Taking the Fear and Dread Out of Prostate Cancer

Taking the Fear and Dread Out of Prostate Cancer

Married 24 years, Frank and Sherry Peugh still celebrate their wedding anniversary on the 27th of every month. “I get up, I don’t even know what day it is and I walk into the kitchen and find a little gift in front of the coffee pot,” Sherry marvels.

It’s been this way for “277 months,” Frank says. “I call it our month-a-versary.”

So when the Peugh’s learned Frank’s PSA had spiked, they were worried. Frank’s physician referred them to Dr. Justin Lee, director of robotics at USMD Prostate Cancer Center in Arlington. Dr. Lee performed a biopsy which confirmed that Frank did have prostate cancer.

“Dr. Lee explained all my treatment options. There were four or five. He did not push one over another, but I chose the catheter-less robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy for several reasons,” says Frank. “It was less invasive and my hospital stay was short, not even a day. There was very little pain associated with it, and I didn’t have to go home wearing a catheter.”

USMD Prostate Cancer Center is one of the few places in the United States that offers the catheter-less prostatectomy.

“We have been performing the revolutionary catheter-less prostatectomy since 2009,” Dr. Lee says. “Sending men home after surgery without a penile catheter has made a major difference for our patients. They are more comfortable with a small tube from the lower abdomen, and we are seeing improved urinary function in the weeks following surgery. Helping men recover from surgery and return to their normal lives as soon as possible is very important to us.”

Research shows that without the penile catheter, prostate patients are about nine times more comfortable following surgery than men who have to wear a catheter for an extended period of time. Now the catheter-less prostatectomy is good news for men who may have been reluctant to undergo a radical prostatectomy because they feared pain often associated with a penile catheter.

Dr. Lee, along with his USMD colleagues—board-certified urologists and robotic surgeons Dr. Richard Bevan-Thomas, Dr. Scott Thurman, Dr. David Shepherd and Dr. Keith A Waguespack—comprise one of the most experienced robotic teams in the world. Together, they’ve performed more than 5,000 robot-assisted prostatectomies.

“Dr. Lee is the best surgeon I’ve ever had. And I’ve undergone several surgeries—including an aortic aneurism,” Dean says. This was the easiest surgery I’ve had. I did have to wear Depends for a short time, but not very long. The whole thing was just remarkably easy.”

The Peugh’s also give high praise to their patient navigator—Brenda.

“Brenda kept us informed every step of the way,” Sherry says. “If we had a question, all we had to do was call her direct number. She would always answer or return our calls. She answered all of our questions—no question was too trivial. She went through the procedure with us step-by-step. She just made me calmer about the whole experience.”

“The USMD team took the fear and the dread out of it. They just put us totally at ease,” Frank adds.

Dr. Lee is glad Frank’s experience and outcome have been so positive.
“A prostatectomy can be a life-saving surgery,” Dr. Lee says. “Overall, survivor rates 15 years post-prostatectomy are very high—approximately 93 percent. We don’t want anyone to avoid having a prostatectomy because they are worried or afraid. We want to do everything we can to help make the journey from cancer patient to cancer survivor as comfortable as possible.”

Nearly four years post surgery, Frank is doing great. “Essentially, I’ve been cancer free from the day of the surgery. No side effects or residuals or anything,” he says.

“He has the lowest PSA they’ll give you—.001. USMD is a wonderful facility. I have every confidence in the world in Dr. Lee. I love him dearly,” adds Sherry.

Life is good and there are lots of milestones to celebrate—like Frank’s 73rd birthday and their 278th month-a-versary. Today, Frank and Sherry are off to Louisiana to do just that—cancer free.

If you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer and would like to learn more about the catheter-less prostatectomy and all of your treatment options, please contact USMD Prostate Cancer Center online or at 1-888-PROSTATE (1-888-776-7828).

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