LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Stage 4 prostate cancer patients can benefit the most from a triple combination therapy, studies show. But doctors say the most essential part of treating men with this dire diagnosis isn't medical at all.
Steven Montgomery counts his blessings everyday.
"I'm just so grateful and just so humble to just to be here in 2024," the 68-year-old said.
In September 2022, doctors diagnosed this husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather with stage 4 prostate cancer. It had spread to his bones. Montgomery was emaciated and unable to walk.
"My wife looked at me and said 'Look, you have got to fight,'" he said.
His willingness to fight led him to oncologist John Shin at the Loma Linda University Cancer Center.
"He prayed with me and my wife and something sparked in me and it just gave me hope," Montgomery said.
Once prostate cancer spreads, survival rates fall. About a third of patients survive five years. Shin said the gold standard of treatment are two forms of hormone therapy. But the latest research shows combining a third course of medicine appeared to offer patients like him better odds at keeping the cancer at bay. Doctors added chemotherapy (docetaxel) to next-generation hormonal therapy (Prednisone and Abiraterone) and androgen deprivation therapy (Leuprolide).
"For people with aggressive disease or a lot of disease burden, a triple combination where you add chemo to the two hormonal agents can be more beneficial for these people," Shin said.
The triple therapy proved to be the right fit. But Shin warned Montgomery that the chemo side effects would be severe. But in his case, something unheard of happened.
"No side effects at all, none, which is incredible," said Montgomergy.
Shin credited Montgomergy's faith and an extremely positive mindset.
"How you live your life, especially how you think, and the attitude that you hold plays a huge role in unlocking the most powerful pharmacy in the world, which is the one located between your ears," he said.
"Never give up hope. Hold fast to your hope," Montgomery said.