” David recalled.
“It was Grade 3 prostate cancer with a PSA of 4.2, so we just monitored it for a year or so.
“Then we did another prostate biopsy and it had increased in activity – which meant we had to act.”
With his PSA reaching 6.33 at its peak, David set about navigating his treatment options with the support of his wife Topsy, his three children and his GP.
“When you first start out, you think disease is something that happens to other people.
“I began hormone therapy for about a year and was preparing for brachytherapy before that was no longer suitable. My surgeon then recommended radiotherapy instead of surgery, and I’ve been good ever since.”
Of course there were side effects and hard times amongst the treatment, which involved four doses of radiotherapy a week for six weeks.
Despite their situation, the couple were still able to keep their sense of humour!
“You’d expect your family to be sympathetic, but when I was complaining about hot sweats, Topsy just laughed, thinking: now you know what menopause is like!” David joked.
Since then, David has continued his busy life and enjoys speaking to support groups for people with prostate cancer and giving back as a regular donor to APC.
His PSA hit rock bottom at 0.17 following prostate ablation, but is starting to rise again, so he is considering his future treatment options while keeping a close eye on it all. And thanks to research and clinical trials, there are now quite a few to choose from.
“My surgeon has said when my PSA gets back to 1, that’s when we’ll need to act again,” David said.
“I’m keen to participate in a clinical trial for LuPSMA-617, which is a more targeted therapy which finds the cancer cells and kills them off.”
In the meantime, he can enjoy life with Topsy and see his seven grandchildren grow up – with the sound knowledge that as they progress in age, these clinical trials may be standard treatment or even a cure.
Thank you David and all our generous donors for their support of APC!