A Letter from Don Brough
A Thumbs Up to our Health Care Providers…Grey Bruce Health Services / London Health Sciences Centre
I’m writing this to detail my recent experiences with the captioned service providers and to say how fortunate this area is to have such excellent facilities and medical professionals. These are just my thoughts.
My age is 72 and after a medical appointment in late January of this year with my family Doctor in Wiarton, he suggested updated PSA tests…thank you! A main reason for doing this is my family history of prostate cancer. Anyone who has a family history of this, or any other type of cancer, should certainly follow up with their family doctor in a timely fashion and the sooner the better.
Given my PSA results, my Doctor quickly referred me to a specialist in Owen Sound who then took immediate further steps and I was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer. He then undertook additional tests and referred me to a radiation oncologist at the London Health Sciences Centre. A video conference call was then set up with him from the Wiarton Hospital…local technology! He took the time to chat with me for three quarters of an hour, reviewed all the test results and presented two treatment alternatives. One was 7 weeks of radiation treatments that consisted of 5 treatments each week and 3 years of hormone treatments. The other possibility was being part of a research study. The study involved one radiation treatment each week for 5 weeks (a stronger radiation dose) and 18 months of hormone treatment. I opted and was approved for this treatment alternative. My study coordinator at LHSC has been really helpful in taking me through the process.
My radiation treatments ended in June and my first follow-up appointment in August indicated encouraging results. Further follow-up will be every 6 months and my final hormone treatment will be in June, 2016, depending on test results at that time.
A main reason to be a participant in the study was that it is only through research such as this that can potentially lead to more effective treatments and more efficient use of our health care resources. This study relates to prostate cancer but it could possibly lead to alternative treatments for other forms of cancer with enhanced patient outcomes.
I just found it amazing how quickly my situation was addressed by everyone in our regional health care system. These people are very caring and professional individuals. I could not have been treated better. My family were also there, adding huge support.
I would definitely encourage our general public, local municipalities, First Nation communities and the private sector to continue to keep health care on their high priority budget lists. Our local hospitals continue to need to upgrade their diagnostic equipment as technology is changing at an accelerating rate and we need to continuously adapt. I say a sincere thank you as well to the London Health Sciences Centre, our critical health care partner. They all need to be supported.