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The Newsroom

Bob's Story: Prostate Cancer

For most men, prostate problems are a natural part of aging. In fact, one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. Bob was 74 years old when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He lives in Paso Robles with his wife and enjoys kayaking, fishing, spending time with his grandchildren and playing a little poker now and then. After doing a lot of research on prostate cancer treatments, Bob determined El Camino Hospital was the best place for him to receive treatment.

“I went to support groups to learn about some of the side effects and various treatment options. I found out there are about a dozen different approaches and all would cure the cancer. But there were questions about the quality of life I would have afterward,” explains Bob. “That’s when I found Dr. Mark Scholz. He wrote a book called “Invasion of the Prostate Snatchers” and his philosophy is that there are far too many prostate surgeries being done. I contacted him and engaged his assistance. I sent him all my medical records, tests and images and he helped guide me through the process. My biggest concern was that I did not want to lose urinary or bowel control afterward.”

Bob adds, “Dr. Scholz said he knew someone who was really good who could perform CyberKnife radiation treatment, so he called Dr. Robert Sinha and made an appointment for me to see him. I talked to Dr. Sinha and Dr. Steven Kurtzman about the procedure and the use of Hydrogel to keep the rectum away from the prostate during radiation. The support group made me aware of Hydrogel and the product’s purpose.”

Fiducials, which are small metal markers inserted in or near the tumor in preparation for radiation to help more accurately pinpoint the tumor’s location, were put in place along with the Hydrogel spacer. Bob describes this as “a non-event. I went in, they put me under and I was out 20 minutes later. I didn’t feel a thing.” A couple weeks later, he returned and the area was re-imaged to see if the spacer had set correctly and if the fiducials had moved. Bob’s first CyberKnife radiation treatment was on the 24th of July and his fourth and last was on the 31st of that month, normally a course of standard radiotherapy for prostate cancer is eight weeks.

According to Bob, “everything worked out perfectly. There were no problems with the treatment and no side effects. To this day, I have not had any bowel or urinary issues. I got the desired results. The Hydrogel will stay in place for a few months after the treatment and then it fully dissipates. There were no restrictions on exercising afterward and I just had to change my diet for a short time to prevent constipation.”

“I am feeling great now and have for months! I am very happy with my treatment choice and I got excellent care at both El Camino Hospital campuses,” shares Bob. “They got me in and out and got me home. Both doctors gave me their cellphone numbers so I could call if I had questions, and Dr. Sinha called me a couple of times to check up on me.”

“I was extremely impressed and pleased with El Camino Hospital. Everyone was a polite professional and the doctors spent quite a bit of time with me during the planning stages. Everyone was very considerate of my time,” says Bob. “I would love to go back to El Camino Hospital if I needed anything else done.”