Conference Organizing Board Members:

Thrainn Thorvaldsson

Thrainn was diagnosed with prostate cancer in February 2005 with PSA 10 and Gleason 6(3+3) with second opinion 7(3+4).  His markers allowed him to choose Active surveillance instead of a treatment against doctor advice as Active surveillance was not so widely acknowledged at that time. Now 13 years later he is still doing fine. His PSA has been fluctuating most likely from other causes than PC and is today 7.4. Thrainn has had two biopsies in early part of his diagnosing time but later been under surveillance by MRI both in Holland and Iceland. He has not been cured of PC but has been able to keep the cancer under control and maintained his quality of life. Thrainn has been making presentations in Iceland about PC and appeared in media. Currently he is making presentations about how to be diagnosed and live with prostate Cancer. His presentations include 10 questions which he believes men who are diagnosed with PC need to have answered. In 2014 Thrainn had the initiative together with Sigurdur Skulasaon to establish what is to believed to be the first internationally independent Active surveillance support group. Thrainn was born in1944 in Iceland. He has a business degree from the University of Iceland and a Masters degree in marketing and sales from the University of Lancaster in the UK. Thrainn is retired and his business carrier has been in the export industry. The last company he directed and was one of the founders of is SagaMedica ehf. His wife is Elin and they worked together building up SagaMedica. They have been married for 50 years and have had 4 children, 3 are alive and the grandchildren are 8. Thrainn claims that in his retirement he and his wife are enjoying the best time of their lives.

Chairman of the organizing committee - Europe

Mark Lichty was diagnosed with prostate cancer  twelve years ago, and was inspired by the overtreatment of his father’s prostate cancer to explore the uncertain terrain of what was then called watchful waiting.  His journey involved major lifestyle changes including adopting a plant based diet.  He has written of his journey with the last article appearing in PCRI Insight magazine Fall 2017 Insight magazine.  He is grateful to the support and leadership that PCRI has provided in giving him the strength of spirit to continue on his journey.  He is honored to Chair a group of men on Active Surveillance(AS).
He has been an attorney, owned a metal fabricating firm, and most recently Produced Groundswell Rising, a film on the fracking movement.  He is married to Wendy Lichty, resides in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and has three sons.

Chairman N-America

Alex Scholz

Director at The Prostate Cancer Research Institute

Gene was diagnosed with prostate cancer in June of 2009 with a Gleason score of 6 and a second opinion of Gleason 7.  I was asked to do a Biopsy and I had that done with one core at 80%.  Next step was chemo or radiation and I declined and told the Urologist that I needed to find out where my prostate was 1st.  I researched and never looked back and have spent the last 8 years in the best shape of my life.  I accomplished this with, lots of faith, a positive attitude, training my brain to help me instead of being extremely negative, eat only cancer fighting food, use supplements to keep me healthy, drink the most healthiest water available, exercise at least 5 days a week, design a protocol for me and have professional assistance with Dr.’s who agree with what I am doing.  Eight years later I am very healthy with a high PSA but now coming down.  My PSA over 12 years started at 2.9 and rose to 29.4 two years ago.  My PSA has been stable for two years and is now 27.  No treatments but lots of experimenting with protocols.  I started our business in Automotive and Collision Repair Warehouse Equipment 35 years ago. My wife Barb has been at my side from the start and my son Doug has been with us for 25 years and is now the President. My daughter Kris is in KC and we have 2 grandchildren each.  Barb and I have been married for 55 years and still working together. My e-Mail is (gene@automotivetechnology.com) I am playing the best golf of my life and still learning!!  I work 10 to 12 hour days and am involved in I-CAR job fairs, we have the job fairs at Gateway Motorsports Park and partner up with NHRA/ARMY for a day of drag racing and Interviews for 1,300 students. I am totally involved with AASP an Industry association and with MV-TAP where we raise money for local High Schools Collision programs.  I enjoy being busy helping customers and giving back to our Schools systems.  We just started Women in the Auto and Collision Industry (WAC) Association a non-profit, and that has really taken off.  We have a lot of great women in our Automotive and Collision Industry.

Fenton – St Louis, MO - USA

George received his first PSA test in 1992 with a reading of 2.6.  By early 2000 his PSA had risen to 5.2.  This led to a biopsy in April 2000 with a Gleason 5(3+2) PC diagnosis.  He was 54 years old at the time.  A second opinion (Jonathan Epstein) revised the Gleason to 6(3+3) with 2 of 6 cores positive.  George explored many treatment options, including surgery and several radiation protocols, and researched the medical literature to better understand his case.  He adopted an active form of watchful waiting that involved various blood tests, DRE exams, and annual MRI and Doppler ultrasound scans.  George's prostate volume and PSA increased slowly, more or less in step, for several years with his PSA reaching a value of 8.9 in November 2008.  In December 2008 he opted for a second biopsy which was initially reported as a Gleason 7(4+3) in 4 of 7 cores.  A second opinion (again Jonathan Epstein) revised the Gleason to 6(3+3) in all of the 4 positive cores.  George has continued on an active surveillance regimen with semi-annual PSA tests, DREs, and annual MRI and Doppler ultrasound scans.  His PSA in December 2017 was 18.9 which can largely be accounted for by his prostate size of 140 cc.  George has a BS degree in electrical engineering and physics from Rice University and a PhD in physics from the University of California at San Diego.  He worked in the private sector for 13 years prior to forming his own research firm in 1988.  Though mostly retired from active scientific research since 2011, he continues to consult in selected areas.  George has three sons, his long-time partner Joan has three daughters, and together they enjoy eight grandchildren.  George and Joan live in Southern California. 

Del Mar – California – USA

Howard Wolinsky

When I was a young medical reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, I sometimes wrote about the mysterious prostate gland, so little known but such a big problem for men as they aged. I remember my father and my father-in-law, then in their 60s, whispering about their issues with enlarged prostates. I should've seen the prostate cancer train coming, but I didn't. The chestnut-sized gland was about to cause me a heap of trouble. Eight years ago, at the age of 62, my PSA had hit about 4 and my family physician started to worry, He referred me to a urologist who performed a biopsy. (My wife Judi was right there with me as the urologist took target practice on my prostate in his office. Judi has been with me every step of the way though we agreed she didn't have to attend my other biopsies.) The long and short of it was on a follow-up biopsy a tiny (one millimeter) scrap of cancer was found and was rated a Gleason 6. The urologist gave me seven options. He recommended a prostatectomy and just happened to have an opening in his OR the following week. I declined. The next day I got a second opinion at the University of Chicago. The urologist there recommended a relatively new approach--active surveillance. I just needed to be monitored with PSA tests, digital exams, biopsies and MRIs. He said the odds were I'd never need surgery. So far so good. That cancer has never been seen again after six biopsies and  scores of cores. A multi-parameter MRI also showed no cancer, I often think about how things would've been had I listened to the first urologist, who didn't offer me active surveillance but wanted to rush me into an OR. Ask questions. Get second opinions. Recently, my health became more complicated when I was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes. In six months, following a low-carb diet and taking a variety of supplements, I lost 35 pounds and reversed the diabetes. An amazing thing happened. I also dramatically improved my Prostate Health Index Score. My urologist said the glucose control and weight loss had a huge impact.

My experience has changed my life, but it has changed the lives of others. I started writing a mini-blog in Facebook about my experiences as a patient. I started to hear from FB friends, their families and friends looking for advice about prostate cancer. One of my "lurkers" was an old friend who was the editor of MedPageToday.com. The publication was interested in a blog on shared decision making. It's been a surprise hit for me. I am looking forward to coming to Iceland. When Judi and I were discussing honeymoon destinations in 1971, I suggested Iceland, not a common stop for newlyweds--at least Americans--back then. So it's time for a second honeymoon

Anne Katz

Anne Katz, RN, PhD, is the author of four books on cancer and related illnesses, including Surviving After Cancer: Living the New Normal. She is also a sexuality counselor at CancerCare Manitoba and adjunct professor with the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB Canada.

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