Arkady Shteyman - Patient Story
"I knew Dr. Kutikov would take great care of me."
— Arkady Shteyman, Kidney Patient
Kidney cancer is something Arkady Shteyman has lived with since 1968. That's the year, when Arkady was 19, that his father died of the disease at the young age of 44.
"Because I have that history, I get regular ultrasounds," said the electronic technician, who immigrated to the Philadelphia region from the Ukraine in the former Soviet Union in 1990.
In June 2010, at the age of 61, his regular check up revealed a mass on his left kidney. A CAT scan confirmed the diagnosis. "My doctor suggested Fox Chase Cancer Center, but I was already thinking I should go there. Fox Chase is a very famous name in cancer treatment."
Arkady consulted with Alexander Kutikov, MD, an oncologic surgeon who performs traditional open, laparoscopic, and robotic kidney surgery at Fox Chase. "Dr. Kutikov is very professional. He explained everything to me and can even converse in my native language," shared Arkady. "From the moment I met him that first day, I knew Dr. Kutikov would take great care of me."
Dr. Kutikov explained that there were 2 kinds of surgery, a partial nephrectomy (removal of the cancerous part of the kidney) and a full nephrectomy (removal of the entire kidney). "He said he was going to try to save as much of my kidney as possible."
Dr. Kutikov further explained, "Studies have shown that preservation of healthy kidney tissue for patients with kidney cancer not only lowers risks of chronic kidney disease, but also diminishes chances of developing heart disease down the road. Most importantly, patients who undergo so called nephron-sparing surgery have been shown to exhibit longer life expectancy than those patients whose entire kidney is removed."
"Because of my family history, knowing that I could possibly develop cancer in the other kidney, I wanted to salvage this one if at all possible."
Which is exactly what Dr. Kutikov did in September 2010. Arkady spent less than a week in the hospital and recovered at home for the next 6 weeks. "At work, I am required to lift heavy items, so I really needed to fully recover before returning to my job."
If you ask him, Arkady is thrilled with his results. "Everyone at Fox Chase was extremely helpful. I thought Dr. Kutikov was very humane, professional and thoughtful."
Arkady especially appreciated the care and concern showed to him by Dr. Kutikov's office nurse Lisa Hicks and in the hospital, by his nurses - Fran Egan, Susan Camp and Teri Ann Webb. "The nursing staff at Fox Chase is very caring. Because of what happened to my dad, I was scared," he admitted. He was relieved to learn the cancer was confined to his kidney, so further treatment with chemotherapy or radiation therapy is not recommended. "Other than getting regular check ups with Dr. Kutikov, I can go back to everything I did before. I am very grateful."