Rising PSA Had Gary Down in the Dumps, But CyberKnife Changed All That

A typical man who avoided prostate diagnostics, Gary turned to CyberKnife when the tests found cancer – and now recommends it to others.


 

Anova Cancer Care patient Gary and his wifeMeet Gary, your typical 69-year-old man. He enjoys being part of his grandson’s quarter midget race team traveling the United States, working part time at Evergreen Day School repairing everything that gets broken and working out regularly using a high-intensity slow motion routine to keep him strong, activities not uncommon for many men his age. Similarly, Gary shares something else in common with thousands of other American men ­– his PSA (prostate-specific antigen) has been rising steadily for years.

In response to this, Gary’s primary care physician was constantly nagging on him to run diagnostics, a reasonable request Gary resisted for as long as he could. Finally, he gave in and his doctor discovered lumps in his prostate. A subsequent biopsy confirmed that Gary had prostate cancer.

“I went home, I did all of the internet research and I basically found out that if you have prostate cancer you have three choices: you end up with impotence, incontinence or death,” said Gary. “After that I was really down in the dumps.”

This wasn’t Gary’s first cancer rodeo. In fact, a few years back Gary had been diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma and given six months to live. Spoiler alert: he fought a hard fight and has been cancer-free since 2004.

This time Gary visited Urology Associates’ Dr. James Fagelson, a urologist who specializes in minimally invasive robotic surgery using the da Vinci system to treat prostate disease and prostate cancer. Despite his expertise in removing the prostate, Dr. Fagelson suggested that Gary speak with Anova Cancer Care, a partner of Urology Associates, about an innovative type of robotic radiosurgery called CyberKnife.

Saving his prostate, saving his virility

The doctors at Anova Cancer Care really convinced me that CyberKnife treatment was the way to go, said Gary. “I had my doubts because it sounded too good to be true, but I really did not want to have my prostate removed.”

After years of a good relationship as Dr. Fagelson’s patient, Gary relied on his opinion as to whether or not he should have the CyberKnife treatment or a prostatectomy using the da Vinci robotic device. Dr. Fagelson told Gary that if he were his age and going through the same ordeal, he would go with CyberKnife.

“That was surprising to me because he’s an expert in da Vinci robotic surgery,” said Gary. “That made up my mind. I did some research, relied on the doctor’s expert opinion and decided to undergo CyberKnife treatment.”

It was a “piece of cake,” according to Gary. He received five rounds of CyberKnife radiation treatment with virtually no discomfort. The staff at Anova Cancer Care gave him kind and thorough explanations, and Gary felt at ease calling in the days after the treatment with questions and concerns.

“When the Anova clinical team tells you to call them with problems, they mean it. You aren’t bothering them. They are there to help and they make that very clear,” Gary said.

“And I didn’t anticipate feeling this good. I’m 69 years old, just got off of my FloMax and my sex life is better than it was before the treatment.”

Gary still fervently recommends Anova Cancer Care to patients considering CyberKnife treatment.

“[The Anova Cancer Care] team are geniuses with the procedure,” said Gary. “I would tell anyone who is worrying about CyberKnife treatment to not even think about it and just do it. Don’t worry!”