September 1, 2016
Patient Perspective: Steve Flatland
When you own your own business, you tend to run pretty hard. Add in building yourself a new home, and you really never stop. Enter: Steve Flatland. This 54-year-old California native is a professional land surveyor, which has him very physically active throughout the day.
When Mr. Flatland was diagnosed with prostate cancer in October 2015, he immediately sought a solution that would result in little-to-no downtime. He began going to cancer support groups where he eventually learned about Vituro Health Medical Director Dr. Stephen Scionti and the HIFU procedure.
We spoke with Mr. Flatland more than three months after his procedure to learn firsthand about his experience.
“When I received the diagnosis, I, of course, was shocked. My urologist in California immediately set me up with a surgical consult for a radical prostatectomy, which is standard procedure with my type of cancer. During this time, I began to go to a cancer support group. After learning that there were some side effects with the more invasive surgeries, I pulled back and did more research on which option would be the least invasive. I soon learned of Dr. Scionti and, after speaking to a few of his patients, I developed confidence in him and the HIFU procedure.
I decided to go to Dr. Scionti because he has performed more procedures than many other HIFU doctors. I was attracted to this procedure after my conversations with him, as he preserves a high rate of urinary continence and erectile function. I knew that if my tumor grew in the future I might have to do something more radical, so I wanted to start with the least invasive option and go from there. In April 2016 I traveled to Sarasota, Fla., for the procedure. Afterwards, I had no pain. I found the experience to be unremarkable – and that is a good thing with prostate cancer treatment because so many men have to deal with incontinence and other challenges when it comes to surgery.
The first couple of weeks after HIFU I experienced a little restriction when urinating, as well as some swelling, and a little blood in my urine. I contacted Dr. Scionti, who assured me that it was all within a normal range and that it takes time to fully heal. I no longer have blood in my urine and I have far better urination.
Prior to HIFU my PSA peaked at 8.4 and now my first post-HIFU PSA level is down to 2.2. To me, it is amazing to have no alteration to my life or lifestyle from the procedure. I now focus very little on prostate cancer other than the fact that I have a lot of men calling me from local prostate cancer groups who are interested in the procedure; I refer them to Dr. Scionti.
My message to others would be to educate yourself and take some time to get second and third opinions about what your time frame is and explore all treatment options. Do what is best for you and do not feel pressure from other people. I read the online message boards about different treatments such as cryotherapy and focal laser treatment. They showed effectiveness, but it was the HIFU patients who all reported having few side effects from the treatment, and those that did have them seemed to resolve quickly. There is nothing wrong with these other treatment options, I just could not find any statistics that said cryotherapy or focal laser ablation were better than HIFU or vice versa, so why not go with the least invasive and least painful?
I would recommend to anyone who qualifies for HIFU to get in contact with Dr. Scionti to learn more. He is the most accessible doctor I have ever worked with. His patients can call him on his cell phone any time of day and he is available. This, along with his experience with the HIFU procedure, gave me confidence that I chose the best doctor.”