• Cancer Patient Stories

    Thoroughness is credited by Canadian for early Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

John HendersonJohn Henderson of British Columbia is a details man: a Chartered Accountant for whom accuracy and thoroughness are paramount. So while health care is excellent in Canada, about 15 years ago Mr. Henderson, now 62, decided his routine check-ups were not as thorough as they should be for a man approaching 50.

"Every time I thought about where I could go to get a really excellent and detailed complete physical, the name 'Mayo Clinic' kept coming to mind," Mr. Henderson recalls. "I don't know why... I'd never met anyone who went there. I must have read about it as a top institution in the U.S."

On the strength of reputation alone, John phoned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He explained his interest in getting a thorough routine physical exam and was instantly routed to the International Appointment Office, where the appointment was quickly made.

From the start, Mayo Clinic was a perfect fit for Mr. Henderson because he found the thoroughness, quality and efficiency he values so highly. All the details were covered. "When I got Mayo's results, it was a 2-page response of blood components that provided a very detailed picture. In terms of the exams themselves, I felt quite comfortable, so I kept coming back." When he reached age 50, he shortened the interval between appointments from two years down to yearly appointments.

And he's never stopped being grateful for the change. Mr. Henderson credits the yearly annual exam and comprehensive care he receives at Mayo Clinic with an early detection of prostate cancer about five years ago. "I'm so thankful that I got in a relationship with Mayo Clinic's Executive Health Care clinic," he says. "It was my continued high-quality care that helped me with my positive outcome. The problem with trying to reproduce Mayo Clinic care in Canada or elsewhere is that you have to set up 15 different appointments over weeks or months — and then if you are like me, you'll likely miss 7 of them. At Mayo that doesn't happen. It's all scheduled for you, all the care is in one place, and everything is extraordinarily efficient."

The thought of missing that crucial early exam still frightens him. "Had that tumor just grown and grown, I might not be here to help my five-year-old son grow up. I've got older children, too, ages 16 to 34, who need me in a different way," Mr. Henderson says. "But little G.W., he's my little guy and he's just getting started... he was the one I thought about first when I got the diagnosis."

Details. They make all the difference. And Mr. Henderson continues to revel in life's details — large and small. From making sure he has his annual, comprehensive exam at Mayo Clinic, to cheering at G.W.'s hockey games.

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