Men, Listen to Your Body: Bay City Man Sparks Prostate Cancer, Proton Therapy Conversations

Dana Monville Wears a Light Blue Ribbon Every Day for Prostate Cancer Awareness

Author: Jasmine Brown

“If the option of radiation comes into play, seriously inquire about proton therapy versus regular radiation."

A small, light blue ribbon on a lapel pin that has become part of Dana Monville’s everyday wardrobe tells a story  – the story of the Bay City man’s prostate cancer journey.

“I wear it all the time, whether I’m golfing, in meetings, fishing, going out in public, in a bar, while I’m up north – I wear it everywhere,” explained Dana. “People ask about it, because they see the reds, the yellows and all the other colors – the pinks. I wear a pink pin also in recognition of my wife and other women that I know that had cancer.”

Dana has a collection of prostate cancer awareness ribbon pins. He hands them out to men who are prostate cancer survivors and men who are currently going through treatment. His journey started with one simple trip to his primary care doctor, who became suspicious during his annual checkup. He told Dana he wanted him to see a urologist.

“When I asked him [why], he said it was things that I said I had experienced over the last year,” said Dana. “I had no symptoms of any kind, not a thing.”

Though Dana says he did not experience symptoms of prostate cancer before his diagnosis, he had a thought in the back of his mind.

“I just didn’t feel good at times,” said Dana. “I could tell that something was not right, and I couldn’t put a finger on that. Ya’ know, sometimes you just don’t feel good about something.”

In November 2019, Dana had his appointment with the urologist, right before he planned to head to Arizona for the winter. At the time his PSA level was just above 3. When he returned from Arizona in May 2020, his PSA level had increased to above 9. A biopsy revealed he had cancer.

“All [the urologist] said is that he’d like me to see a radiation oncologist,” said Dana. “So, I went to see Dr. Hyde – the wife and I – and he explained everything between the regular [radiation] and proton [therapy].”

Within two weeks, Dana began proton therapy treatments at the McLaren Proton Therapy Center in Flint. He went through 45 treatments in nine weeks.

“At first, it was kind of rather intimidating,” said Dana. “However, it wasn’t long before they made you feel so at home and comfortable. After the first couple of treatments, it was an absolute fabulous experience.”

“I appreciate the sacrifice that Dana made to travel for several weeks,” said Christian Hyde, MD, DABR, radiation oncologist at the McLaren Proton Therapy Center. “Radiation therapy, including protons, can be a hassle because it’s usually given five days a week. Despite the regular drive from Bay City, Dana was a great sport and didn’t complain. I wish that every city had proton therapy, but until then, we try to make it worthwhile for guys like Dana to have a chance at reduced side effects from treatment.”

Since completing proton therapy treatments at the end of summer 2020, Dana has talked with many men and women to share his experience with prostate cancer and treatments. The discussions also give them the opportunity to talk about the highs and lows of their cancer journey. Dana encourages newly diagnosed cancer patients to listen to their doctor.

“If the option of radiation comes into play, seriously inquire about proton therapy versus regular radiation. Compare the two,” said Dana. “I talk to a lot of people – men and women – I just tell them, to the best of my understanding, basically regular radiation goes in one side, comes out the other and exposes anything in its way to radiation. Proton goes as far as they want it to. I call it pinpoint radiation.

“If need be, contact the Proton Center in Flint and they will gladly explain everything.”

Dana is the one who beat prostate cancer, but he credits the staff at the McLaren Proton Therapy Center. He decided to take a selfless approach when he finished treatments by not ringing the ceremonial victory bell, a ritual of most patients who finish cancer treatments.

“I appreciate the way Dr. Hyde, and not just Dr. Hyde, but the whole proton group down there – they were exceptional. No other word,” said Dana. “I can’t say enough for them, in fact, I didn’t ring the bell when I left because it made it about me. It wasn’t about me; it was really about that whole bunch.”

When it comes to prostate cancer, Dana always gives this one piece of advice for men: “I tell them listen to their body. [They ask], ‘What are some of the symptoms [of prostate cancer]?’ I said, I had none.”

To learn more about proton therapy at the McLaren Proton Therapy Center, visit There, you can fill out a form to request more information. If you or a loved one would like a consultation, or would rather speak to someone over the phone, call the proton patient navigator at (855) 697-7686.