Mr. Llewellyn “Llew” Fambles, PHEN Survivor Network Member, Oklahoma City, OK
Mr. Llewellyn Fambles explained during the fourth session of the PHEN 2023 Summit that he is in his third week of recovery since his radical prostate surgery. He was first diagnosed in 2019 with prostate cancer and was put on active surveillance for four years. He also underwent an MRI, but that MRI fell through the cracks due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Mr. Fambles’ long-lasting coronavirus. By April 2023, he inquired about the MRI and was told the doctors needed to conduct a biopsy.
Out of 14 tissue samples, the biopsy showed Gleason scores ranging from 8 to 10. Then he underwent a screening that required a radioactive tracer element and glucose. That’s when he learned cancer tissue feeds on glucose, which is produced in the body when people consume sugar and/or carbohydrates. He began thinking about why African American men get prostate cancer at higher rates and don’t survive it as often.
He realized it begins in childhood since school menus often include bread, burger buns, rice, pasta, mashed potatoes, French fries, and other fast food. These foods can feed cancer cells for 20 or more years until a person develops a tumor large enough to be detected. Fast food is also more affordable, which makes it a staple in many neighborhoods. Learning that glucose feeds cancer was an eye-opener for Mr. Fambles. While his brother and many of his cousins had prostate cancer, he saw that it’s impossible to control genetics, but it is under our control to improve our diet and exercise regimen.
It wasn’t until, after years of active surveillance, did he realize the importance of changing his eating and exercise patterns. He wants to let other Black men know about the right lifestyle changes and believes meeting them where they are, such as churches, barbershops, and ball games, can help make a difference.