The results of a CAT scan taken during a visit with a gluten specialist in February 2011, led 68-year-old entrepreneur and fitness enthusiast John Floyd to his urologist in Houston, Texas.
John’s CAT scan indicated an enlarged prostate. Since his brother had previously been diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer, John knew that cancer was a possibility so he scheduled an appointment for a PSA test. The results gave no cause for concern, and John was told to return in a year for a check up.
As business owners with clients and employees depending on them, John and his wife Cher prioritize their health. In addition to fitness routines that include John’s frequent bicycling, the Floyds never miss their annual check ups. During his next scheduled physical exam in October 2011, eight months after the initial PSA test, new tests reported an elevated PSA score.
Prostate biopsy and other tests revealed stage II prostate cancer.
“I became the ‘queen of prostate cancer’ when John was diagnosed,” said Cher Floyd. “I immersed myself in research, learning everything I could about the most effective treatments available.”
The Floyds chose MD Anderson for treatment. As Cher described: “We thought, you know what, we are in the greatest city—Houston, Texas—with the top-notch facility of MD Anderson Cancer Center. That was it; we decided to go to MD Anderson.”
The couple met with an MD Anderson surgeon and radiation oncologist to discuss various treatment options. Having learned about proton therapy during Cher’s intensive research, the Floyds mentioned the idea of proton to John’s doctors at MD Anderson, who agreed it was a viable option. Immediately, an appointment was made for the Floyds with Thomas Pugh, M.D., assistant professor of Radiation Oncology at the Proton Therapy Center.
After one meeting with Dr. Pugh, both John and Cher knew proton therapy was the right choice.
“Proton therapy was a good option for Mr. Floyd,” said Dr. Pugh. “Many of the side effects men are most concerned about after surgical removal of the prostate are rare after radiation treatment for prostate cancer. With proton beam therapy, we can deliver a high dose of radiation to the prostate while limiting radiation exposure to other parts of the body. This is especially important in young, active men like John. The treatment requires a relatively short time commitment everyday for a few weeks, so John was able to continue his active and busy lifestyle during treatment with little interruption..”
John’s treatment began on February 20, 2012, and ended on April 12, 2012.
“It was like valet service,” John recalled of his experience at the Proton Therapy Center. “The physicians and staff go out of their way to make treatment as good as it can be.”
The Floyds, pleased with their experience and convinced of the benefits proton therapy provides to patients, investigated ways of to contribute to Dr. Pugh’s work. At John’s graduation – the informal ceremony that marks the conclusion of proton therapy treatment – they presented a donation of $50,000 to the MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center in support of Dr. Pugh’s research.
The couple described their generous donation as “paying it forward.” John said: “Someone else came before us to make this possible, so we wanted to do the same for others.”
Throughout treatment, John was able to continue playing an active role in leading his company, John M. Floyd & Associates: morning proton therapy treatments were followed by afternoons in the office. He experienced no side effects and has returned to the hobbies he enjoys most: biking, cruising and traveling with Cher.
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