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Mike Heit, PhD, is a 71-year-old retired professional economist who lives a very healthy lifestyle and is pro-active about his health by getting lots of exercise, eating well and making time for annual medical checkups.

Mike typically attends Island Prostate Centre’s Country Grocer Men’s Health Day every year but missed two concurrent years. Mike returned to Men’s Health Day in 2016 for a PSA test and was surprised to learn that his PSA level had increased significantly. Mike knew he was in trouble and got an immediate referral to a Urologist.

Mike’s Urologist arranged a series of urgent testing – a CT scan, an MRI, a biopsy and another PSA test after which Mike learned that he is in the top 3 percentile risk for aggressive prostate cancer. His urologist advised him that without treatment, he would have a life expectancy of less than 1.5 years!

Prostate cancer patients are expected to take an active role in their treatment decisions and this is where IPC can help. Mike conferred with IPC’s Support Nurse and explored our onsite lending library in addition to visiting the public library, local book stores and reading journals on the internet. Prostate cancer treatment is unique in that optional treatments relative to ones’ risk are presented and only then does the patient make the final decision. Mike is still exploring his treatment options and will likely augment hormone (ADT) therapy and both external beam and brachytherapy radiation.

In prostate cancer research, exercise has been identified as a lifestyle factor that may reduce risk and provide benefit during treatment. As a cycling enthusiast, Mike logs over 6000 kms a year and hits the gym twice a week. Despite undergoing current ADT therapy, he is surprised that his performance levels have dropped only slightly and he continues to train at a high level. Given that exercise is encouraged to mitigate the side effects of cancer treatment, Mike finds great benefit in his favorite activity.

Mike attends IPC’s Prostate Cancer Support Group on the second Tuesday of every month and participates in the weekly volunteer led walking group at IPC as he navigates his way through his treatment options.

“Given my very aggressive cancer, my treatment options are narrower than most. I have every reason to encourage men to know the early signs of prostate cancer and get an annual PSA test either with your GP or by visiting Country Grocer Men’s Health Day every September.”