I was asymptomatic! Yet, results from my annual medical examination indicated an elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level. Was this a false alarm?
I went for a prostate biopsy immediately and found out that I did have prostate cancer. My wife was deeply saddened by the news. We wept together when I was told that I might have only 2.5 years to live. Our children, who are medical professionals, calmed us down and advised us to seek a second opinion.
I underwent radiotherapy with androgen deprivation therapy for 3 years. Surgery was not an option for me as I had locally-advanced prostate cancer. In 2018, I went through another cycle of androgen deprivation therapy for 3 years due to disease recurrence. Currently, I am on hormone ablation holiday!
I exercise regularly; eat less red meat and more greens. Walking Qigong is my daily routine for one-and-a-half hours to stay healthy. I am also involved in the Prostate Cancer Society Malaysia (PCSM), helping survivors to combat prostate cancer through support, education and lifestyle modification. In addition, I am the president of Together against Cancer Association Malaysia (TAC), an advocacy group for better accessibility and lower costs to cancer drugs.
To my fellow Malaysians, I would like to advise you to have a PSA blood test if you are above 55 years old or with a family history of prostate cancer. Early detection saves lives. Prostate cancer is a slow-growing disease if detected early.
I defied the odds. Today, I have survived for 10.5 years and counting!