Spreading the word

February 18, 2016

When Ron Poole talks about the Institute for Prostate and Urologic Cancer (IPUC), he can’t help but showcase the skills that have made him a successful investment counselor. He’s eager to pitch the center and its mission. But just as he would pick a stock or business venture, he supported the CPC only after careful research.

His research began in 2006, the year Poole, then 59, learned he had prostate cancer. The news didn’t come as a shock, as his screening test at age 50 had shown a high prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level. As his PSA continued to rise over the years, Poole set out to investigate his options for prostate cancer treatment.

“I’m a firm believer that you have to be your own advocate,” he says. “I talked to close to two dozen people who’d had a variety of treatments.”

Advice from a friend

One of those people was his friend and fellow investment professional Mike Dougherty, who had helped launch the Institute for Prostate and Urologic Cancer. Dougherty explained the center’s multidisciplinary approach, which encompasses every treatment modality along with basic and clinical research. Poole then interviewed several people at the University.

“One thing that impressed me was the amount of information the IPUC had to help me look at all the treatment alternatives,” he recalls. “It was very welcoming.”

In the end, Poole opted for treatment at the IPUC with radiation oncologist Gordon Grado, M.D., a pioneer in brachytherapy, which involves placing tiny radioactive pellets in the prostate gland. “After going through the discovery process, I felt very confident I was making a good decision,” Poole says. “I thought it was the best chance I would have to get rid of the cancer with the fewest side effects.” Rates of incontinence and erectile dysfunction following brachytherapy are among the lowest of any procedure for treating prostate cancer.

Paying it forward

Indeed, Poole says he’s done very well since the treatment. And he is happy to spread the word about his good experience. He serves as a resource for other patients and helps with fundraising. Poole and his wife, Molly, also have made gifts to prostate cancer research for the last two years.

And most important, he is back to the things he loves. In addition to his work managing money for individuals and institutions, Poole skis, plays tennis, works out, and travels. He especially relishes time with his wife and his two daughters and their families.

- Story courtesy University of Minnesota Foundation