Watchful Waiting Not an Option for Retired Navy Pilot

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.

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