Prostate cancer survivor shares hope after treatment

As an officer of three decades in the Houston Police Department, Joseph “Joe” Levingston was meticulous about details. When it came to his health, he never missed an annual physical examination, exercised regularly and kept a wellness journal. In 2008, Joe’s doctor said his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels were high and prescribed antibiotics. “I really didn’t even know what PSA was at that point,” Joe says. “I was like most guys. I just hated the digital rectal exam.” Then in 2009, a blood test revealed a high PSA level again. More antibiotics didn’t help. By the next spring, his PSA had climbed well above the normal range of 4 or below. In May 2010, a needle biopsy showed that Joe had prostate cancer. “I almost fell to the floor when my doctor told me,” Joe says. Moving forward after a prostate cancer diagnosis Right after his prostate cancer diagnosis, Joe became depressed and struggled to sleep and eat. But he then became determined, thanks to the support of his wife and three children, as well as prayer. “After about three weeks, I called this doctor three or four times,” he says. “I became very assertive in trying to get answers.” That’s when Joe’s cousin, a nurse, suggested he come to MD Anderson. “I got online and saw that you could self-refer,” he says. Soon thereafter, Joe had his first appointment at MD Anderson. He met with Christopher J. Logothetis, M.D., his oncologist, and John W. Davis, M.D., a prostate cancer surgeon. “The environment at MD Anderson was outstanding,” he says. “It was encouraging. They were very specialized in their...