Prostate cancer is the most common diagnosed cancer in men, with over 233,000 new cases each year. As with other cancers, each case is unique. At Sarasota Prostate Care, we want to help people understand the true impact prostate cancer has on the lives of men, as well as the decisions they must face. The following is a real-life prostate cancer survivor story and case study of a man living with prostate cancer, from diagnosis to treatment.
Mr. TB is a 67-year-old gentleman who came to Sarasota Prostate Care in April of 2015 for evaluation of a rising PSA. His PSA had consistently been around 2.0 for many years until 3 years ago when it jumped to 4.2. He saw another urologist at that time and underwent a standard prostate biopsy, which did not reveal any evidence of cancer. Over the past 3 years his PSA has continued to climb, now up to 5.6. At this point he decided to come to Sarasota Prostate Care.
He had no other obvious benign causes for an elevated PSA (urinary tract infection, prostate inflammation, urinary retention). Yet on his physical examination, he was found to have an abnormal prostate exam, which was suspicious for an undiagnosed malignancy.
He subsequently underwent a multiparametric prostate MRI in April of 2015. This was the critical part of his evaluation. The standard prostate biopsy he underwent three years ago was performed using ultrasound guidance. Cancers typically cannot be “seen” with ultrasound, and in fact commonly appear no different than normal, healthy prostate tissue. Thus, standard prostate biopsies are “blind” and often miss significant cancers.
His prostate MRI actually revealed a very abnormal area on the right side of his prostate, in the anterior zone. The anterior zone is a part of the prostate that is often not reached on standard biopsies. Using the MRI images, we performed an MRI/US 3-D fusion biopsy on Mr. TB, specifically targeting the abnormality seen in the right anterior zone.
His prostate biopsy unfortunately revealed Gleason 7 prostate cancer in the right side of his prostate, with no cancer found anywhere else. His cancer was an intermediate grade cancer that we consider “clinically significant.” Therefore, aggressive treatment was indicated.
Mr. TB had no urinary problems and had fairly normal sexual function, and he was very concerned with maintaining this function. He has a number of friends who had undergone surgery or radiation for prostate cancer in the past, and he had heard about all of the potential side effects. He wanted something different.
Here at Sarasota Prostate care, we offer all treatment options for prostate cancer. We are proud to offer cutting-edge, innovative treatments that provide excellent oncologic outcomes while preserving quality of life. This includes HIFU, or High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, and focal therapy. Mr. TB learned about HIFU and focal therapy, and after extensive research and consideration, he elected to undergo focal HIFU. This treatment ablates the area of his prostate with cancer while leaving healthy tissue intact.
He traveled to Nassau, Bahamas in June 2015 and underwent successful focal HIFU with Dr. Tracy Gapin, Urologist and Founder of Sarasota Prostate Care. The treatment lasted just under an hour, and he was back to his hotel room a few hours later. He enjoyed the rest of the weekend with his wife before flying back home to Sarasota, FL a few days later. After returning to Sarasota Prostate Care the following week, he had these comments regarding his treatment:
“I am so happy to have found Dr. Gapin, my second urologist after discovering elevated PSA. I came to Dr. Gapin because he offered 3D Fusion MRI in conjunction with targeted biopsy, a procedure I felt superior to traditional “blind biopsy.” Dr. Gapin has an excellent Dr./Patient relationship. He spent all the time necessary to answer in detail all the questions my wife and I asked. Once I was diagnosed with PC I was left with the treatment decision. I had researched all options but kept coming back to HIFU, which I ultimately chose and had performed in Nassau, Bahamas. It has been 11 days since HIFU and I feel very good with no residual side effects. I am very fortunate to have found Dr. Gapin and to have been able to take advantage of the treatment options he offers.”
At Sarasota Prostate Care, we believe in giving our patients options when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. Just as no patient is the same, so to is the case for cancer. As such, treatment options should be customized to the individual.