This came as a total shock to me when I was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer involving bones and para-aortic lymph nodes in 2007. My prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level at diagnosis was 783.4 ng/ml with Gleason score of 3 +3. It was indeed depressing and I cried a lot initially, knowing that I only had a very short time left.
I received hormonal deprivation therapy as initial treatment, which was funded by government pension scheme. My wife is the only care giver. The Prostate Cancer Society Malaysia (PCSM) support group is the pillar of my cancer survivorship. There are many knowledgeable veteran survivors in PCSM who gives me confidence and greatest support.
As the cancer progresses, however, the cost of new drugs for castrate-resistant prostate cancer has skyrocketed. I am currently using my personal savings to pay for abiraterone acetate and Lu-PSMA as much as I could. The cost of Lu-PSMA is RM 33,000 per cycle. It’s far beyond my capacity and unsustainable. Should I fail to raise enough money, will I die of prostate cancer?
Being a prostate cancer survivor, I believe all men above 50 years should go for regular PSA test. Importantly, it’s crucial to seek for sound medical advice as I suffered terribly from an ill-advised medical decision.