Focusing on You: Firefighter Speaks Out After Prostate Cancer Surgery
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Mark Gonzalgo, M.D., Ph.D., a urologic oncologist who specializes in prostate cancer surgery at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, explains what PSA means and why it’s a critical early detection tool for identifying the disease when it’s curable. Dr. Gonzalgo also discusses how the latest surgical techniques reduce side in effects in patients. Glenn Serrano is one of those patients.
After serving 28 years as a firefighter, Glenn Serrano retired only to learn he had another life-threatening battle to face.
“We have to do a biopsy to find out what that something is,” says Glenn.
He went to see Dr. Mark Gonzalgo, a urologic oncologist at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, who specializes in prostate cancer surgery.
“It’s estimated that approximately 250,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States this year,” Dr. Gonzalgo says.
What does PSA stand for and why is it important?
“PSA stands for Prostate Specific Antigen. It’s actually a very simple blood test,” says Dr. Gonzalgo. “It can be used as an early detection tool to identify or diagnose prostate cancer.”
Sylvester, an NCI-designated cancer center, offers individualized treatment plans based on the patient’s tumor type. “From active surveillance, which is careful monitoring of disease, to surgery, to radiation treatment,” Dr. Gonzalgo says.
By using the latest techniques, side effects such as problems with urinary and sexual function are greatly reduced. “Men can recover these functions very quickly after surgery,” says Dr. Gonzalgo.
Glenn underwent a robotic prostatectomy, a minimally invasive procedure, to remove the prostate. His wife is a cancer survivor, and now he too is cancer-free.
“It’s something I don’t have to worry about anymore,” says Glenn.