Travis first noticed something was different through the lab tests conducted as part of his annual physical. His PSA, which stands for prostate specific antigen and is measured in peripheral blood, were higher than normal. PSA tests can be used to indicate higher levels of protein in the prostate, however they do not indicate a specific diagnosis. When his levels continued to rise at his next annual physical exam, his doctor suggested a biopsy to try to find the cause of these elevated levels. Travis’ biopsy did not reveal anything, but since his PSA levels continued to rise, his urologist recommended an MRI-guided biopsy. First an MRI image is created of the prostate that then indicates the location of a mass (if there is one). Then, a targeted biopsy is performed directly into the mass. This biopsy confirmed Travis had prostate cancer. “Receiving the diagnosis of prostate cancer was quite frightening,” says Travis. In his case, the cancer was located in an area that was difficult to feel by a physician on a rectal examination which is why it was only detected with an MRI. Thanks to continued lab tests, the cancer was found and treated.
The second biopsy showed that Travis’ cancer was incredibly aggressive, so he decided to have a prostatectomy, which removed the prostate gland. The surgery completely removed the tumor, and he also has no long-term side effects. He is closely monitored through follow up treatments, but the expectation is that the cancer will not reoccur. “Because the diagnosis was early enough to do something about it, my future is actually quite good,” says Travis. “I am back at work enjoying my friends and family and look forward to resuming my travel schedule in the months to come.”