Prostate Cancer Survivor Testimonials

My background is that I am a leading authority in laboratory informatics, was the Manager of Global Strategy for Abbott Informatics, and now am Chief Technical Officer for Cedrus Investments of Hong Kong. As such, my job is to analyze new technologies, determine whether they are innovative and follow good science, and whether they can attract investment to proceed through late stage clinical trials.
As my career has always centered around strategic analysis, I brought this into play when researching treatments for prostate cancer.

I was diagnosed in March, 2011 with prostate cancer after my primary physician was alerted to abnormal PSA levels. I was referred to a urologist here in the Denver area. We tried a month’s worth of an antibiotic regimen, but at the end of that time, my PSA levels were still high so we proceeded to a biopsy. The positive biopsy also indicated a Gleason index of 9, so it was recommended that I schedule treatment soon. My urologist’s recommendation was DaVinci robotic surgery, and I was referred to a partner physician in the practice who specialized in this procedure. I scheduled a DaVinci procedure for late May, 2011.

Meanwhile, my wife and I immediately reviewed the DaVinci surgery in great detail. We started to become alarmed at the statistics regarding side effects with DaVinci, and began to explore alternative strategies. We came across another health provider who stated that a patient of hers had a procedure called HIFU performed and was very happy. We contacted the patient, who also lived in the Denver area. After a phone call, he mentioned that he had the procedure about four years earlier, and his journey to Cancun, and indeed a story about Dr. George Suarez, had been documented on the ABC program, Nightline. We met for coffee a few days later and this patient was very pleased with his HIFU outcome.

Buoyed by the positive nature of the Nightline program, I searched for other online information, and came across a recording of a broadcast on a local television station in Atlanta, coincidentally, where I used to live. A patient talked enthusiastically about his HIFU procedure, its low impact, short recovery time, and his postoperative success. To my surprise, the physician who performed the procedure appeared at the end of the interview and he was my previous urologist in Atlanta, and also a squash playing friend of mine. I wrote him an email and he responded within minutes. We then spoke on the phone and I asked him about the HIFU procedure, and he was very enthusiastic about it, and said that he had been trained by Dr. Suarez. He said that he could perform the procedure in Toronto in June, 2011.

To be thorough, I reached out to one more friend who had been treated for bladder cancer. His urologist, a Los Angeles surgeon trained in neobladder replacement, mentioned to my friend he also performed the HIFU procedure in Vancouver, Canada. He was equally positive about the procedure, and even sent a DVD depicting the procedure.

I then contacted Dr. Suarez directly, and he patiently answered every question I had about the procedure. He provided me with his mobile number and we had two more conversations full of questions about the procedure and Dr. Suarez answered all of them. We made the decision to schedule the procedure, and as luck would have it, Dr. Suarez had an opening in early May, 2011.

I traveled to Cancun on a Friday, did some sightseeing on Saturday, had the procedure on Sunday, and flew back to Denver on Monday and actually was working later that same day. Dr. Suarez asked that I call him with progress updates and any questions. In all cases, when I have called or messaged Dr. Suarez, he responded immediately if he wasn’t in surgery or traveling. To this day, every time I have a follow up examination with my urologist, I message Dr. Suarez in usually hear back from him immediately.

I am now six years past the procedure, my PSA has stabilized at 0.8 ng/ml, down from my pre-procedure measurement of 17 ng/ml, and I have been in good health from all respects. I compete in masters swimming meets, squash, mountain biking, and snowboarding, and feel great.