September 23, 2020

Launching life 2.0 after prostate cancer

After an unexpected diagnosis, Bill Walsh was able to reboot his life with the help of a caring physician.

Bill Walsh was recently retired and looking forward to traveling with his wife when his physician gave him some surprising news: A blood test at his annual checkup showed elevated levels of prostate specific antigen — a sign of prostate cancer.

“I thought he was overreacting,” said the Kaiser Permanente member. “I had no symptoms, and I never had any problems with the plumbing.”

Walsh’s skepticism vanished when his biopsy came back positive for prostate cancer, the number one cancer in men.

“I had no symptoms, and I never had any problems with the plumbing.”

He sat down with his wife and his urologist, Benjamin Katz, MD, for an in-depth discussion of treatment options, including watchful waiting, radiation therapy, and traditional or robotic-assisted surgery to remove the prostate gland and surrounding tissue.

After weighing the pros and cons, Walsh decided on robotic surgery. Benefits of this minimally invasive approach (performed through several small incisions instead of one large one) include reduced blood loss and quicker recovery.

“Bill did very well,” said Dr. Katz. “His surgical margins were negative,” with no cancer found at the edge of the removed tissue. “He has a terrific prognosis.”

Walsh and his wife are thrilled with the care he received.

“Dr. Katz did an outstanding job, and we will be forever grateful for his skills, personality, and caring,” Walsh wrote in an online review. “We will be with Kaiser for the rest of our lives.”