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In-Depth Prostate Cancer Treatment Testimonial for High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)

 

Diagnosis: Prostate Cancer
Treatment: High Intensity Focused Ultrasound

Thank you very much for coming to talk to me today about Prostate Cancer and about your treatment. Can you tell me a little bit about how you got diagnosed? And then about how you decided for treatment?

“Well, I had run regular checkups with my doctor, my primary care, and my PSA was starting to show elevations. And that was changing, so that triggered a follow up. And when the follow up came the PSA was elevated, and it was considered that I might have to do prostate surgery or treatment for prostate. So I decided to look into it.

I knew that there were some concerning operations. Some of the procedures out there were really concerning to me. I did a lot of research. This could be a long discussion, because it took me a while. The short version is that I ultimately decided to go with your services, the service High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, as an alternative to surgical procedures or radiology that was proposed. And I did speak with radiologists and I did speak with surgeons. Neither of them could guarantee me that there was going to be a minimal amount of impact on my sexual organs and my sensation in that area, which to me as an adult male were important considerations. The radiology procedure was going to be at least 8 weeks – 5 treatments a week for 8 weeks – and that was an extraordinarily time consuming and intrusive process with a lot of side effects. Surgical procedures were outlined and those were going to have side effects, including the possibility, the likelihood, because the doctors are very candid about this, that they were going to cut one of the key nerves because they’re going in there and they’re cutting out the prostate. And inevitably, some of those nerves in that area are cut and that was going to affect sensation and other kinds of experiences that as an adult male you are accustomed to having. I was genuinely concerned about all of that.

So I did my homework. And after reading a number of articles and looking for a practitioner in the area, your name was prominent among them. There were a lot of high recommendations, a lot of commentary about the quality of your services, and I contacted you and asked you to do the follow up. So you ran blood tests, got a high PSA rating. Then we did the procedure where you go in and take some samples to look at the tissue, and that tissue showed that there were indications of cancer in the prostate. So right down the line, every step of the procedure, without enumerating every single step, I have written them all out here, and I thought that was useful. A friend of my brother’s had asked me about the procedure, because I had gone through it, and my brother’s friend said that he had a likelihood of prostate cancer, and I had enumerated it every step of the way. The point of it being, you guys are very attentive, professional, and responsive. Which I found a welcome change from a lot of the experiences I had had. You have a Patient Portal, where all the information is made available that I can look up immediately online. You have given me your cell phone number and if I needed to, which I did in a couple of occasions, I reached out to you and you responded. Other physicians don’t return calls, that’s my experience. 

So I was struck. And this is at a time of great personal upset and challenge, to see that you were so supportive. Your staff is very friendly and supportive, and that meant a great deal. As things proceeded, and there’s a succession of treatments that have to be done. One the test, to determine where the cancer cells are, and then the TURP, the Transurethral Recession of the Prostate, was recommended and was done, and then after that the recovery period, and then the HIFU, the High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, was done. In between that, there was a period of recovery where I needed to have a catheter, and I had a little difficulty with that. During that, your staff was very helpful with the catheter, it’s not something I had had before. But I liked how everyone was so responsive, made themselves available. 

And at the end of it all, I wanted to conclude by saying that the procedure was successful. My PSA levels are at 0.86 – previously it was at 9. So it looks like the whole thing has been very successful. My sexual function has not been affected, my sensation and my passing of urine is going normally. Very relieved about all of that. So I feel like the whole experience has been very successful. And I’m deeply appreciative of the service you guys have given me. So that’s the short version.”

Thank you very much. That was very meaningful, and I’m sure that people who are watching this video are going to find your words very, very helpful. 

“Yes, I think someone who has actually gone through the process speaking from their experiences will be very helpful. And I can highly recommend for those of you watching, I can highly recommend Dr. Gluck and his staff, they’re attentive and professional and highly competent. Very impressive. Thank you very much, Dr. Gluck.”

Below, after the video of the above testimonial, please find a detailed list of all services and treatments Dr. Gluck performed for this patient. Additionally, you may download a copy of the document here: Complete List of Prostate Cancer Treatments

Email sent May 29, 2020

Dear Dr. Gluck, and excellent team: Jean; Lynn; Sue; Ashley

I want to thank you for all your kindness and support through an often emotionally charged series of challenges and treatments. Thank you. It means so much to have the kind of highly professional staff attending to me. I apologize if I seemed (or was) needy from time to time. Dr. Gluck, your expertise and skill are exemplary. I really appreciate your on-call availability, thoughtfulness and technical savvy. I feel – and even choke up a bit as I write the – that I have turned a corner on a very dim stretch of road. I have energy, greater appreciate, optimism that weren’t in abundance half a year ago. You have all been so attentive and kind. You have touched me and healed me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

Dr. Gluck, I have cut and pasted the original email text sent to an interested person. Out of respect to his privacy, I have not included his reply. Here is what I wrote him prior to a follow up phone call – where we chatted a bit more detail about nuances, tips and shared impressions.

– – – text of letter – – –

Dr. Gluck is excellent, highly experience and regarded, attentive, supportive, and encouraging in his work. I fully expect this to be your experience as well.

As my brother informed his friend of my experience and how highly I thought of your clinic and the procedure I have gone through, I detailed it in the following phases. 

1. Blood panel for PSA screening: the lab IDs if levels exceed normal range. Dr. makes determination to get additional tests if warranted
2. Biopsy and lab findings
3. Consult with Dr. Gluck over findings, what this means, what are your best options, etc. Very informative, articles and links with more detail provided

a. I was encouraged to investigate all methods of treatment, which I did…and found Dr. Gluck’s candor and support, and an absence of any prodding to use this process, to be a key difference. 

4. I met with many practitioners from all the other major treatment methodologies; surgery, radiology, etc…I concluded that HIFU was best for me.
5. [if warranted] a CT scan with contrast (to help identify whether surrounding tissue shows increased cellular activity beyond the Prostate – a marker of possible cancer activity)
6. [if warranted] an MRI for bone density? (unsure here)
7. Trans Urethral Recession of Prostate (TURP)

a. Insertion of catheter, provided with guidance on use of, drainage, etc.
b. Rx antibiotic [if warranted] to prevent infection; also bladder Rx
c. Post procedure recovery period

8. This is typically a 4-6 wk healing period, very important and recommend, prior to HIFU procedure
9. High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)

a. Installation of Super-pubic tube; or catheter – varies

10. Post-procedure recovery period
11. Removal of Super-pubic tube (1-2 weeks after HIFU, depending)
12. Recovery period, adjustments and consultation w Dr. Gluck and staff throughout

a. (In my case, I developed a urinary tract infection, manifested as need to go, and go often.
b. When reported to Dr. Gluck he ordered a urine sample.
c. Result: I had a UTI…I was informed that some can develop a UTI; the body is a process of healing. Dr. Gluck prescribed an anti bacterial; then it cleared up.

13. Return to normal functioning; much more normal frequency, much more typical sense of when I need to go
14. A scheduled follow up blood panel is drawn about 2-4 weeks to check PSA levels and any other factors Dr. wishes to monitor [in my case, low testosterone]
15. Consult w Dr. Gluck on findings from blood draw.

[note: the next line I just added tonight….I didn’t know the results when I wrote my email]

16. Great news! PSA .86 – down from a high of 9 or so. With Rx, testosterone levels excellent. Will do a follow up consult in 3 months. 

I hope this gives you a sense of the blow-by-blow progression. Of course, each person’s experience varies depending on their circumstances and conditions. Feel free to call if you’d like to discuss. 

You are in very good hands. Best regards.