We Don’t Mind Being Second When it Comes to a Second Opinion

Hearing you have prostate cancer once probably seems like more than enough, but a second opinion can be a lifesaver. A second opinion verifies the existence of your cancer, its location, and the grad and stage of your cancer. Confirmation of all these factors is important because prostate cancer is a complex disease with many variations. One man’s prostate cancer may be low risk, while another man’s cancer may be very aggressive.

“Our mission is to make sure every man is well informed about all of his treatment options, potential outcomes and associated risks,” says Keith Waguespack, M.D., a board-certified urologist and surgeon at USMD Prostate Cancer Center. “Being well informed is one of your best defenses against prostate cancer.”

Part of being “well informed” means asking questions, carefully considering the answers, and not just blindly accepting the first thing someone tells you.

When a urologist told 78-year-old Dean Radke not to worry about his dangerously high PSA level because statistics showed a man his age would most likely be dead within 10 years his wife was mad. “I told Dean, ‘There’s no expiration date stamped on you.’ We’re going to see somebody else,” Lou Ann Radke says.

Dean and Lou Ann decided to see Richard Bevan-Thomas, M.D. for a second opinion. “He did a prostate check and found two nodules,” Dean says. “The other doctor didn’t find anything.”

A biopsy confirmed the presence of cancer, but an MRI and bone scan offered some good news. Lou Ann remembers Dr. Bevan-Thomas was very encouraging. “He told us the cancer was encapsulated and had not spread as far as he could tell. He said Dean’s bone scan was clear of any cancer markers—which meant he was a candidate for treatment. He gave us literature and took the time to explain each procedure to us, and what might be the expected outcome.”

Dean chose to have his prostate surgically removed, and Dr. Bevan-Thomas performed his robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy on January 2, 2014 at USMD Hospital. Today, Dean is cancer free.

“His PSA is less than zero!” says a delighted Lou Ann.

When Jim Cox first learned he had prostate cancer, he initially thought he would undergo a robot-assisted radical prostatectomy, but was unhappy with the way his first consultation with a surgeon in Waco went. He remembered all the times he had driven by the USMD Prostate Cancer Center when he lived in Arlington and decided to see Dr. Waguespack for a second opinion.

“He very politely told me, ‘You’re overweight. I won’t operate on you at this weight because you have a 25 percent higher risk of incontinence based on your current weight.’”

Jim appreciated Dr. Waguespack’s candor—especially since the Waco surgeon had agreed to perform surgery without mentioning that Jim’s weight might cause complications. “I told my wife, I don’t know what type of treatment I’m going to have, but I’m going to have it here.”

While Jim was dieting to drop the 30 pounds Dr. Waguespack instructed him to loose, Jim decided to get a third opinion. He visited Peter LaNasa, M.D., director of radiation oncology at USMD, to see if he was a candidate for radiation therapy.

After completing 40 radiation sessions and a year of follow-up care with Dr. LaNasa, Jim is officially cancer free, and is delighted that he hasn’t experienced any unpleasant side effects such as incontinence from his treatment.

As these men learned, getting a second opinion may be one of the most important decisions you make following your diagnosis. Have you or a loved one been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer? Visit one of our knowledgeable and compassionate prostate cancer specialists for your second opinion. You can schedule your consultation online or call 1-888-PROSTATE

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