On a sunny afternoon in September, a young man who had been a lifelong smoker with no history of cancer was walking along a road near the border between California and Mexico.
A few miles down the road was a man in a wheelchair with a massive tumor, and this man was willing to talk.
The man’s story was not unusual.
In the past year, there have been many such cases in California.
And they have all been the same: An American man who has prostate cancer was given a second chance at life with a stem cell transplant.
The story is common.
In March, a Canadian woman was given treatment after she had a rare form of skin cancer that left her with cancerous tissue.
The next month, a man with prostate cancer received a second shot at life after doctors had successfully removed the tumor from his prostate.
The new treatments are being hailed as a milestone for the future of prostate cancer care.
But for some of these patients, the future is looking grim.
As the number of new transplants continues to grow, new infections and deaths are on the rise.
And as a number of patients get older, the odds of survival from new cancers increase.
For some of those who are struggling to stay alive, this is the perfect time to make the decision to have a second operation to try to slow the spread of the disease.
The cancer has spread to the kidneys, lungs and liver.
The cancer has metastasized to the bone marrow.
But there is a silver lining: Some of the cells that make up the new tissue are made from healthy cells.
And the doctors believe the new cells can eventually help fight off the disease, at least for now.
“We have a lot of patients who are on a path where we’re optimistic that they will have a better prognosis,” said Dr. Michael T. Tompkins, chief medical officer at California’s Department of Palliative Care.
Tompkins says the new treatments should help these patients stay alive for longer.
“They may not be able to get the cancer out of the body at the same rate, but they’ll still have a chance to get treatment at a later date,” he said.
“If they have a longer-term survival, I think that is a great outcome.”
In other words, if a patient can live a long, happy life, that means the odds that they’ll have a normal prostate cancer remission are better than the odds they’ll be cured.
But this treatment is not without risks.
Telling a patient they’re dying may cause them to give up, which in turn may lead to more cancer in the future.
In fact, the treatment may make things worse by pushing the cancer into new locations in the body.
Dr. Tampkins said the new stem cell treatment will not cure all of the cancer, but it will be the best way to treat patients with some.
It also means that if the treatment doesn’t work, it’s not going to be permanent.
“The longer that this treatment stays on the shelf, the more likely it is that the cancer will reappear,” he explained.
That’s not the case for the man who was given his second chance.
The patient, who asked to remain anonymous, said he wanted the treatment.
“I didn’t want to give it up,” the man said.
His condition worsened rapidly, and he had to have two surgeries to remove and remove the tumor.
He eventually got a stem cells transplant, which he has since used to help fight the new cancer.
But he now has to take his treatment off the shelf for another six months to make sure he doesn’t relapse.
“They’re saying this is going to help him live longer,” he told ABC News.
“I think they’re underestimating how difficult that is.”