Kenneth Stone Resuts with Prostate Cryotherapy
I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2004. During routine annual physicals and digital rectal examinations (DRE) in 2001 and 2002 a "ridge" had been detected on my prostate, but my urologists expressed no concern; my PSA scores were low. When my wife and I moved to South Carolina in 2003 I wanted to establish rapport with an urologist, and with her assistance I chose Dr. Stephen M. Scionti.
Dr. Scionti conducted a DRE on July 9, 2004, found an abnormal spot on my prostate, and recommended that a biopsy be performed. My PSA reading at that time was 2.2, down from 2.9 the previous year. A biopsy on July 20 confirmed the presence of cancer in the right lobe of my prostate, Gleason score of 6 (3 + 3). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) followed and confirmed that the cancer had not spread beyond the gland.
I had read that prostate cancer was the second most common form of cancer in men, second only to skin cancer, that there was a 50% chance of developing some form of cancer during one's lifetime, and that the incidence almost doubled every 10 years after age 40. While I was not exactly pleased that I had become a statistic, it did not greatly surprise me considering the odds. "Why not me?" crossed my mind instead of "Why me?" I decided that I would deal with the situation in a positive manner.
My wife and I met with Dr. Scionti on August 2, 2004 to discuss available therapies, e.g., radiation, radical prostatectomy, transurethral resection, hormone, chemo, and the various combinations thereof, along with the side effects associated with each therapy. I did not feel comfortable with the side effects associated with these therapies.
We also discussed cryoablation and its potential side effects and I felt a little more comfortable.
Research on the Internet helped me to confirm that cryoablation would best suit my situation, and my wife agreed. I (we) made my decision in a rational, clinical manner, and without a lot of anguish. I called Dr. Scionti to tell him what I had decided, and on August 9 he started me on short-term hormone therapy to reduce gland size. He indicated that the effects of the hormone would take a few months to wear off. An ultrasound on September 29 confirmed that the prostate was shrinking in size as expected. Cryoablation was scheduled for October 20, 2004.
The procedure was conducted in the hospital outpatient clinic on October 20 as scheduled, and since I arrived early in the morning I was released in the afternoon. The procedure was successful and Dr. Scionti was able to save the nerve bundle on one side. I went home wearing a supra-pubic catheter that proved to be more of a psychological inconvenience than a physical one, and I was very pleased when it was removed a week later. Normal urinary function returned upon removal, and I had no instances of incontinence. I took an antibiotic for several days after the treatment, but I did not require any pain medication. I was bruised and swollen for two to three weeks and had some perineal tenderness. I feel that my recovery was very rapid, and I'm slowly regaining potency. I have had two follow-up visits as of this writing, and my PSA levels have measured less than 0.1. I feel great and my energy level has increased.
I know that many men are reluctant to talk about personal matters such as prostate cancer, and years ago I might not have been as open. I strongly recommend that PSA and DREs be a routine part of all men's physicals.
I would advocate that cryoablation become the standardized treatment for localized prostate cancer.
- 67 years old at time of procedure
- Retired AT&T
- South Carolina
Initial diagnosis: July 2004
Gleason grade: 6
Initial treatment: Cryotherapy October 20, 2004
Results: Two follow-up visits, PSA less than 0.1