“Just one more test” reveals fast-growing cancer

March 12, 2024

Beginning in his early 50s, Stephen Tullman had routine PSA tests to check for prostate cancer. He also saw a urologist once a year for his BPH.

Years later, when he was 69, his annual PSA results jumped significantly. He knew the medication he was taking for BPH can sometimes lower your PSA and mask test results. Would his PSA have jumped even higher if he weren’t on medication for BPH?

His doctor took biopsies of Stephen’s prostate. He took 12 samples, all negative except for one. “The size and volume of what was found was not significant,” Stephen explains, “so the doctor referred me to Dr. Pankaj Kalra, a urologist with MidLantic Urology and a longtime friend of mine.”

After reviewing the biopsy results and doing an exam, Dr. Kalra was ready to recommend holding off on treatment and instead following up with more frequent PSA screenings.

But he decided to do one more test.

“He took some tissue from the biopsy that showed positive for cancer and ran another test that can predict the speed the cancer can grow. If the results tell you cancer could grow fast, you do one thing; if it indicates the cancer will grow slowly, you do a different treatment.”

His cancer was fast-growing.

Dr. Kalra presented Stephen with two treatment options: radiation or surgery. “Given my age and good health, I decided on surgery, a robotic prostatectomy. If I were older, I might have considered radiation.”

Referring to Dr. Kalra as “the Michelangelo of robotic surgery” for his proficiency, skills, and thoroughness, Stephen said he had no complications following the prostatectomy. “I knew I would need to wear a pad for up to nine months, but that was easy to cope with,” he says. Having worked for 50 years in healthcare running hospitals, Stephen says “I knew the lay of the land.”

Since surgery, all follow-up PSA tests, first done quarterly, then yearly, have shown zero PSA.

Schedule an appointment with a MidLantic Urology Physician near you today!

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