A Second Opinion Turned Things Around for Joe Horner

Joe Hornor is approaching a big milestone—nearly two years cancer-free. He admits that he hasn’t shared details about his cancer diagnosis and treatment with many people. “It's just not part of my nature to talk a lot about my personal issues or struggles,” he admits. “However, the care I received from Dr. Lee and everyone at USMD was such that I felt like others should hear the story.”
A few years ago, Joe’s routine blood work showed signs of low testosterone so his primary care doctor suggested treatment.

“I became a patient of a well-respected urologist and started testosterone therapy, which included annual PSA tests,” he says. “After the second year, my numbers spiked—not high enough to be in the danger zone, but double what they had been. Like most men, prostate cancer never crossed my mind. My diagnosis came about not because of any symptoms I experienced or super-elevated PSA numbers. I had no reason to worry about it until my PSA numbers spiked.”

Joe’s urologist suggested a biopsy.

“He was very casual about it, and made me feel like it was a nuisance to him,” he says. “Before I would proceed, I wanted more information and didn't like his reaction to my request because it felt like my health wasn't important to him. My wife and I discussed it and decided I should get another opinion. She contacted the wife of a friend who had surgery a couple of years before. Their recommendation was so enthusiastic that I followed it immediately. That’s how we first came in contact with Dr. Justin Lee and USMD Prostate Cancer Center.”

Joe felt a connection with Dr. Lee right away.

“I am more at ease and have more confidence in him than with any doctor I have ever visited,” he says.

Following their first visit, Dr. Lee ordered additional PSA tests for Joe, and then a biopsy in late 2015.

“Following my biopsy, Dr. Lee broke the news that I had cancer. He explained every aspect of the diagnosis and all treatment options in complete detail.”

Joe chose to undergo robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy, and Dr. Lee performed the surgery in January 2016.

“The process was flawless and painless,” he says. “Yea, I said painless. Dr. Lee and the Da Vinci robot make an awesome team.”

Any wife or significant other who has stood by her man throughout his prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment understands how the journey is truly a shared burden. Joe’s wife, Vivian, appreciated the TLC the USMD team showed her.

“Dr. Lee, the staff in the office, and at the hospital were all awesome,” she adds. “The hospital staff took excellent care of Joe—and me, as well. Everyone that I came in contact with in the hospital was happy with a smile on their face. It was really refreshing! If you have to be in the hospital USMD is wonderful.”

Joe’s recovery went well, and Dr. Lee gave Joe some good news during his one-year post-prostatectomy follow-up.

“My PSA is undetectable—which means zero to us patients,” he says. “Everything is back to normal and I feel great.”

Now Joe is sharing his story to help other men.

“One of the things Dr. Lee said to me when he told me I had cancer really stuck with me. He said men don't discuss their health issues with anyone—whereas women talk among themselves about their health. He recommended that I talk to other men about my cancer, and that when I did, I would discover they all had concerns. He was right. Every man I talked to about my situation either had a history of prostate issues, was worried about high PSA counts and other symptoms, or knew someone else who was. Up to that point, no one had ever brought up the subject with me. So, all you men out there, talk to people and ask questions. Get tested early. Go to USMD!

“Dr. Justin Lee and USMD are awesome. Everything went exactly as Dr. Lee said it would, and I would like to thank all the staff at USMD for their help. In particular, Dr. Lee. Thank you for your honest and professional care, your easy-going manner, your confidence, and your skills with the Da Vinci robot. You told me after the surgery that you did an excellent job, and I believe you did!

If you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer and would like a second opinion or to know more about your treatment options, please contact USMD Prostate Cancer Center online or at 1-888-PROSTATE (1-888-776-7828).

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