Scott R.

Scott R. – Prostate and Bladder Cancer


Scott R – Prostate Cancer and Bladder CancerEleven years ago, Scott Ruderman saw his doctor for a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test. It’s a routine blood test used primarily to screen for prostate cancer. His levels were elevated so they performed a punch biopsy, and he was later diagnosed with prostate cancer. Next, he was sent to UCLA where his journey began. It was there that he decided to go ahead and have his prostate removed. After removal, the doctor told him that there was a “slight involvement with his urethra,” and it would have to be monitored further.

Scott said that three years passed, and everything was normal. But he started having back pain. He returned to UCLA and had a scope performed, and this time, they found a tumor in his bladder which turned out to be non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Scott decided to try Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) treatment, where he was given immunotherapy directly into his bladder through a catheter. He said, “I didn’t have any side effects of the treatment, which was bad. BCG is supposed to make the bladder react in a way that makes the immune system get rid of cancer cells. The sicker you feel, the more it’s working because your body is disrupting the cancer cells.” With the BCG treatment unsuccessful and the knowledge that there was a significant chance it could come back even if BCG was successful, he opted to have his bladder reconstructed with an internal pouch. During this procedure a piece of intestine is used to create a new bladder and is accessed through a stoma on the outside of the body. For the last seven years, Scott hasn’t had any further issues.

Since then, he has had a few episodes of rising PSA levels and a few inflamed lymph nodes have been identified, so he was referred to Onco360 for oral chemotherapy. He said, “Onco360 has been outstanding in their responsiveness and clarity of direction. They are very patient and great listeners. There are so many benefits of having such a specialized pharmacy like Onco360. When I was first onboarded, the pharmacist was on the phone with me for 45 minutes to go over all my medications and make completely sure there would be no drug interaction with my new prescription. They also worked directly with my insurance company and found that I qualified for only two months of copays. Onco360 has made the process so simple.”

Scott is a very active. He loves pickleball, walking his dog at least three miles a day, and is an avid skier. He said that his cancer diagnosis has made him focus on his emotional strength. “I’m a pretty self-sufficient guy, so it was important to me to figure it out and take care of it on my own.” Scott said he has embraced his life and has taken a more meditative approach to everything.

Even though it’s hard to him to ask for help, he has a strong support system in his best friend, his 33 year-old son, and a large group of friends. But what has helped him the most is helping others. “I need to share it.” Scott has been a volunteer with the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network over the last 10 years, where he speaks regularly with newly diagnosed prostate and bladder cancer patients. This role is perfect for him because his positivity is contagious. He said, “I’ve never focused on ‘coping,’ I’m just living my life.”


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