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Greg Gerhard – Prostate Cancer Success Story

Moving past prostate cancerGreg Gerhard plans to enjoy good days with his son, Grayson, thanks to the Methodist Richardson Cancer Center

Greg Gerhard – Prostate Cancer Success StoryFor two years, it looked like Greg Gerhard was in the clear. After a prostate cancer diagnosis in 2008, he’d had a prostatectomy and was having checkups every few months to make sure the cancer remained in remission. In the meantime, he moved forward with his cancer-free life, focusing on his family, career, and hobbies — including fixing up vintage hot rods.

Then at his two-year checkup in late 2010, a little bit of a protein called PSA showed up. Short for prostate-specific antigen, PSA occurs naturally in the prostate.

But Gerhard no longer had a prostate gland. In his case, PSA was a sign that cancer was back.

After another year of monitoring his PSA levels, the husband and father was ready to put cancer behind him.

“I finally said to my doctor, ‘At what point do we move forward with treatments? Because I have a 7-year-old boy, and I’d love to be around for him,’?” he says.

Cancer care close to home – at Methodist Richardson Cancer Center

Greg Gerhard – Prostate Cancer SuccessThe proposed plan was 48 radiation treatments — at a medical facility one hour from his home in Allen. When Gerhard asked his urologist to refer him to an equally talented physician with access to the same advanced treatments but closer to home, he responded, “I’ve got just the person.”

That person was Paul DeRose, MD, chief radiation oncologist at theMethodist Richardson Cancer Centerand independently practicing physician on the medical staff at Methodist Richardson Medical Center.

“Dr. DeRose went to the white board and started explaining things,” says Gerhard, who felt comfortable in the Cancer Center’s warm, personal setting. “I came away with a very clear understanding of my prognosis and my odds of beating cancer.”

The radiation treatments lasted 10 weeks of spring 2012. During that time, Gerhard never experienced discomfort or side effects. In fact, he was able to remain working and exercising daily.

“We’re lucky, because we have a great team of people in a variety of roles to deliver radiation therapy at an optimal level,” Dr. DeRose explains. “I also credit the technology we have. We’re able to tailor treatments to the cancerous area and avoid other organs and tissues.”

A reason to celebrate

Greg GerharLater this summer, just one day before Gerhard and his family left for a vacation to Florida, some great news arrived: PSA was undetectable, and he was officially cancer-free.

After the trip, Gerhard made a special stop at the Cancer Center. His son, Grayson, wanted to deliver some handpicked seashells — a small token of thanks for the people who had made it possible for him to have many more vacations with his dad in the future.

Gerhard also is hopeful about the future: “I just have a really strong faith, and I believe that whatever is right for me and whatever is destined for me is going to be.”

Your doctor can help determine when and if you should be screened for prostate cancer. Visit the online physician directory to find a physician at Methodist Richardson.