Bob Parker was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2004 after his family physician of that time told him prostate cancer screening (PSA) was “pointless.” He didn’t let that deter him, and sought out screening on his own; the result was a Gleason 7 prostate cancer diagnosis. After speaking to several urologists and a radiologist about his treatment options, he was told surgery was not an option for him and he needed to pursue radiation. It was a big decision for Bob and his spouse, but he didn’t let that stop him either, and tackled radiation treatment the same way he’d tackled everything else: head on.
For the next ten years, he underwent intermittent hormone therapy and in the interim, a scan done at the Mayo Clinic revealed that his cancer had spread to his lymph nodes and soft tissue at the base of his spine. As anti-androgen therapy (ADT) began to be less effective, he had surgery of some metastatic lymph nodes and this reduced his PSA back to a nearly undetectable level. He remained positive despite minor effects of the treatment. A course of chemotherapy was begun in early 2018, in Santa Fe, and it went very smoothly for him. His PSA came back under one, with a PET scan revealing no discernible evidence of cancer. Following that course of treatment, he went on Abireratone (Zytiga) and remains on this drug today with few side effects.
With a strong will and even stronger attitude, Bob decided to enroll in ZERO’s Decode Your Prostate Cancer program to receive additional information about the molecular profile of his cancer so that he and his doctors can better see what treatment options are available based on his exact disease.
Bob remains a mentor for other men on their prostate cancer journey, and has attended ZERO’s Annual Advocacy Summits to tell his story to elected officials to ask for increased prostate cancer research funding. He won’t give up, no matter what life throws his way. While it has been a long journey it is one way for him to give back to those who also face the journey.