The start of prostate cancer awareness month, that is. Yes, it’s now September 1st, 2023, and one of my colleagues asked me the other day “when was the last time you did a blog entry?” It’s been so long that I honestly didn’t remember so I just checked, and it was March 5th, 2023 – almost six months ago! And wow, has it been a busy six months?!? I will catch things up with several entries over the next few weeks and like always, they will be a quick read at exactly 500 words.
But first things first… the start of prostate cancer awareness month. I am fortunate enough to have a few media appearances lined up to help get a message out that I really want to emphasize this year. The main points are:
There is no substitute for early detection of prostate cancer. Caught early, prostate cancer is almost always curable.
In my opinion, if you are over 40 years of age with a family history that includes prostate cancer, there is no excuse for not at *least* getting a baseline PSA via a simple blood test.
Even if you don’t catch it early – and it’s not curable – it is at least treatable. The advanced imaging techniques and targeted treatment options now available offer more hope and better outcomes than ever before.
On September 13th, I hope to make these points on the 4:00 p.m. EST segment on WLWT News, and Liz Bonis and I are planning another segment in September to cover the success I am currently enjoying with Pluvicto, a targeted radioligand treatment that I started in April 2023.
So yes, Pluvicto… when I last wrote on March 5th, 2023, I had been approved to start treatment with Pluvicto, but it was not available. Like not available anywhere. Novartis had started producing it but had to halt production when they self-reported quality control problems to the Food & Drug Administration. Production was suspended immediately.
Guys that had started on the treatment – which was the next big hope for guys with advanced prostate cancer – suddenly had problems accessing it. Guys that had been approved for the treatment (including me) were informed that they were on hold, and there was no indication as to when the situation would be resolved. Meanwhile, PSAs were increasing, along with the stress level of tens of thousands of guys around the country that needed to start on the treatment to control their cancer. It was a mess.
Despite this, after waiting several months, I “got the call” and was told that I would receive my first Pluvicto treatment on Friday, April 7th. A week later, I got another call… this one was from my treatment provider, telling me that my treatments were being canceled… ALL of them… because the reimbursement from my insurance coverage was going to fall a few hundred dollars short for each treatment. Stay tuned.
Until next time,