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

Gary and his wife, Linda

Meet 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 doctor at Anova Cancer Care was very enthusiastic about what he does. He 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.

“My doctor and his team are geniuses with the procedure,” said Gary. “He has it so fine-tuned. I would tell anyone who is worrying about CyberKnife treatment to not even think about it and just do it. Don’t worry!”

Learn more: Prostate Cancer CyberKnife

Our patient Dan tells in his own words why he came from New Mexico to Denver for CyberKnife treatment, and it was so simple and pain-free he felt a little guilty

Anova Cancer Care Patient - Dan Davidson

Note: My story about prostate cancer is one of success that I owe to the treatment I chose, CyberKnife radiosurgery. My message to others is that when you have prostate cancer, it’s important to find a treatment that works for you. I did and I’m all the better for it. Here’s my story.

When the doctor told me that I had prostate cancer my world changed. I was baffled. There was no history of prostate cancer in my family. My first thought was a depressing one. After seeing friends and family members pass away because of cancer, I was sure my fate was sealed.

The only options at the time in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I live, were surgery or standard radiation. I truly wasn’t interested in either of those due to the recovery time and the side effects. After much discussion and research, my doctor and I both decided that CyberKnife radiosurgery was the best option.

There were two major challenges involved: 1.) I live in Santa Fe which was, at that time, far from CyberKnife treatment facilities and 2.) my insurance didn’t cover the treatment.

At first I went to another facility in Colorado and wasn’t happy with the prognosis. After doing some additional research, I found Anova Cancer Care’s website. The website offered a ton of information about the CyberKnife process, about why it’s good for prostate cancer, plus it had a ton of great patient stories and testimonials.

After my research, I filled out some information regarding my first visit. I was surprised when Anova’s doctor called me himself and wanted to learn more about my situation. I was even more surprised when he personally called my insurance company and fought for coverage of my CyberKnife treatments. The confident and caring staff took care of setting up all of the necessary procedures.

The CyberKnife experience: no pain, no suffering

The first step of the process involved driving to Denver for my consultation with Anova’s radiation oncologist. I also saw a urologist who placed markers in my body. The markers would ensure that the radiation would only be applied to my cancer and could avoid my healthy surrounding tissue. I drove back to Santa Fe.

The next time I returned to Denver, it was time for my CyberKnife treatment sessions. My wife traveled with me. I went through five sessions of CyberKnife radiation therapy, each session lasting about 30 minutes. CyberKnife is an easy treatment. All you hear is the sound of the machine.

“The procedure was so simple and pain-free that my wife and I spent our free time in Denver checking out the city, going to the zoo and doing some sightseeing. It was so nice to be able to spend my free time doing what I liked.”

I felt well prepared for the CyberKnife treatments. Anova’s website makes it very easy to go online and see the process, such as the CyberKnife machine and how it moves around your body to apply precise radiation. This alleviated many of my concerns and a lot of my nervousness, and I felt guilty afterwards when I experienced absolutely no pain and suffering.


At this point, I’m cancer-free and I’ve had only minor side effects that have seemed to subside.

I maintain my lifestyle, thanks to the CyberKnife treatment. I hike a lot, I lift weights. And the thing is that I could do these things right after having the procedure done. I wasn’t too tired or fatigued. I bounced back very quickly. If I would have done a normal radiation procedure, I’d probably be doing hormone replacement therapy for about two months, which can make you feel low and lose muscle mass, among other side effects.

I tell my story today to let others know how much Anova Cancer Care, its doctor and CyberKnife have helped me. The research also shows that although CyberKnife is a relatively new treatment, the outcomes look good. Now at 63 years old, I feel good. I don’t have any issues, and my sexual function is fine – thanks Anova Cancer Care!

Learn more: Prostate Cancer CyberKnife

After discovering an enlarged prostate, high PSA and early-stage prostate cancer, Larry’s experience with Cyberknife offered a comforting approach to treatment.

Older couple

My name is Larry. I’m 75 years old and have always considered myself to be in fairly good health; I was a basketball player all through college and have since maintained my athleticism. The only exception to my good health was the fact that every night I was constantly having to get up several times throughout the night to use the bathroom. While this was a huge bother to me, all other functions seemed okay. Nevertheless, I informed my primary care doctor about these issues at my annual physical in the spring of 2015.

After my primary care physician examined me, he told me that I had an enlarged prostate and also found that my prostate-specific antigen (PSA) had gone up from a 5 to an 11. As a result, I was referred to Dr. Stan Galansky of Urology Associates.

Dr. Galansky initially examined me and brought me back for subsequent biopsies. He found early stage prostate cancer in one of the samples. He carefully and fully explained to me and my wife of 51 years what I had, the implications of what I had, treatment options and timing. We agreed to have a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) performed in June 2015. But that wasn’t where my story ended.

Six months later I received five sessions of radiation treatment using the groundbreaking CyberKnife radiosurgery technology under the direction of the doctors at Anova Cancer Care. My doctor patiently explained to my wife and me how the radiation treatments would be accomplished. These treatments went as planned, with my radiation treatments concluding in December 2015.

The whole process was amazing to me. The level of professionalism and technical competency was extraordinary and so was the quality and kindness of the staff. Everyone at both Urology Associates and Anova Cancer Care were considerate, very pleasant and professional. Further, the appointments were scheduled conveniently and took just as long as predicted, so a (near) normal life was possible. And frankly, there was no discomfort.

It’s still a little early to tell if the cancer is gone, that will take time. But I had no side effects during the treatment and I still have none. Things seem to be functioning normally. I did follow all of the instructions that were given to me fully and carefully — I felt that I should do my part as well as the folks at Anova Cancer Care were.

I cannot recommend the folks at Urology Associates and Anova Cancer Care enough. They are competent and did what they said they would do. They took very good care of me. I’m grateful to them all and my only wish is that men who have problems similar to mine might find them and meet them. They’ll be glad they did.

Learn more: Prostate Cancer Treatment PSA Testing

CyberKnife removed his prostate cancer, as he relates in his own words.

Anova Cancer Care prostate cancer testimonialI began getting yearly physical exams when I entered the United States Navy flight program. I got those exams during the five years I was on active duty and for the 15 years I was flying in the Naval Reserve. I continued this practice on my own after I retired from the Naval Reserve. To this day, I stay active, maintain my weight, try to work out in the gym three days a week, and get a yearly physical exam. In general, I feel as well as I ever have.

A few years back I began taking finasteride for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and frequent urination. This solved the frequent need to urinate and I continued to take this medication. About four years ago or so, my prostate specific antigen (PSA) began to rise. So my doctor and I began “watchful waiting.” Within a little more than a year, my PSA had risen to 6.8. I’m still thinking watchful waiting, but my doctor said this was not an option and that I had a bump on my prostate.

I saw a urologist as directed. He checked my prostate, looked at my blood test and told me that I needed a biopsy. I asked, “How about watchful waiting?” His reply was, “There is no watchful waiting for you. You have a bump on both sides of your prostate and your true PSA is not 6.8, but 13.6. The finasteride you have been taking masks your true PSA by one half.”

He had my attention, and I got a biopsy. Of the 12 samples of the prostate taken, every one had cancer. Enter Anova Cancer Care. The urologist set up an appointment for me with the doctors at Anova Cancer Care.

The doctor, or “Doc,” as I now call him, spent an hour and a half with me explaining CyberKnife and the results he has gotten with this beautifully simple treatment (simple for the patient). Doc and I got along well, as he is a former USAF Flight Surgeon. He was interested in hearing about flying off aircraft carriers and I was interested in hearing about his flying the F4 and 16. I also gave him a first-hand account of the Apollo 11 recovery and spotting the capsule from my aircraft as it entered the Earth’s atmosphere.

I was scheduled for the standard five treatments of approximately 30 minutes each. I came in Monday, Wednesday and Friday the first week and Tuesday and Thursday the following week. I laid down on a computer controlled table, not moving for 30 minutes and listened to music of my choice, often falling asleep, as a machine resembling a large head moved around me radiating my prostate from different angles. That’s pretty much it, as far as the treatment goes.

Since the end of my treatments, I get a blood test every three months to check my PSA. My PSA has steadily fallen. I just had my two-year checkup. My current PSA is 0.2 (down from 13.6). Doc tells me that I’m doing even better than to be expected, at this point. I’m essentially cancer free.

My advice

Don’t fool around with “watchful waiting” if your PSA is steadily rising. Get a biopsy immediately. Go see Anova Cancer Care immediately if you have any questions at all. This treatment will not be available if you wait too long. Once the cancer has spread from the prostate, it’s too late for this treatment.

Unlike a number of my friends who have had other forms of treatment for prostate cancer, I’ve had virtually no side effects. I did not change my routine at all while in treatment and continued my active lifestyle, including working out in the gym. I have friends who have been left incontinent or impotent, or both from other forms of treatment.

I feel so fortunate to have been sent to Anova Cancer Care. The treatment could not have been easier.  Don’t “watchfully wait” yourself into a serious situation. Take care of the problem in a way that is almost as simple as taking five naps.

Have prostate cancer? Get a Second Opinion

This couple looked desperately for an alternative prostate cancer treatment and found their answer at Anova, a story Bob tells here in his own words.

Anova Cancer Care Prostate Cancer CyberKnifeMy name is Bob. I am a 59-year-old guy who is very active and in good physical condition. My wife Peggy is a registered nurse, and has always mandated that I have a prostate exam and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test done annually. I credit her for saving my life.

My exam showed that my PSA number had doubled in two years. But I was without any symptoms, so I wouldn’t have ever thought about it, except for Peggy.

My father had prostate cancer at age 70. He experienced all the miserable side effects of treatment including incontinence and the sexual side effects associated with a total prostatectomy (prostate removal). He was never the same.

Needless to say, I was horrified to learn I needed a prostate biopsy. I kept thinking about my dad and those diapers. He was 70. Why me at age 59?

My urologist performed a digital rectal exam, reporting that the gland was smooth and had minimal, if any, enlargement. A biopsy was done and of the 12 cores, one was positive for cancer cells.

We were encouraged because we thought we would have time to wait and watch, but that proved not to be the case. Our urologist thought it best to send the sample for additional testing – genetic testing. We learned I had the aggressive form of prostate cancer and I was encouraged to seek treatment sooner, rather than later.

We were assigned to read the book A Guide To Surviving Prostate Cancer, by Dr. Patrick Walsh. We read this book cover to cover. I felt hopeless. I was sure I would end up just like my dad.

From hopeless, to hopeful, to healing

My wife, however, felt that anything in print was surely outdated and continued an exhausting search for any other viable options besides surgical total prostatectomy. She was horrified that very little progress had been made since her nursing experience with urology patients post-prostatectomy 30 years prior! Men were still in diapers and suffered issues with erections.

We cried and cried. There was one viable option with CyberKnife, but Peggy wanted more documented proof. We needed a cure!

We walked into my urologist’s office deciding on robotic prostatectomy removal and were shocked to hear that he wanted to talk us OUT of it. He thought CyberKnife would be a viable option in my case. He reported more recent numbers of solid success – documentation of eight years of clinical studies showing it had similar cure rates to surgery but without incontinence, impotence and ongoing post-op complications associated with the surgery.

Peggy and I felt encouraged.

We were directed to Anova Cancer Center. Peggy immediately called and requested more information. She wanted more recent, evidence-based studies and proof that patients were surviving prostate cancer with CyberKnife.

We set up our consult. The doctor was very genuine and accommodating. He was clearly passionate about his work. We had at least a million questions and he answered all of them. We made our decision – CyberKnife – and never looked back. No regrets.

I completed all five treatments and never missed a day of work. I did experience some fatigue with the 5th treatment and napped for 30-60 minutes daily for a week. Mild fatigue lasted another month. I was shocked to see my PSA dropped by 60 percent three months later.

I am thrilled I have no bladder or erection issues post-CyberKnife. I ski, mountain bike (using a modified bike seat), dirt bike, trail run and hike. This 59-year-old is going strong and I look forward to living the next 35 years.

My wife and I are so grateful to the doctor and his tireless devotion to patients at the Anova Cancer Center. His staff is kind and professional.

My life has been saved, the quality of my life has been preserved. My wife and I are grateful we chose CyberKnife.

— Bob & Peggy

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