In memory of Jim Lehr

Jim Lehr was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved to golf, hunt and fish. He loved to play cards with his friends and travel. One by one the things he loved most were taken after his diagnosis with prostate cancer and his 18 year battle with the disease which ended June 22, 2012 at age 74. We hope that you can make a donation to the Prostate Cancer Foundation so that it can continue to heighten awareness of prostate cancer and continue to fund medical advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.

When Jim was diagnosed the doctors thought he would have five years to live, however, his will to live and advancements in the treatment of prostate cancer, namely the hormone therapy, helped extend his life. Too, we know that advancements in the diagnosis of prostate cancer and the hereditary link have helped extend the lives of his three sons, all of whom were diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer by the same surgeon as their father in their forties. At that time in 2007 insurance companies would only pay for biopsies if a patient’s PSA was over 4 and it was accepted by the medical profession to not order a biopsy for patients whose PSA was under 4. Each of Jim’s sons’ PSA was under 4 at 1.4, 1.7 and 2.5 respectively. Under the care and treatment of another doctor, Jim’s oldest son’s PSA would have to climb to 4.25 before a biopsy was ordered. Fortunately, Dr. Robert Meyers was astute enough to recognize and understand that it was the rate at which the PSA grew as opposed to the level it had achieved along with the hereditary nature of the disease and he ordered biopsies and treated Jim’s sons surgically.

Jim and his family are grateful to the many medical professionals at the Mayo Clinic, Eisenhower Medical Center and the Roger Maris Cancer Center at Sanford Health for his care and treatment over the years.

Ours is a message of hope that if in one generation’s time that such advancements medically and in thinking about the disease can produce such radically different outcomes, that we can make a big impact for the next generation – Jim has four grandsons.

While PCF has grown since Jim’s diagnosis and other groups have formed to heighten awareness of prostate cancer, clearly more needs to be done to get men talking about the disease, to assist doctors in diagnosis and treatment and to get the insurance industry to pay for screening and treatment of the disease to allow men to live longer and fuller lives. Thank you for considering a donation to PCF.

Terms to know from this article:

Hormone

A chemical made by glands in the body. Hormones circulate in the bloodstream and control the actions of certain cells or organs. Some hormones can also be made in a laboratory.

Biopsy

The removal of cells or tissues for examination under a microscope. When only a sample of tissue is removed, the procedure is called an incisional biopsy or core biopsy. When an entire lump or suspicious area is removed, the procedure is called an excisional biopsy. When a sample of tissue or fluid is removed with a needle, the procedure is called a needle biopsy or fine-needle aspiration.

Screening

Checking for disease when there are no symptoms.

PSA

prostate-specific antigen (PSA): A substance produced by the prostate that may be found in an increased amount in the blood of men who have prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia, or infection or inflammation of the prostate.