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I joined the staff at Fox Chase Cancer Center in 1983 as the first dedicated urologist. This gave me the opportunity to build a strong urology program—one that provides expert surgical care for patients with urologic cancers and their related medical issues. After all this time, the best part of my job is the smiles and gratitude I get from patients and family because of the effort put forth on their behalf, regardless of the eventual outcome.
During my training, I chose the field of urology because it offers a surgical subspecialty that encompasses many physiologic problems that require long-term 'medical' as well as surgical options. I have the opportunity for long-term follow-up of patients, rather than simply performing an operation and then sending them to another doctor for long-term care. Also, the immediate relief sometimes offered to patients feeds my own need for more immediate gratification with patient care and outcome than other areas of medicine.
I look at the whole patient and try to understand their needs within the realm of their family and their specific stage of cancer. I then try to choose the best long-term approach for every patient. I believe that our multispecialty approach to cancer benefits patients. For example, we encourage our prostate cancer patients to consider all types of treatment available to them at Fox Chase, as well as outside of the institution, prior to a final decision.
As a full-time physician at Fox Chase, I have no financial pressure to suggest surgery over a non-surgical option. Rather, I offer the best treatment plan individually tailored to the needs of the patient. I also stress quality as well as quantity of life issues. I am not afraid to tell a patient that surgery is not indicated if it is not in their best interest--even if they had decided that was how they wanted to be treated prior to our consultation. Learning whom to operate on and how to operate, but also whom not to operate on is a skill learned over many years.
I have been a urologist for three decades and have seen advances in technology that are too numerous to mention--but all have helped surgeons improve outcomes. Improvements in managing infections with new antibiotics have changed the face of modern urology. Improvements in both early diagnosis and treatment of almost all of the tumors urologists treat are apparent and constantly moving toward to the goal of cure without toxicity (or side effects).
An excellent example of technological advances is the DaVinci-S surgical robot which allows me to perform laparoscopic anatomical nerve sparing prostatectomies in appropriate patients. Learning this technical skill has been a worthwhile endeavor as it has improved the quality of care I can deliver to those patients with early stage prostate cancer.
I am 78 years old and have owned horses for 68 of those years. I am a cowboy through and through. My father gave me my first pony when I was just five years old and my first horse when I was 10. I have had hundreds of horses since.
I’m 66 years old and a resident of Princeton, New Jersey. I’m retired now, but I worked on Wall Street for 43 years and have been looking forward to spending my retirement doing things I love like playing golf, running, and giving back to the community.
The biopsy came back positive even though all my prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests were normal at the time. The doctor suggested I get checked in about a year, but I wanted something done sooner and decided to get a second opinion.
Louis Della Penna made an appointment at Fox Chase Cancer Center in 1994 because he was concerned about a chronic sore throat. It was the best decision he made since he learned shortly after that he had kidney cancer. Louis underwent surgery to remove the cancer from his kidney and surrounding tissue. Today he is cancer free and supports programs at Fox Chase, including two endowments he and his wife funded. "My feelings for Fox Chase are very strong," he said. "If you want to support something wonderful, there is no better place to give, no matter what your contribution. I am cancer free today, and I continue to return to Fox Chase for follow-up visits. It’s an amazing story."
Correa AF, Handorf E, Joshi SS, Geynisman DM, Kutikov A, Chen DY, Uzzo RG, Viterbo R, Greenberg RE, Smaldone MC. Differences in Survival Associated with Performance of Lymph Node Dissection in Patients with Invasive Penile Cancer: Results from the National Cancer Database. J Urol, 199(5):1238-44, 2018. PubMed
Hahn NM, Bivalacqua TJ, Ross AE, Netto GJ, Baras AS, Park JC, Chapman C, Masterson TA, Koch MO, Bihrle R, Foster RS, Gardner TA, Cheng L, Jones DR, McElyea K, Sandusky GE, Breen T, Liu Z, Albany C, Moore ML, Loman RA, Reed A, Turner SA, de Abreu FB, Gallagher TL, Tsongalis GJ, Plimack ER, Greenberg RE, Geynisman DM. A PHASE II TRIAL OF DOVITINIB IN BCG-UNRESPONSIVE UROTHELIAL CARCINOMA WITH FGFR3 MUTATIONS OR OVER-EXPRESSION: HOOSIER CANCER RESEARCH NETWORK TRIAL HCRN 12-157. Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, 2016 PubMed
Johnson ME, Zaorsky NG, Martin JM, Ruth K, Greenberg RE, Uzzo RG, Hayes SB, Smaldone MC, Kutikov A, Viterbo R, Chen DY, Hallman MA, Sobczak ML, Horwitz EM. Patient reported outcomes among treatment modalities for prostate cancer. The Canadian journal of urology, 23(6):8535-45, 2016. PubMed
Jung K, Ghatalia P, Litwin S, Horwitz EM, Uzzo RG, Greenberg RE, Viterbo R, Geynisman DM, Kutikov A, Plimack ER, Smaldone MC, Wong YN, Bilusic M. Small-Cell Carcinoma of the Bladder: 20-Year Single-Institution Retrospective Review. Clinical genitourinary cancer, 2016. PubMed
Surgical Apgar Score predicts an increased risk of major complications and death after renal mass excision.Ito T, Abbosh PH, Mehrazin R, Tomaszewski JJ, Li T, et al.The Journal of urology. 2015; 193(6):1918-22. PubMed
Is extended pharmacologic venous thromboembolism prophylaxis uniformly safe after radical cystectomy? Mehrazin R, Piotrowski Z, Egleston B, Parker D, Tomaszweski JJ, et al.Urology. 2014; 84(5):1152-6. PubMed
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