Meet Sam, one of our valued Australian Prostate Cancer (APC) Life Guardians. Wanting to give back to research that saved his life, Sam has nominated to leave a lasting legacy to help save more lives, by leaving a gift in his Will for APC. Here’s his story…
Going for his yearly routine check-up was nothing out of the ordinary for 63-year-old Sam Zammit. Being a sweet tooth Sam was worried about his cholesterol levels, but nothing could prepare him for what he was about to face.
In August last year Sam completed his check-up and was called back two days later for the news. Doctors explained Sam’s Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels were elevated.
“I went for an MRI and full body scan, which detected three cancer cells in the prostate. I had prostate cancer,” Sam said.
Thanks to early detection, as the cancer was confined to the prostate Sam was given the choice of three different treatment methods. Sam chose to treat his prostate cancer with brachytherapy, which is a less invasive therapy consisting of injecting 125 radioactive seeds into the prostate. It’s your support of innovative research that has seen this new therapy become available for men diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The aim of the seeds is to damage the cancer cells and destroy their ability to divide and grow, taking up to a year to fully dissolve through the system.
“There were a lot of side effects I was dealing with from this treatment, but the one I most struggled with was not having energy. From being such an energetic person who could survive of four or five hours sleep I was going to bed very early at night and napping for long periods of time during the day,” Sam said.
“Thankfully I had the support of my partner Anne and my two kids, Matt and Natalie who really were a shoulder I could lean in during the tougher times.”
Fortunately, five months after the seeds were injected into his prostate, Sam had some good news, two of the cancer cells had shrunk down to half the size.
“I had a body scan recently and the third cancer cell started shrinking and my PSA level was down to 10, which my doctor explained is an extremely good outcome. I am starting to regain my strength and my side effects have slowly stopped,” Sam said.
“I’m scared to think if I missed my yearly check-up what the outcome could have been. I was very fortunate the cancer was confined to the prostate and hadn’t spread outside of that.
“If I’ve learnt anything from my experience is that early detection is everything. I urge all men to go and have their yearly check-up because it could mean the difference between your chances of survival.”
As a proud APC Life Guardian, Sam’s gift in his Will will be directed towards lifesaving medical research into prostate cancer so that we can save the lives of more men with this devastating disease.
If you want to join Sam and become a Life Guardian to leave a lasting legacy you can visit here for more information or call our friendly team on 08 8243 1101.