Dr. Edward Loftspring: Prostate Cancer Survivor & Awareness Advocate
Everyone looks forward to retirement – the time when they can finally relax and enjoy the fruits of their years of hard work and labor. And some people look forward to a new career after they retire. Eddie Loftspring is just such a man. In September 2017, it was time to retire from his dentist practice, kick back and enjoy life. But, life, as it often does, had other plans. Three days after he officially retired, an MRI led to Eddie being diagnosed with prostate cancer. After surgery in February 2018, he began the arduous journey to recovery. And that’s when Eddie decided that it was now time for a new career: prostate cancer advocacy.
Eddie was like a lot of men. He has been married for 40 years and has two kids. But, Eddie is also no stranger to a troubling diagnosis. At age 16, he was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and had multiple surgeries throughout his life to alleviate the effects of the disease, including the removal of his colon, resulting in an ileostomy, 50 years ago. And, then he spent his life taking care of others as a dentist in his own practice in Ohio.
The Friday after his retirement he had an MRI that showed that he had a tumor on his prostate gland and later the diagnosis was confirmed by a biopsy. He was initially told by doctors that he was not a candidate for surgery (prostatectomy) due to the many surgeries he had had earlier in his life. Through a fortuitous coincidence with connections with links in the world of prostate cancer, Eddie was introduced to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and after some research, he was able to find a doctor at Mount Sinai and a radiation oncologist at Sloan Kettering. The new doctors’ second opinion determined that Eddie’s best option was surgery. The team worked at Mount Sinai with another surgeon to conduct a successful robotic prostatectomy.
Eddie, now a prostate cancer survivor, has asked himself questions over and over that have led him to his newfound purpose of advocacy for men with prostate cancer. “When men don’t know what to do next, where do they go and who do they see?” “Who are they supposed to ask about their prostate cancer diagnosis and what are they supposed to ask?”
But, one of his biggest questions is, “Why am I the only one getting this kind of care and how can I help advocate to others to get them the best treatment possible?” His number one goal is to help raise awareness so that all men know their risks of prostate cancer and they can catch it early when it is most curable. (If caught early, then prostate cancer is 99.9% survivable.) Another goal of Eddie’s is to help find a consensus of treatment for men in various stages of the disease. “There are many differing opinions are out there for many different prostate cancer treatments. It’d be great to have a consensus on how to treat every man at every stage.”
Eddie has worked hard to raise awareness for everything that has touched his life, including receiving an award from the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Southwest Ohio/Kentucky honoring his desire to raise awareness to the disease. And he wants to bring that hope to men suffering from prostate cancer, especially through PCF’s grass-roots fundraising campaign, Many vs Cancer.
At PCF, we are as enthused about having people like Dr. Edward Loftspring who want to help raise money and awareness for prostate cancer research into treatments as well as his unbound enthusiasm to help promote and be an advocate. It just goes to prove that retirement doesn’t have to be the end of working toward a goal. And a prostate cancer diagnosis doesn’t have to be the end of one’s life.