To ease the journey, St. Joseph’s Health Care London is pleased to welcome the Prostate Diagnostic Assessment Program (PDAP), which has consolidated all prostate biopsy procedures at St. Joseph’s Hospital.
This improved system of care will provide timely access to high quality diagnostic services, accelerate treatments, reduce wait times, and enhance quality of life throughout the assessment of prostate cancer. Medical, surgical and radiation treatment will continue to be provided at decentralized sites within London, including London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC).
On Nov. 29, staff from St. Joseph’s and LHSC who were integral to making this much needed service available to the community celebrated the official grand opening of the new PDAP located at St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Don Park, a patient who was diagnosed with prostate cancer, understands firsthand the fear that people experience with the suspicion of prostate cancer. Don was a contributor to the project and shared his personal story at the opening.
Don, who experienced the old system, shared his difficult experience.
“It took 21 weeks from my family doctor’s recommendation to get a PSA test because my prostate seemed enlarged, to confirmed diagnosis by a urologist,” he recalls. “The tension and worry grew each week thinking about the unknown and fearing the worst. It seemed to take forever to move to each next step.”
Don was in a “mental shock” when told he had serious prostate cancer and, if left untreated, would only have five to seven years left to live.
"To be told there is a real ‘end of life’ possibility with a probable time line is mind numbing. My experience was incredibly difficult but because of it, I was able to help the development of the PDAP project. At various stages of the PDAP development, I was asked for my feelings and opinions as a patient. No matter what the professional expertise was around the table I was genuinely listened to and my thoughts and opinions were used in the creation of the program. This new program will help others experience less stress and anxiety though their process."
The collaboration of many key stakeholders and donor support, which made it possible to purchase key equipment and enhance the program’s space, made the PDAP a reality – providing better access to care for those with suspected prostate cancer.