The Sarasota Prostate Initiative, Inc is a Florida non-profit 501C3 dedicated to increasing awareness of diagnostic and treatment options for those told "You have prostate cancer".
INFORMED DECISIONS overcome FEAR
Men to Men of Sarasota was initiated in 1989 with the support of Sarasota Memorial Hospital. It provides the opportunity for men facing prostate disease to learn about the many treatment and diagnostic options available to them while providing peer support to guide them on this life-threatening journey.
Brief History From David G Morse In 2011 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. This result came to me as I called the doctor after waiting 2 weeks to receive the diagnosis - an agonizing and fearful, and I thought inexcusable, delay.
I was about to board a plane for Cincinnati and the start of a new job, still with some discomfort from the biopsy done three weeks earlier. The diagnosis was that I had Gleason scores of 6 from 2 cores, and to come see the doctor in a month to determine a plan. Not much help to my anxiety level.
Finally, I meet with the urologist to discuss my diagnosis. He stated I should have my prostate removed. I had done considerable research and felt this was a rather radical step given my diagnosis. I eventually parted ways with this urologist, found many resources among the urological and oncology community, checked my insurance carefully - even made some changes so I could extend my research of doctors to other states - especially my home state of Massachusetts, home of Dana Farber Cancer Center.
Within a few months, after visits with 6 or 7 different doctors, a visit to Dana Farber in Boston, I was pretty determined to try "Watchful Waiting" or what I preferred to term it - "Aggressive Surveillance".
I would continue to seek consultations with these various oncologists, urologists, and radiation oncologists; I would continue to take every diagnostic test that was available.
Fortunately, my journey lead me to a support group - Men to Men. What a blessing this was. This provided an opportunity to share experiences with other men at various stages of their journey. Monthly meetings were held with medical experts in the field - oncologists, urologists, Eastern medicine experts - acupuncturists, diagnosticians, general practitioners, nutritionists, and others. The information sharing proved immensely valuable.
My decision to remain on "Aggressive Surveillance" was virtually supported and even encouraged at all levels from doctors to cancer centers to support group members.
After 4.5 years of Aggressive Surveillance and a final year of Oncologist monitored use of casodex and frequent psa tests, my psa had risen and my oncologist said it was time! - for more radical treatment. A month later, after many more reviews with my "medical team", a 3T parametric MRI and a targeted biopsy, I decided to go through a complete 38 day radiation program coupled with hormone therapy for about 1.5 years (some prior to, the balance after, radiation) and brachytherapy/seeds implantation - kind of the whole ball of wax so to speak.
Now, 9 years after diagnosis, I feel great; psa has been undetectable...knock on wood - another blood test soon.
I remain active with Men to Men, serving as co-chairman then Chairman for the past 5 years.
I have long felt the need to expand upon the tremendous supportive and educational efforts of Men to Men and groups like it. Thus Sarasota Prostate Initiative.
Sarasota is one of the United States' preeminent centers of medical services related to Prostate cancer and other related disease. And it is a center also for outstanding support services provided by hospitals, cancer centers, and community groups.
With this history, Sarasota can be the center of growth in improving awareness and education for men seeking options for prevention, diagnosis and treatment for prostate and related disease.
Sarasota Prostate Initiative plans to address these issues.