Jessie Maddox Beat Prostate Cancer TWICE

Jessie Maddox knew beating prostate cancer a second time at 79 would be tough—especially with a Gleason 9. He’d had a rough go of it the first time when he was 70 years old back in 2004. Despite having regular PSA screenings for 15 years, his primary care physician in Amarillo, Texas, failed to notice a dangerous trend. 

“My PSA level would go up a little each year, but was always less than 4, so my primary care doctor would initial it as being fine,” Jessie explains.

It wasn’t until Jessie had blood in his urine that he visited a urologist.

“The urologist reviewed all my past PSA results and said my PSA had been “trending upward” for years—to the point where I’d most likely had prostate cancer for quite some time. All those years I thought, ‘I’ve got nothing to worry about.’”

By the time Jessie’s prostate cancer was detected, his treatment options were limited.

“Removing my prostate was not an option due to other medical issues,” he says.

Jessie eventually opted for iodide seed implant treatment over radiation therapy, but his doctor was emphatic that he have a stress test to clear him for surgery. Not only did Jessie fail the stress test, but a heart cath revealed he had severe blockage that required immediate surgery. Jessie underwent a quadruple bypass the very next day.

“The bypass meant iodide seed implantation was out. Instead, I went through 42 radiation treatments,” Jessie says. “The day I had my last radiation treatment, my wife and I left Amarillo and moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.”

Jessie began seeing Thomas Truelson, M.D., at Urology Associates of North Texas—an affiliate of USMD Prostate Cancer Center.

“Dr. Truelson had been monitoring my PSA since 2005. When my PSA value doubled in 2013, he had me take antibiotics for a month to make sure I didn’t have an infection that was making my PSA higher than normal.”

A second PSA test after he’d finished a round of antibiotics brought some bad news: Jessie’s PSA value had doubled again.

“Dr. Truelson said, ‘Jessie, you apparently have cancer again.’”

A biopsy performed by Richard Bevan-Thomas, medical director of USMD Prostate Cancer Center, confirmed Dr. Truelson’s suspicions.

“This time it was Gleason level 9, which is aggressive,” Jessie reveals. “The biopsy also indicated the cancer may have migrated to the outer edge of my prostate. That, of course, was very bad news. There were even indications that it may have spread to the seminal vesicles.”

Since Jessie had undergone radiation therapy during his first bout with prostate cancer, cryosurgery was the only appropriate treatment option. Complicating matters was the fear that Jessie’s cancer may have also migrated to his lymph nodes. If it had, Dr. Bevan-Thomas would have to surgically remove the nodes before performing cyrosurgery.

“During our first meeting, Dr. Bevan-Thomas had images he had taken during my biopsy projected on a screen and showed me the areas where it looked like I might have cancer again,” Jessie says.

During their second meeting, the two men discussed Jessie’s pathology report.

“That’s when he told me that I had Gleason 9 and he was concerned that the cancer may have spread to the seminal vesicles,” Jessie remembers. “He was very up front with me. He knew I needed to understand what the biopsy really said, and that it could be bad news. He was very careful to make sure that we discussed everything. As a patient, he made me feel like he was concerned about me and would figure out which treatment plan we should follow. Thankfully, he sent me for an MRI which revealed the cancer had not migrated to my lymph nodes.”

With the lymph nodes clear, Dr. Bevan-Thomas performed Jessie’s cyrosurgery in December 2013. The surgery went well, and after an overnight stay in the hospital Jessie was released the next day.

A few months later in April 2014, Jessie had his first follow-up PSA. Dr. Bevan-Thomas delivered the results personally—Jessie’s PSA level was undetectable. In the back of his mind, Jessie worried it might be a mistake, but a year-and-a-half post surgery, the good news just keeps coming.

“My PSA level has been undetectable—UN-DE-TEC-TABLE—since my surgery,” he says amazed.

He credits his faith and Dr. Richard Bevan-Thomas for beating prostate cancer a second time.

“Dr. Bevan-Thomas is an impressive fella. He took time to figure out a good plan for me. In my estimation, I’m a medical miracle.”

Now going on 81 years old, Jessie shares his story to give hope to other men.

“If I can help someone else, give encouragement to a first-time cancer fella or even a man going through it a second time, I’m happy to do it,” he says. “I count myself fortunate to have access to all the skills and medical help available at USMD Prostate Cancer Center. All the people in this region should count themselves fortunate that it’s here for them.” 

If you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer and would like to know more about cyrosurgery and other personalized treatment options, please contact USMD Prostate Cancer Center online or at 1-888-PROSTATE (1-888-776-7828).

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