Upon being diagnosed with prostate cancer, Mr. Kevin Burke immediately began his research on treatments and locations. In doing so, he prioritized cutting edge technology and a highly experienced surgeon. After listening to recommendations from family and friends, he ultimately selected Emory Urology, not because it was local, but because he felt it was the best possible location for his treatment. After exploring Emory Urology’s treatment offerings, Mr. Burke says he was “convinced that having treatment and/or surgery at Emory under Dr. Filson's care was my best course of action.”
Dr. Christopher Filson and Emily McDowell, PA discussed with Mr. Burke the variety of treatment options available at Emory for prostate cancer including active surveillance, radiation therapy, radioactive seed implants, and robotic prostatectomy. Ultimately based on his specific disease parameters and shared decision making between the patient and his medical team, the robotic prostatectomy was decided upon as his best option.
Within a month, I was back doing full workouts with no leakage...
“My highest priority was to limit the risk of spread subsequent to the surgery. I had several sports teammates and friends who had chosen radiation therapy and all had residual issues. Also, I heard stories of rising PSA's post-op following traditional nerve-sparing surgeries. Considering these anecdotes and with the memory of my late brother dying of metastatic prostate cancer at age 65 still fresh, we all agreed that robotic prostatectomy was the best option.” said Mr. Burke. “We discussed the expected aftermath including incontinence and impotence. Despite having full sexual function before the surgery, loss of sexual function was not a priority. Also, I had confidence that the incontinence would be short-lived, as I have been very active athletically throughout my life and would be diligent in doing the requisite post-op Kegel exercises.”
Mr. Burke underwent robotic radical prostatectomy at Emory St. Joseph’s Hospital. Recovery from surgery went according to standard recovery pathway, with one day in the hospital and the urinary catheter removed one week post-op. His urinary incontinence only lasted two weeks after catheter removal, which he credits to his exercise habits, healthy lifestyle choices and following recommended pelvic floor recovery recommendations. “Within a month, I was back doing full workouts with no leakage, including abdominal weights, and I returned to playing baseball in my baseball league.”
Reflecting on this patient’s experience, Dr. Filson said “Mr. Burke’s experience is emblematic of what we can offer patients at Emory Urology. We place an emphasis on shared decision making, which ensures that any treatment that is pursued aligns with a patient’s values and preferences, as well as what is required to cure their cancer. With the availability of multiple options to cure men with prostate cancer, and we have to ensure that men are aware of all of the upsides and downsides of each treatment. Our approach involves a multidisciplinary approach alongside our colleagues in radiation oncology, who offer other curative options with different benefits and downsides compared to surgery. Ultimately, I am grateful Mr. Burke got the treatment he desired to get cured and return to a peak quality of life.”
Overall, Mr. Burke describes his outcome as, “as good as it gets”, with no residual tumor and undetectable PSA now twenty months post-op. He characterizes his quality of life as high and is happy to do so without having to compromise an active lifestyle. “I owe much appreciation to Emily McDowell and I feel my outcome is due in greatest part to the incredible surgical skill, judgment, experience, and knowledge of Dr. Filson.”