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Robert Maley - Patient Story

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"I immediately liked Dr. Chen. He was very patient and polite."

— Robert Maley, Prostate Patient

Physically fit and realizing the importance of annual physicals, Robert Maley included prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screenings in his annual check-up, which can indicate an increased risk of prostate cancer. When his PSA scores continued to rise, he consulted a local urologist near his home in Wilkes-Bare, PA. A biopsy was performed in 2003 and it proved evidence of prostate cancer. There was also a family history of prostate cancer, so he took swift action.

Following the biopsy, Bob's local radiation oncologist treated his cancer with brachytherapy, which is inserting permanent radioactive implants directly into the prostate gland. Following that procedure, Bob's PSA score dropped significantly as expected. He continued his quarterly blood screenings for prostate cancer.

However, in 2012, Bob's PSA levels started rising again, suggesting he had a recurrence of prostate cancer, so his local urologist ordered a complete battery of diagnostic tests, including a CAT scan, MRI, bone scan and additional blood work. “I did not have a biopsy at that time. The only course of action that was recommended by that doctor was hormone therapy. I wasn’t happy with that option,” he recalls.

Bob consulted with his primary doctor for another opinion. “She told me that I needed to go to Philadelphia for more sophisticated treatment,” Bob recalls. Bob was referred to three doctors at a large university hospital in Philadelphia. “One of the doctors told me I was not a candidate for more radiation and I was also not a candidate for the removal of my prostate. It seems like my options were few and far between," shares Bob, who heard that doctors at Fox Chase Cancer Center were doing cutting-edge procedures. "I called Fox Chase and was given an appointment within a day or two.”

Bob was referred to David Y.T. Chen, MD, FACS, a urologic surgical oncologist at Fox Chase. "I immediately liked Dr. Chen. He was very patient and polite. He explained the options to me in language that I understood," adds Bob.

"I shared my concerns with Dr. Chen and explained that I was nervous about collateral damage to other organs during a surgical procedure," admits Bob. “Dr. Chen said to me. ‘It’s my job to make sure that doesn’t happen.’ Hearing that from Dr. Chen made me feel very confident in his ability. I knew he was the doctor who would perform my surgery.”

Dr. Chen performed cryosurgery to treat Bob’s prostate cancer. This innovative treatment freezes the prostate to contain the cancer. “It was an outpatient procedure and I was released the same day,” says Bob. For the next three weeks following the procedure, Bob rested and eased his way back to work. He is self-employed and owns a beer distributor. He is feeling well again and says he enjoys visiting his daughter and her family in Pittsburgh. He has one granddaughter who turned three in 2015.

Living two hours from Fox Chase was never an issue, he says. “People owe it to themselves to go to the best hospital they can go to,” says Bob. “The care I received from Fox Chase and Dr. Chen saved my life. I urge anyone reading this to get a second opinion at Fox Chase. They are doing things that other hospitals are not doing. I am grateful to Dr. Chen and that’s why I am telling my story.”

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