Pathology report gives prostate cancer survivor more treatment options

Even though several of Kelly Andersen’s relatives had faced prostate cancer, his own diagnosis in September 2013 came unexpectedly. He’d never experienced any symptoms. His doctor diagnosed the disease only after routine bloodwork done during his annual physical exam detected elevated PSA levels. “I asked the doctor if it could just be a mistake, and he said he’d asked the lab to run it twice because my level was so high,” Kelly recalls. Subsequent CT and MRI scans confirmed Kelly’s disease and showed that it’d spread to several lymph nodes around his body. His oncologist in Oregon, where he lives, prescribed four rounds of chemotherapy to shrink the tumors. His PSA level dropped to below .05, but when it came time for surgery, the two surgeons with whom he’d previously met refused to operate on him. They told him that because he had small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma in addition to adenocarcinoma, his disease was too aggressive for surgery to matter. “I came back home pretty discouraged,” Kelly recalls. Getting a second opinion at MD Anderson But he didn’t give up. After speaking with his family doctor and doing some research on the internet, Kelly sent MD Anderson his records. “MD Anderson got back to me within just a few days,” Kelly says. In January 2014, Kelly flew to Houston to see genitourinary oncologist Jennifer Wang, M.D., and surgeon Louis Pisters, M.D. Immediately, Wang ordered a new set of CT and MRI scans. “One of the things I really appreciated with Dr. Wang and MD Anderson is that when I was in Oregon, I had to wait 8-10 days to...