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Ted Bobroski - Patient Story

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Ted Bobroski always took his health seriously and saw his doctor twice a year for check-ups rather than many people who make an annual trip. After losing his first wife and daughter to breast cancer, the disease was on his radar. In December 2013, when Ted was 64, his prostate-antigen specific (PSA) levels continued to rise from 1.0 to 2.8 to 3.3, as they had for the prior four years.  PSA levels indicate a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer.

“Although my PSA levels were still relatively low and my digital rectal exam (DRE) was normal, my doctor suggested I see a urologist,” Ted recalls. After reviewing the results of Ted’s biopsy, the urologist ordered a CAT Scan and bone scan. The results of these tests indicated that Ted did have prostate cancer that was progressing.

“To stay well-informed of my prognosis, I picked up several books about prostate cancer and treatments,” shares Ted, who spoke with friends and learned of others who had undergone successful treatment for the disease.  “I decided that surgery was the best approach to ridding my body of the cancer. I had learned that the prostate is in a difficult location to surgically remove and is surrounded by nerves and blood vessels. I also learned that the surgery must be performed flawlessly the first time to prevent recurrence. If the nerves are damaged, a patient could become permanently incontinent and/or impotent. I was determined to find the most competent and experienced surgeon and a highly regarded hospital."

Ted’s research led him to David Y.T. Chen, MD, FACS, a urologic surgeon Fox Chase Cancer Center. “I selected Dr. Chen because of the good words I had heard from others and what I had read about his extensive experience performing minimally invasive prostatectomy,” explains Ted. “Furthermore, Fox Chase concentrates all of its resources on research and treatment of cancer. In addition, I wanted swift action and Fox Chase could meet my needs.”

“I wanted to get rid of the cancer immediately if it was possible. I was pleasantly surprised to see Dr. Chen the very next day after requesting an appointment. He scheduled surgery three weeks later,” added Ted, who was one of the first patients to benefit from Fox Chase’s Rapid Access Program, offering patients a next business day appointment. “It helped considerably that my anxiety would be relieved in a short period of time.”

Before his first visit with Dr. Chen, Ted and his wife, Jeannie, prepared a list of several questions. “Dr. Chen answered all of our questions and explained the disease and treatment options in language that was easy to understand.  When we exhausted our list of questions, I was surprised to find that Dr. Chen was in no hurry to leave until we were sure we had all of the answers we needed.  Dr. Chen was friendly and very confident and this helped us to relax,” Ted says.

In March 2014, Dr. Chen successfully performed a robotic-assisted laparoscopic, radical prostatectomy. “The nurses at Fox Chase took good care of me and were very responsive to my needs. It just so happened that the day after my surgery was my birthday and a nurse drew a birthday greeting on the blackboard in my room. That was a nice touch,” he recalls.

The results from his surgery have been “wonderful.” The day after surgery, he said Dr. Chen reported the cancer had been contained to his prostate, which was good news.

Ted, a retired engineer, is grateful for the effective treatment that he received. “I’m in good health and enjoying my life. I have a wonderful wife and two terrific sons and daughter-in-laws. I also have seven, fun-loving, young grandchildren,” he says. “I enjoy playing golf. I also like to paint and started taking art classes when I retired.”

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