Cancer diagnosis did not stop Mika Piltz: “I’m grateful that quality of life can be improved with the right treatment methods”

Getting diagnosed with prostate cancer turned the world of Mika Piltz, 54, upside down in 2021. His calendar was filled with various radiotherapy sessions and doctor’s appointments, but, fortunately, many things stayed normal as well.

Facing his illness with a positive attitude, Piltz has been grateful that his prostate cancer was diagnosed early. Piltz, who is a former pro golfer and now runs his own company and acts as a coach, is particularly grateful that the right treatment methods have had an impact on his quality of life, even after the disease.

– Quick access to treatment, a thorough diagnosis and a treatment plan prepared together made my journey with the cancer diagnosis easier, says Piltz, who decided to have his prostate cancer treated at Docrates Cancer Center.

– The patient is always a priority here, says Piltz.

A feeling that not everything was alright turned out to be cancer

In October 2021, Mika Piltz had a strong feeling that not everything was alright.

– I had no actual symptoms, but I felt strange and like not everything was in order,  Mika Piltz says about the moment when his future battle was still just a mere suspicion.

Piltz did not waste time and booked an appointment with a doctor at a private clinic. One of the laboratory test results was red: regardless of the low total PSA value, the low PSA ratio indicated that further examinations were needed.

A decision was made in 27 seconds

Based on the recommendation from the private clinic, Mika booked an appointment with Specialist in Medical Oncology and Radiotherapy Timo Joensuu at Docrates, where Piltz became aware of his actual situation.

– The MRI scan explained the worrying result of the blood tests and also confirmed my suspicions: not everything was alright, I had prostate cancer, says Piltz.

– When I returned home, I talked about the options available with my wife and checked how much money we had. In the end, the decision was easy, I think it was made in 27 seconds, says Piltz about his decision to start treatment at a private cancer hospital.

Full throttle

– It was incredible how fast everything happened after the diagnosis, like full throttle, says Piltz, who enjoys motorsports, about the pace of initiating treatment. – This was ideal for my nature as it didn’t leave me time to worry and think, everything just started immediately, he adds with satisfaction.

He is grateful for having a treatment plan prepared immediately after thorough diagnostics and starting the treatment without delay. – Monitoring would’ve been like a curse word to me in that situation. I can’t imagine myself in a state of waiting and monitoring to see how the situation might progress, says Piltz, relieved.

Piltz values the individual approach of the treatment and that all of the treatment sessions and appointments were tailored according to fit his calendar.

– I immediately announced that Fridays were absolutely not possible for me, and soon I had appointments scheduled for Monday to Thursday, according to my wishes. As an entrepreneur, it has been important for me to be able to carry out 85 % of the scheduled work, which is also, financially, a really big thing. My work is also my passion, which is why I’m thankful that I’ve been able to continue it during my btreatment. It’s pretty unbelievable how well they listen to the patient here instead of just taking a number, says Piltz, who runs his own company, Piltz Golf School.

“This is my personal Winter War”

When the treatment plan was ready and the required appointments were scheduled, Mika knew that his three-month treatment period was about to start.

– This is my personal Winter War, my 90-day long battle, says Piltz about his attitude about the disease. In Piltz’s Winter War, the initial setting was fortunately favourable: the cancer was located at an early stage and the planned method of treatment was curative.

He encourages all men to look after their well-being.

– You shouldn’t be too lazy to visit a doctor or have blood tests taken.  It requires little effort, but it can be decisive for your health. Some are afraid, some are ashamed, and the word ‘cancer’ is pretty strong. But you should never be ashamed, it’s not your fault. You can never know who will get this horrible disease, says Piltz.

PGA Tour – the biggest and most beautiful

Mika Piltz is one of the first Finnish golf players on the European Tour. The former pro golfer compares the treatment and service provided by Docrates to the PGA Tour, the most valued tour among golfers.

– The PGA Tour is the biggest and most beautiful tour where you travel with limousines and get whatever you want, says Piltz about his professional career.

– I have also received first-class treatment and service at Docrates, says Piltz.

Piltz also praises the hospital’s staff:
– The staff here can really understand the situation. People come here in a rather vulnerable state, so it’s great that the staff can interact with people as individual persons in their own way. They know me and my ramblings here and that not everything has to be sugar coated. Interaction is more authentic and safer when my care team is always there for me. Mika knows what he is talking about, as he follows the same principles with his students and the golfers he coaches.

– We are all individuals, regardless of cancer.

Priceless – no price can be set on quality of life

At Docrates, Piltz’s prostate cancer was treated with both external and interstitial radiotherapy, HDR brachytherapy.

– I’ve been treated by professionals who I can fully trust. I haven’t always even wanted to know what they are doing exactly. For me, it is enough that the treatment is effective and that the battle has a happy ending. My uncertainty over my situation vanished immediately when my treatment here began.

Mika Piltz’s prostate cancer was local but, due to the aggressive nature of the disease, it was likely that the tumor had already sent individual cancer cells to the surrounding tissue. Because of this and Mika’s young age, he was treated with interstitial HDR brachytherapy, in which the actual tumor inside the prostate was destroyed, as well as external radiotherapy, which aimed at destroying the individual cancer cells outside the prostate.

– It is important to treat the whole disease and not just the part that is visible, says Timo Joensuu, Specialist in Medical Oncology who treated Mika Piltz.

Piltz thinks it is very important that there are treatment options available where life after the disease, and especially the quality of it, is paid attention to.

– After my diagnosis, I believed that, since we live in the 21st century, there have to be options that can determine my quality of life also after the disease, says Piltz.

– I’m a workaholic, my work is my passion. Retaining a high quality of life after my disease allows me to do what I love in good health and physical capacity. I’ve always trusted that I’m in good hands. And although the treatment has set me back financially, living a full, high-quality life afterwards is priceless, says Piltz about Docrates Cancer Center.

Lessons from professional career applied

Mika feels that his professional career has helped him during his disease, especially on the mental side. He has re-applied the operating models from his competitive career: he had to make a journey to himself again.

– I’ve been going over the same processes in my head that I had during my career. I learned then that certain things just need to be processed and that you have to recognise your resources and apply them as well as you can, says Piltz. These processes were fruitful in Piltz’s career, and he has decided to finish this race as the winner as well.

His friends and family have been of tremendous help during the disease as well.

– I’ve received peer support in pretty surprising environments. I’ve even run into some acquaintances here, in the hospital. Discussing my situation openly made me realise that there are many others who are or have been in a similar situation, says Piltz.

– So I’m not unique or special, no matter how hard I want this to be true, he says with a laugh.

– The support from friends, family and peers has been invaluable. Talking about my disease with others has been really important for my coping, says Piltz gratefully.

Important calendar entry

Piltz has already marked the end of the battle in his calendar:

– I agreed with Joensuu that I will hand over my discharge papers on Wednesday 9 March, says Piltz with a glint in his eye. Although the intensive treatment period will come to an end, monitoring will continue.

– All in all, this process has been almost too smooth for me. I know very well that not everyone has the same experience, but my battle has went according to plan, says Piltz about the past weeks, which have been full of various treatment sessions.

Piltz believes that his life will continue relatively similarly as before.

– Working, I enjoy that I get to do what I love, he says.

– And although it may sound like a cliché, my life view has changed in a way. Next summer, I will spend more time fly fishing than before, says Mika with a smile.


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