I was 61 that spring 11 years ago and during an annual physical was told my PSA count had risen in one year from 2.6 to 3.8. My primary physician was concerned not so much about the 3.8 level ( 4.0 being acceptable), but rather the velocity with which the number had risen in a matter of only 12 months. You see he had just attended a seminar on Prostate Health in which Dr. Scott Kahn had given a lecture which included being concerned over sudden rises (velocity) in the PSA count. After considering which Urologist to see, I figured why not the Physician who had just given my Primary the “heads up”! When I first met Dr. Kahn, currently with Premier Medical Group, I was indeed comfortable and assured by his confidence that he was the doctor of choice to continue my journey in this matter. He had just arrived from the New York City area and I was convinced he had the background and experience that would work for me.
He recommended biopsies be taken and then proceed based on the results of those tests. I was quite apprehensive of the procedure involved and certainly not looking forward to it. Dr. Kahn, and my wife, were both very consoling and supportive during the procedure, making it as relaxed and acceptable as possible. Upon completion of this event, needless to say, I was anxious to hear the results. Dr. Kahn I’m sure appreciates this and in a matter of a few days I was scheduled for a follow up visit. Unfortunately the results came back as follows: 4 samples taken on each side – all 4 on one side were “clean” and 2 of 4 on the other showed cancer cells. My first reaction of course was one of denial; maybe the results were not mine. That is, got mixed up with someone else!! When the reality set in, my wife and I discussed options with Dr. Kahn. He was very empathetic and reassuring and upon discussing the options I was certain that I would opt for the radical prostatectomy. He had given me hope and I decided I would have the cancerous prostate removed. And by the way, my very supportive wife came to that conclusion before me.
There was never a question as to where the surgery would be performed and by whom. I was convinced that this was Dr. Kahn’s specialty and that he personally would be executing the operation from the time of “opening” to the time of “closing”. That was indeed comforting as I had been in conversation with associates who had the operation at large university facilities and had other than their expected surgeon perform the procedure. And in a few instances these friends had subsequent complications and needed to return to the hospital for corrective procedures. Also, I didn’t want my family needlessly concerned and burdened with the travel to NYC, Westchester or even Albany.
I MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE!
It was Dr. Scott Kahn, at St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie on May 4th, 2001, who performed the surgery. There are always concerns with this operation; incontinence and libido being among the most frightening. I am grateful to say that Dr. Kahn skillfully performed a nerve saving surgery that can only be described as successful. These concerns have not and are not a part of my life. I look forward each year to my visit with Dr. Kahn and thank him and God for my state of good health in this regard.
It is not easy to accept the prospect of prostate cancer. I hope that in sharing my journey those affected might seek some solace. Have hope, courage and pray for a decision that will be best for you.
Sincerely, Joe Benigno