Self-Advocacy Inspires Cancer Survivor to Pay It Forward

April 06, 2018

MODESTO, Calif. - April 6, 2018 - When 72-year-old Modesto veteran Gene Dias saw his PSA levels rising, he asked his doctors to look into it. A Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test is used to monitor and screen for prostate cancer, and dramatic rises over time can be cause for concern. Although he didn’t have symptoms, Dias knew the risks of doing nothing and his concern paid off. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2016.

“When I got the diagnosis, the doctor gave me pamphlets and videos that were helpful, but I researched a lot on my own,” Dias says. “I have a friend that had prostate cancer and he had surgery in San Francisco that led to nothing but grief. I decided to stay here and have radiation therapy right around the corner from my house.”

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men other than skin cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Nearly 165,000 men will be newly diagnosed with the disease in 2018. Treatment options vary by stage, and in some cases, patients can avoid surgery by choosing radiation therapy first.

After recommendations from friends and research online, Dias saw David Lowther, M.D. at 21st Century Oncology in Modesto. He immediately knew he was in the right place.

“The people are all professional and know what they’re doing,” he says. “The staff is very friendly and they become like family.”

Now finished with treatment, Dias is sharing his story with the goal to raise awareness for being your own advocate and keeping a positive attitude during treatment.

“I think I got a blessing from my friend by recommending radiation therapy,” Dias says. “I hope to pay it forward by helping others. Nearly everyone has a computer at his or her fingertips. Educate yourself the best you can. In the end, you’re the one that makes the decision.”

21st Century Oncology is located at 1316 Nelson Avenue, Modesto, CA 95350.

For more information about our services, visit or call (209) 575-5870.

About 21st Century Oncology:

21st Century Oncology is the largest global, physician led provider of Integrated Cancer Care services. The company offers a comprehensive range of cancer treatment services, focused on delivering academic quality, cost-effective patient care in personal and convenient settings. As of December 31, 2017, the company operates 167 treatment centers, including 131 centers located in 17 states and 36 centers located in seven countries in Latin America. The company holds market-leading positions in most of its domestic local markets and abroad.


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