From OHC, Specialists in the Treatment of Adult Cancers and Blood Disorders

May 6, 2022

David Young was no stranger to adversity. An illustrator and graphic designer, he opened his own company in 1989 but lost a significant amount of business during the Great Recession of 2008. He and his wife, Sherri, were facing health issues, and without medical insurance, the expenses were overwhelming. Supported by family, the couple seemed to be on the mend, until about a year ago when David began having urination issues. A prostate cancer diagnosis led him to OHC where the comfort and compassion he experienced enabled him to heal.

David discussed his prostate symptoms with his primary care physician who ordered a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. The blood level of PSA, a protein produced by prostate gland cells is often elevated in those with prostate cancer. Normal PSA levels are 4.0 ng/mL and lower. Because David’s level was 14 ng/ML, his doctor referred him to a urologist. In July of 2021, the urologist performed a prostate biopsy on David, removing a small sample of his prostate tissue to test for cancer. He confirmed a cancer diagnosis and referred David to OHC radiation oncologist, Jeffrey Grass, MD.

“When I met Dr. Grass, he was a big comedian,” said David. “He was a lot of fun and relaxed me while discussing a very serious subject.” Dr. Grass recommended hormone therapy and radiation treatment every weekday for 28 days. Because David, a resident of Mount Airy, required frequent trips to OHC to receive treatment, Dr. Grass wanted to lessen the travel burden on David and referred him to his colleague, Matthew H. Bertke, MD, a radiation oncologist at OHC’s offices in Green Township. “I didn’t want to leave Dr. Grass, but when I met Dr. Bertke, he was just as fantastic!” said David. “He was kind, considerate, and genuine. There wasn’t any question I couldn’t ask him.”

“Treating cancer requires a team approach,” noted Dr. Bertke. “This includes collaborating with both my colleagues and my patients and their family members. Successfully executing David’s treatment plan required a solid foundation of clinical expertise coupled with an understanding of his personal treatment goals.”

David became a regular visitor to OHC. “Everyone knew my name and they added the human touch to medicine,” noted David. “From the front desk on back, everyone at OHC was kind, respectful, and compassionate and did all they could to alleviate my stress. If you’re not scared when told you have cancer, you’re not human. I stayed faithful that God had me on the right path and let my attitude, faith, and my doctors come together to help me heal.”

David received his last radiation treatment on November 19, 2021. He will continue to receive hormone therapy every six months. The most wonderful news, his most recent PSA level was 0.03 ng/mL.

At 74, David still works every day to manage his graphic design business. He feels like he was never sick and remains very active on his rowing machine and frequently walks around the neighborhood with Sherri. David credits cancer with changing his attitude towards life. “I’m stronger in my faith and I thank God every day,” said David. He is a strong believer in knowing your body and reporting anything unusual to your doctor immediately. “There’s no topic too embarrassing to discuss with your doctor,” advised David. “If you notice new symptoms, don’t put off seeing your doctor and men need to be sure to get the PSA test.”

Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men, but when diagnosed early, treatment can be successful. OHC is bringing hope to prostate cancer patients through promising new therapies including a clinical trial using a BiTE technology that works by engaging a patient’s immune system to fight their cancer. For more information on OHC’s prostate cancer experts or to request a second opinion, call 1-888-649-4800 or visit ohcare.com.

Top picture: David Young is thriving in survivorship and stays active on his rowing machine.

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