Note: I'm interviewing folks from my NORI support group and what they've done for their cancer. Here's number one.
Gene Slattery was diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 69. At that time the chief executive officer of Automotive Technology, Inc., a St. Louis, Missouri automotive and collision firm equipment jobber, Gene said he “didn’t know what a prostate was and what it did.” While his urologist and other doctors advised him to do Chemo, surgery, and radiation, he told them he needed to go home and do some research. Gene credits a good friend and mentor who was diagnosed with prostate cancer a year before him with helping him find the right direction for his healing. Gene’s research led him to chart a similar course with diet, exercise, and supplements, monitoring his cancer carefully in “active surveillance” but not submitting to harsh treatments.
Gene Slattery's cancer at a glance
Cancer: Prostate cancer
Age at diagnosis: 69
Age at posting: 82
Surgery, radiation, chemo: None
Treatments: low-methionine vegan diet, nutraceuticals, methioninase
Tracking strategies: color doppler ultrasound, prostate-specific antigen (PSA), and a bank of full body tests every 6 months to monitor health
Quotes: “God as my partner has been a winning team for me.”
Gene’s family protested. His wife and children insisted he follows the orders of conventional cancer treatment. “There were lots of tears,” he admits. “For us, we had witnessed the tragic death of my daughter-in-law’s mother to breast cancer and for that reason, my family wanted me to use all the ‘weapons’ of conventional medicine like surgery and radiation.” But Gene persisted with the non-invasive route. He radically changed his diet, becoming a vegan, and losing 65 pounds of unneeded weight in the first year after diagnosis. He has since tweaked his diet, for a while emphasizing macrobiotics and now occasionally adding in fish.
He took the nutraceuticals from Nutritional Oncology Research Institute and started a low-methionine diet. In addition, he exercises a lot more than BC (before cancer) and keeps a positive attitude. Gene does not leave things to chance. In the beginning, he questioned the doctors and got a second opinion from Johns Hopkins Medical Center. The PSA test is a blood test that measures prostate-specific antigen, a protein made by both cancerous and non-cancerous tissue in the prostate, a rubbery gland about the size of a walnut that sits between the penis and the rectum in men. The PSA test can detect high levels of PSA that might indicate prostate cancer, but it can also mean other conditions such as an enlarged or inflamed prostate.
Gene “fired” his original urologist and eventually found a board-certified urologist and naturopathic doctor in Arizona, Dr. Phranq Tamburri. In addition to the PSA test, Dr. Tamburri uses color doppler ultrasound to measure cancer. Gene says, “I use my own body as a laboratory to see what works. For example, drinking alkaline water increased my energy tremendously, but the same water I drink made my wife break out with a red blood mark on her arm.” We just changed her to lower-pH water. Gene sets clear health goals for himself and follows through with documented results. He walks, golfs, and jumps on the small trampoline (rebounding). Rebounding helps stimulate the lymph system which cleans out toxins from the body. Gene notes other advantages of his mostly vegan diet: he no longer needs deodorant. “I wash every day, but I smell so much better!” He adjusts his diet to take care of other issues like arthritis, reducing nightshade vegetables like eggplant and tomatoes.
Gene’s humor also keeps him smiling. He writes “My war and battle plan are really cemented by my way of life, and it has been a lot of fun fighting these battles every day in my life with cancer.” Being a Catholic, Gene prays seriously, asking for spiritual guidance and help in his “battle with cancer.” He reads voraciously saying the key to a successful active surveillance program is “reading every day.” Gene pays it forward by being one of the founding fathers of Active Surveillance Patients International (ASPI). Gene set up ASPI a non-profit Corp in MO, along with operations in St Louis, MO, and designed the website. Gene was president of ASPI from the start-up for 3 1/2 years and then turned it over to the board of directors, who set up a new non-profit based in East Stroudsburg, PA. The founding fathers all have prostate cancer (PCa). Gene has since founded Empowered Surveillance Patients-ESP in St Louis, MO, and produces a monthly newsletter for his followers. Gene does not ask for donations as he is paying it forward himself.
Gene’s body has responded to the nutraceuticals and low-methionine diet with his PSA levels going down accordingly. However, in July 2021, he caught Covid-19 which sent him to the hospital and later sent his PSA levels soaring. He had symptoms of long Covid, for 10 months, such as fatigue and a foggy brain. In May 2022, he started the enzyme Methioninase for heightened PSA levels. Not only did his PSA levels drop, but his energy bounced back, and he was able to golf like before. Gene encourages new patients to question the authority of medical doctors, by getting second and third opinions. Gene encourages them to learn how to use their bodies as a lab and see what works for them as individuals. Gene made the right decision not to have any treatments due to all the negative side effects and he has been very healthy for the last 14 years. He has researched for 14 years and has used that education to save his life and give himself a high quality of life. Gene adds, "God as my partner has been a winning team for me."