“Should follow-up radiation therapy become necessary, I can go into that with a lot more confidence”

Jeff Morgan believes that when you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, you have a choice to go down one of two paths: you can either simply follow your doctor’s directions, or you can be proactive about learning, not only about your condition and treatment options, but also the information your medical team is relying upon.

“You are going to be shocked, you are going to be a little overwhelmed,” said the Colorado-based finance professional, who was diagnosed in September 2023 at the age of 61. “But I would tell anybody with a cancer diagnosis, get your arms around the NCCN guidelines and see what is informing your doctors’ decisions.”

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® guidelines detail the current standards in treatment decisions and interventions for 97% of cancers affecting patients in the United States, including prostate cancer. Jeff believes understanding the current thinking gives patients the power to ask questions and advocate for themselves.

In his case, it enabled him to pursue genetic testing that isn’t yet standard practice, but will impact his quality of life.

The first test he took, Decipher® Prostate, gave him some insights into how aggressive his tumor was and the efficacy of hormone therapy after radiation treatment.

The second test helped him determine if Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) would be a reasonable, and perhaps more importantly, safe approach for him in the future, a decision Jeff reached by using MiraDX’s PROSTOX™ ultra test.

PROSTOX ultra analyzes a patient’s DNA to determine if they are genetically at higher risk of late genitourinary (GU) toxicity following SBRT radiation therapy, which can result in urinary retention, pain, increased urinary frequency, and bleeding.

“The first fork in the road is deciding whether you’ll be undergoing surgery or radiation,” Jeff said. “It was decided fairly quickly that radiation therapy in some form was my likely path. Then you drill down from the broad range of radiation therapies and their impacts on your quality of life depending on what you choose.”

Jeff learned about PROSTOX while evaluating radiation therapy options. His initial doctor was unfamiliar with the test, but when he saw a radiation oncologist, he was told he was the second patient that week to ask about PROSTOX.

It illustrated to him that often patients are the “leading edge” in introducing doctors to new methodologies or tests. “You might be one of the first people in the doctor’s office explaining why you are interested in this,” he said.

Jeff discovered from his PROSTOX ultra results that he was at low risk for GU toxicity from SBRT, which was good information to have, although he has ultimately decided against radiation therapy for the time being.

jeff morgan collage

Instead, Jeff underwent laser ablation therapy, which gave him a good chance of eliminating the cancer without losing any other options for future treatment.

“In my case, I’m comfortable with the idea that it probably wasn’t life threatening at this point and I’ve got a bit of time,” he said. “Should follow-up radiation therapy become necessary, I can go into that with a lot more confidence because of the PROSTOX test.”

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Any discussion of medical management options on this website is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute a medical recommendation. All medical management decisions should be made based on consultation between each patient and his or her healthcare professional.

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