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Associate Professor, Department of Surgical Oncology
Robotic surgery and adrenal carcinoma
Coming from a large family, I believe in an approach to cancer care that involves the individual and the family. Personally, I treat my patients the way I would want my family treated—with honesty, compassion and skill.
Joining Fox Chase Cancer Center is the realization of a personal lifelong goal. The Center brings together the perspectives of innovative physicians and researchers to deliver revolutionary and cutting-edge treatment options to everyone. This tradition fits with my longtime dedication to provide patients with the best medical and surgical care.
I came to Fox Chase from City of Hope National Medical Center where I completed my fellowship in a leading robotic oncology program. Having had experience with more than 1,500 robotic prostatectomies, partial nephrectomy, cystectomy and neobladder, indiana pouch and ileal conduit diversions, I have treated patients with various urologic malignancies. I did this through the use of robotics and minimally invasive surgery, as well as open surgery, when appropriate. At Fox Chase, my goal is to continue offering excellent care and leading edge technology, ultimately to benefit the individual outcome and overall quality of life of my patients.
With today's advancing technology, it is critical for me, as a surgeon, to keep current with the expanding base of knowledge and make contributions that translate into reducing the burden of cancer. This starts with the individual and then applies to populations. This knowledge will be invaluable throughout my career as I care for my patients, make decisions, assume leadership responsibilities and respond to complex situations.
Follow on Twitter: @FCUroOnc
My journey with kidney cancer actually started when I fell in my driveway and injured my eye. I had to go to the hospital for treatment, and they gave me anesthesia before stitching up the eye. After they sent me home, I had trouble urinating.
The doctors said it was probably a side effect of the anesthesia. But a couple of days later, when I had to go back to the hospital for a follow-up procedure, it hadn’t gotten better. By then, my bladder was so full I felt like I would explode.
Now that I’m 74 and retired, I spend most of my time outside or in the garage. Since my service in the Navy, where I worked as a ship fitter, taking care of the plumbing and mechanical issues, I’ve always been fascinated with machines and how they work. So for me, as crazy as it seems to my wife, working outside, tinkering with machines, and splitting wood, isn’t hard work – it’s my playtime.
When Jack Pressman was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009, his urologist recommended he be treated at Fox Chase Cancer Center. At preadmission testing, Fox Chase pathologists detected a small lesion on his kidney. Dr. Rosalia Viterbo, who was treating Jack, recommended a prostatectomy and then a partial nephrectomy to remove the tumor and a portion of his kidney, once he recovered from the first surgery. Both procedures, which used the robotic approach, were a success. "All of the people at Fox Chase are terrific," he said. "I have been to my share of hospitals over the years, but I have never met so many nice people as I met at Fox Chase. They don’t keep you waiting, and it is easy to tell that they really care about their patients."
When Mike Phillips was diagnosed with kidney cancer, he sought treatment at Fox Chase Cancer Center, where he underwent a partial nephrectomy. Unfortunately, the cancer returned six years later, in 2011, and this time both kidneys were affected. During this time, Mike was also having other health complications, including prostate cancer and a left hemispheric stroke that had no residual effects. In 2015, he received a kidney transplant and has been doing well since. "Now, fully recovered, I continue to do part-time business consulting, given my 45 years of business experience, 30 years in the world of franchising, and 15 in senior care/housing," Mike said, adding, "I hope to start volunteering soon at Fox Chase to provide phone counseling for patients who are dealing with cancer. My advice to others is to be the boss; it is your body, and you must be the captain of your ship."
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
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