Tom Nicholson always enjoyed excellent health. Married for 30 years, with two adult daughters, he stayed active through his interest in real estate investment and spent as much time as possible working with his wife in their garden. He scheduled regular annual physical check-ups with his family physician and had every reason to expect a long and healthy retirement. As part of his examination in the fall of 2009, his doctor performed a blood test to monitor PSA levels in his blood.* The results were slightly elevated.
Tom's doctor suggested re-testing in three or four months. In February, 2010, his PSA levels had risen again and a biopsy was performed. The results confirmed that Tom had prostate cancer. "After doing some research, I decided that the best option for me would be robotic surgery. I was thrilled to discover that Edmonton is one of the few centres in Canada to offer this treatment," Tom tells us.
Tom had the robotic surgery on July 9th, 2010. "I am very grateful to the many prostate health campaign donors whose contributions made this technology available," says Tom. "Everyone who I came into contact with throughout my experience was exceptional - my family physician, surgeon, the many nurses whose compassion and kindness helped to reassure me in the OR and on the unit - right down to the smiling faces that brought me my meals and cleaned my room."
After a brief recovery period, Tiom returned to his normal activities and is spending time at the gym, jogging regularly and working in his garden. A self-described "poster boy" for early detection, he is spreading the word to everyone he can about the importance of regular prostate exams.
*Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is a protein that is specific to the prostate gland. It is detected in small amounts in men with healthy prostates.