Sutter Cancer Centers
Paul - "This is my comeback year"
A torn rotator cuff led Paul, 56, to an examination with his primary care physician. A few days later, Paul received a phone call and was told that his blood work showed a high PSA level.
"I thought he was kidding," said Paul. "I wasn’t even sure what a prostate gland was at that time, and I was being diagnosed with prostate cancer."
A second PSA test 30 days later resulted in a PSA level of 9 and confirmed that Paul had prostate cancer, and it was aggressive. After researching his options, Paul knew that he didn’t want the traditional treatment of an open prostatectomy. He started researching da Vinci Robotic Surgery and found Brian Naftulin, M.D., medical director of Robotic Surgery at Sutter Cancer Center.
Dr. Naftulin determined that Paul was a good candidate for da Vinci surgery and scheduled surgery following Paul’s cycling tour through Italy. The surgery was successful – in part because of Paul’s good health and in part because of the skill of his surgeon.
"The amazing thing about the surgery is that I was able to walk around hours after the surgery and go home the next day," said Paul. "I cannot say enough good things about this operation and Dr. Naftulin."
Like most surgeries, there are side effects, but they can be far less than traditional surgery. Because of the robotic-approach, Paul lost only a small fraction of the blood someone would lose during traditional surgery. He mastered incontinence in the first few weeks and is slowly working on the "other issues." And although Dr. Naftulin told him to wait 30 days before he got back to cycling – Paul challenged himself to a ride around Lake Tahoe around day 40. A few months later, he rode in a 200 mile event. "This is my comeback year," said Paul.
In addition to his love for his family and cycling, he has a new passion – educating his friends on prostate cancer screenings and treatment options.
Learn more about robotic surgery at Sutter Cancer Center.
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