It was a typical visit to the doctor, when Harry Mills' general practitioner informed him that his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels had started to register. PSA is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. The PSA test measures the level of a patient’s PSA in the blood.
Even though Harry had no symptoms, his physician decided to refer him to a urologist for further testing.
"And she said I want to refer you to a urologist. And my first two words to her were Cleveland Clinic. I know they're one of the top hospital in the country, particularly for urology and that’s why I came," says Harry.
Harry's urologist at Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Amr Fergany, recommended they begin active surveillance of his PSA levels and after a biopsy they discovered a small amount of slow growing cancer.
"I had total confidence. I never got worried, I was excited as you can imagine from time to time, it's not every day you go to have major surgery."
For four years, Harry began to make the four hour trip to Cleveland Clinic for continual biopsies, until doctors determined that there were concerning signs of growth and that Harry ultimately needed to consider removing the prostate.
"I had total confidence. I never got worried, I was excited as you can imagine from time to time, it's not every day you go to have major surgery," Harry says.
Dr. Fergany scheduled Harry for a laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP), a new minimally invasive operation for prostate cancer, in order to remove the prostate.
"And nothing ever hurt; I had no pain, zero pain. When I went home I was given a few pain pills, I took a couple just to make sure that I wouldn’t have any, but I never did. So my recovery’s been great," Harry says.
Harry mentions that it was a simple decision to make the four-hour trip for the outstanding care he received at Cleveland Clinic’s facilities.
"Everyone does care, that word means something here. The staff cares, the surgeons care. I've just had wonderful treatment, and it's very personal for me. I like the people here, they know what they're doing and they saved my life. Patients come first, it's as simple as that," states Harry.
Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute,
Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center