According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men and about one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.
Robert Francek was the one in nine. The 77-year-old Illinois resident was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April 2015.
At one of Francek’s regular biannual blood draws, his primary care physician noticed his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels were higher than usual. Most doctors considered PSA levels of 4.0 ng/mL and lower as normal. Robert’s PSA level was 10.7 ng/mL.
“When the results of my PSA came back, my doctor suggested that I visit an urologist and have a prostate biopsy to find out what was going on,” said Francek.
Francek found an urologist that was available, but he was not too happy with the distance he had to travel for his appointment. He was less happy when the physician recommended that he have treatments every day for 40 days. Not wanting to drive back and forth for 40 days, Francek decided to see if other options were available to treat his prostate cancer.
While talking to a friend one day that had previous prostate issues, Francek learned about CyberKnife.
“I happened to be talking with a friend of mine who I thought I had heard had prostate problems and he suggested CyberKnife to me because that is what he had taken,” Francek said. “He went through CyberKnife and said that it worked really well for him and he was satisfied with it. Plus, he told me it was only five treatment sessions.”
Francek contacted the cancer center at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital and after reading his PSA, they told him he would be a good candidate for CyberKnife treatment. With CyberKnife treatments being close to home, and only five treatment sessions, Robert decided to move forward with CyberKnife for treatment of his prostate cancer.
Robert received his treatments at the CyberKnife Center of Chicago. When asked about his treatment sessions, he said, “They were painless and pretty easy and quick, only lasting about 45 minutes to an hour.” According to Robert, “The only difficult part was lying perfectly still. Twenty minutes doesn’t seem long, but it is when you are trying to be still and not move.”
In addition to his CyberKnife treatments being rather easy, Francek noted that his radiation oncologist, Dr. Neil Das Gupta, and the entire staff at CyberKnife Center of Chicago were pleasant and easy to work with.
After treatments, Francek said he felt fine and that the treatments didn’t interfere with his life or his normal daily routine.
Francek completed his last CyberKnife treatment on September 16, 2015, and since that time, he has continued to watch his PSA levels drop.
“Dr. Das Gupta instructed me to come back every three months to have my PSA checked,” he explained. “Before CyberKnife, my PSA levels were at 10.7. At my first appointment on December 7, they had gone down to a 2.9. At my March 2 appointment, they had dropped again to 1.4, and at my most recent appointment on June 10, they were .06. I couldn’t believe the numbers. I asked Dr. Das Gupta if it was really my PSA or somebody else’s.”
“I am very happy with the decision I made to go with CyberKnife,” Francek said. “I would definitely recommend it to anyone searching for treatment options for prostate cancer.”