Of Mice and Men: This top cancer scientist thought he knew a lot about cancer. Then he got it.
On science fiction. Today really special story for you. It's about what happens when life throws you a warping curve ball and win roll escape appended. I wanted gone. I didn't want to have not only at smoldering away in my pelvis but also small does away and you hate it. It's always in your head as much as I could rationalize and SAM. I'm very scientific in my approach to things and it wasn't a problem everyday would come to me at three o'clock in the morning when I started worrying about all the other things worry about it. Three o'clock in the morning. You'll sing parts of them and the body that they will never really say themselves or get to know. It's an extraordinary thing that that was true kind of but it is still amazes me today that people people want to see the inside bids you cannot have my video. I want to share it on social media and I've seen all your videos on Youtube. Can you make sure my prostate goes for new in this episode. It's Franken feeless. Conversation about an experience. Men often talked publicly about so. Let's meet the scientists and the surgeon interested in Nitro. This is Professor Ramsey as a molecular biologist and elating in Kansas scientist on the Saudi also makes art. He's a black belt in karate rides. His bike is a husband father of two children but trying to understand how the natural world works was a I love of his and I've always been driven by trying to understand understand biology and I'm also a little bit inclined to like machinery and structures and the way things work and essentially excels machines and are like the way they operate. And they're really have Siamese different facets to them and of causing disease machinery goes wrong for me. The very first day I was in an operating theatre watching people takeout cancerous lump actually. It was then breast cancer. I was instantly league captivated. This is Professor Declan Murphy. elating urologist and cancer surgeon. He's been a strategy for over a decade. But you can he. He's Irish lilt and even though it's cancer he's dealing with everyday like rob. He's loved his job. Since died dot I was in the operating theatre. I was meeting these patients before and after as a medical student and honestly I just became almost overwhelmed by the idea that people will allow other people to do surgery on them that it's such a huge privilege to be allowed to do surgery but I was fascinated by urology because it's it's quite a a big field that we work in. It's everything from the kidneys. Down through the bladder. And the prostate in the penis and the testicles are all areas in the domain that can be affected by cancer. Now Dick Lyneham enrolled happened to be colleagues at the pay. McCallum will pay Domecq Cancer Center in Melbourne as a scientist Rob's focused on amongst other tricky conundrums developing developing vaccines that target gastro intestinal cancers like colorectal cancer as surgeon Dickens leading the way with using robotics in the operating theatre and often in the cancer arena. You'll find that scientists and surgeons just don't traditionally meeks much but robin declan like many any others at paid Amac a different because I want to do science. That data reflects the needs of people with cancer and the clinicians trading them. I remember being at a hospital where declan was doing. A TAG team robotic procedure on a patient was having some call rectal surgery Torri plus prostatectomy and I was there on Saturday morning with my arse pocket collecting samples clincal trial with doing there in the operating room because these patients have agreed to be part of a trial in that case that was to Kansas quite complex work but rob wanted some tissue as cancerous tissue to take into the lab and I was watching these two guys work. Seamlessly together is something is a corner beauty in any group of people that do things well together and is almost subliminal communication. I know what's coming next that I'm bumping into each other. The theta staff all expert. They work as attainments really like a Formula One tame it a pit stop and I've never worked in the center where you will have a professor of colorectal rectal science in the operating room with you so And we get used to that Peter Mac. It's the same for prostate is the same for melanoma skin for breast. And and I I just find it an extraordinary Jordan Environment I. I've never worked in a place that has that degree of translational multi-disciplinary care at where people are they're asking the questions taking the tissue doing trials Etcetera Etcetera Cetera. And it's just an extraordinary. I can do some cool things in my lap not question I have been a geneticist for most of my research life and we we can do cool things. Jane's in cells and also indeed on animals and you can find great science out of that but does it always reflect what's going on in the patient and the answer is sometimes but not always I want to do the always. It is relevant. What happens in a patient? It's saw the patient in the end has always been like that though has already close so they to a colleagues ladies in their fields in cancer but then came a sudden curve ball and a role change the scientists in the surgeon were about to become the surgeon. and He's patient he's Rob. Why have a great? JP being going to him for quite a long time really insightful. Consider Kanda Guy. We've we always have a great chat when okay visit him. I have a checkup every six months. For basically blood blood pressure to have a level that cannot be controlled just by exhumed diet and he's chosen to have PSI tastes to PSI stands for prostate specific antigen. It's a protein which can be elevated in Maine for various reasons prostate cancer being one of them. Some guys avoid testing. They pay CY levels. But as we've heard rob is a lover of information. Summation looks forward and he lanes into it so overtime every couple years get it tested and it just kept rising a little bit one stage. It got to a level. We're thought maybe it's getting a bit high. And I actually was referred to declan. We had nothing to say about that. Spe- keep an eye on it and then about two years ago now. The test Monday morning test Tuesday morning. Phone Call My JP said Rob. It's about time he got back and see. Declan are not happy about this. Psi Level so rob's colleague paid a Mac dikla Murphy becomes he's urologist. So should I have look and and progressively we went through all the tests initially an MRI that I remember sitting next to declan looking at his laptop to the imaging obtaining lots SUV meetings are obligated images before thought that shadow very much. Either any say well I think we need to get a boxy. And then he did. I remember it was during Christmas. Wasn't isn't it. Yeah so we could. You Know Ho- prostate. Think I knew I was on this journey as soon as I saw the image. I thought this looks wchs suspicious at least need to find out what it is and then phone call or message saying squeezing stage seven the doubt I had prostate cancer and that meant I had to make a decision about which direction I went after that so suddenly rob the Kanta Hansa scientists becomes. Rub The cancer patient. Then he went through the whole process. We did the pet scan and then we discussed whether surveillance might be an option is. Is this a cancer. We can leave alone because a tradition of Invasive procedures early on in this process and Maine have suffered the consequences of their lifelong off long impotence urine re problems the whole beat shifted now. Oh totally went on. When I started training a diagnosis of prostate cancer equalled cold treatment for prostate cancer there was no concept of? You could leave the cancer there you know whereas now it's the polar opposite it means as a process will start got to figure out. Is this a threat to this patient. And how will he and his loved one balance up the success of surgery or radiation or other treatments in terms of cancer versus the predictable side effects so for us. The first thing is always doing to do anything. We found a