BOARD MEMBER EJWF
Prostate Cancer Survivor at 42
The statistics say that you should have a regular check for Prostate Cancer from the age of 50. David Elia CEO of HostPlus was both healthy and active with no sign of ill health, however at the age of 42 he defied the statistics and discovered he had Prostate Cancer.
It was not until attending an EJWF event that he decided to get his PSA levels checked.
David says, “I recall a conversation with my family doctor who said – “No not at this stage you are relatively young with no family history, you don’t have to have your PSA levels checked.” However David insisted and the doctor went through with the tests and as a consequence he discovered in December 2010 that his PSA levels had gone through the roof. “I know the statistical elements (that indicate testing at the age of 50 years or if you have a family history) and the statistics weren’t correct for me. I have also spoken to a number of my colleagues who have sought to have PSA levels checked and the doctors are reluctant to do it due if their age is around 40.”
David now believes men should also question the statistics and have regular Prostate Cancer checks from the age of 40.
He says, “Slowly there are now 2 schools of thought on this issue as to whether the minimum age should be 40 rather than 50. I was 38 when I started to have this checked and this certainly saved my life.”
There were a few steps that David went through after the tests revealed high PSA levels. He was referred to a specialist and then had a biopsy that confirmed the diagnosis Prostate Cancer. David recalls, “Once I went through this process and discovered that I had Prostate Cancer and my Gleeson score indicated that it was moderately aggressive I proceeded to have it removed. There were 2 choices – intensive ongoing surveillance tests or to remove it. ”
DAVID DESCRIBES HOW HE FELT WHEN HE GOT THE NEWS.
“How did I feel? I describe it as very unlucky to get it but by god one of the luckiest people to have picked it up relatively early. I felt optimistic and saw it as one of those things that happen in life, never thought of myself as being special or unique in any shape or form. You do think this usually happens to someone else. But why can’t it be me and sure enough it was. Yes I was disappointed but I knew if you pick things up early then Prostate Cancer can be cured and I have been cured! My PSA levels are now 0.0001.”
David’s life has not slowed down since having Prostate Cancer and he is back to living life to its fullest. David says, “Most people assume that after an illness you somehow discover a new lease of life. I haven’t changed one thing. No changes to my lifestyle and some may say I am doing a little more than I was before. I am back to full health and doing everything that I was doing before both on a professional and personal perspective.”
David does not attribute his lifestyle as being a contributing factor to Prostate Cancer. “I eat relatively healthy and exercise. I don’t think there was anything I could have done to prevent the onset of Prostate Cancer. I asked my GP how does this thing happen and he said I really don’t know.”
David attributes his early detection to attending an EJ Whitten Foundation Event that triggered him to seek a regular health check. He is now a board member at the Foundation and looks forward to encouraging all men in the community to get themselves tested. Based on his experience he argues regular testing should start at the age of 40 not 50.
David’s experience with Prostate Cancer at 42 years of age motivates him to remind men of his story and actively support the EJ Whitten Foundation & Prostate Cancer Awareness.
“I recently presented at a large CEO forum in the Financial Services industry I work in and I think I put the fear of God into most men who were there. Somebody came up to me and said you probably have saved a couple of lives today.”