Blog post

October 10, 2019

Blog: John Colwell HIFU Testimonial

John Colwell photoI first met James Cochran, MD, in August of 1986 when our Internist, Lyle Kaliser, MD, referred me to Dr. Cochran for a minor surgical procedure.  I was immediately impressed with his friendly, down-to-earth and honest “bedside manner,” and I found that he was a knowledgeable and highly competent physician who not only cared about his patients but also truly loved his work. After this procedure was performed and I had a follow-up exam, I did not see Dr. Cochran again for thirty years.

    In March of 2016, during a regular physical examination, my Internist, Dr. Kaliser, noticed a change and increase in my PSA level (3.7 as opposed to the 2.6 from two months earlier).  He ordered another PSA done in May of the same year and the level had risen to 4.4.  Although during a physical examination of the prostate Dr. Kaliser could not feel anything unusual other than enlargement, he recommended I consult a urologist.  I reminded Dr. Kaliser of my good experience with Dr. Cochran in years past and Dr. Kaliser advised that Dr. Cochran would be an ideal choice for the consultation, and, in fact, Dr. Cochran’s office was still in the same location as it had been when I first saw him thirty years earlier.

    I went to see Dr. Cochran in June, renewed our earlier acquaintance and began the discovery process.  Dr. Cochran ordered another PSA test to establish a reference baseline and this test reflected a level of 5.7.  Dr. Cochran also performed a physical examination of the prostate and, like Dr. Kaliser, could feel nothing unusual.  However, being the thorough physician he is, Dr. Cochran ordered an MRI to be safe rather than sorry.  The MRI returned as “inconclusive,” so Dr. Cochran ordered a full biopsy of the prostate.  This was done in his office.  I was to return the following week for a follow-up.

I returned the following week, this time accompanied by my wife, to see Dr. Cochran and find out the results of the biopsy.  Dr. Cochran stated matter-of-factly, “I have somewhat bad news for you…you have cancer of the prostate.”  When one hears something like that, his mind goes in many different directions at once, not the least of which includes dread and panic.  But here, in front of me, sat an extremely confidant and enormously gifted physician whom I had come to trust and admire who then stated just as matter-of-factly, “But the good news is…I can cure you.”  From that moment on, both my wife (who had battled and won against breast cancer thirty years earlier) and I knew that we were in not only good hands but the right hands!

    The conversation then moved to a discussion with Dr. Cochran concerning treatment options.  Dr. Cochran named the options that were currently available to patients suffering with prostate cancer: Surgery, Radiation, Cryogenics, and HIFU, and then proceeded to describe thoroughly all the aspects, including side effects of each of the treatment options, percentage of recidivism for each and money considerations that might be involved.  He allowed us to ask questions concerning the treatment options and gave us printed information to study.  He then told us to discuss the options and decide on the treatment that we felt would best suit our needs and return in a week and inform him of our decision.

    After all the consultation with Dr. Cochran, reading the printed materials, talking with acquaintances who had the disease and their subsequent treatment and some online research, our decision seemed clear. We, with no hesitation, chose HIFU. The apparent absence of major side effects, the ease, and non-invasiveness of the procedure and the short recovery time also played a large part in our decision. Couple these considerations with the fact that Dr. Cochran was one of the primary physicians engaged in the development of the procedure for the University of Indiana Medical School and the necessary machinery was available on the campus of Texas Health Presbyterian, Dallas, we felt we had a clear winner.  We were absolutely correct!

The day of the procedure started when we walked into the hospital at 5:30 a.m. and ended when I left the hospital at 5:30 p.m. that same day.  Dr. Cochran’s quiet but confident demeanor and his reassuring bedside manner throughout the procedure was of great comfort to both my wife and me.  Dr. James Cochran is a man of Faith and unswerving dedication to his profession and his patients.

    Since my procedure, my recovery has been rapid and free of any major setbacks or distress.  I was able to return to my regular schedule of work and vigorous exercise within a very short period of time.  Follow-up exams have been unremarkable with PSA levels showing “Undetectable” and physical examination of the prostate showing “Normal.”  I would unequivocally recommend HIFU to anyone who is in need of revolutionary medical technology to fight their battle with their nemesis of prostate cancer.

Tags: HIFU, Patient Perspective, Prostate Cancer Treatment Options, and Quality of life


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