CINCINNATI - Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting men after skin cancer. More than 240,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year alone, including more than 8,500 in Ohio. But there's a breakthrough surgery being performed here in the Tri-State that is dramatically improving recovery time.
When Charlie Andrews, a 55-year-old teacher and coach in Mason, found out he had prostate cancer, he thought they had the wrong guy.
"I thought 'you must be looking at someone else's file,' because it doesn't run in our family," said Andrews.
He, like most newly diagnosed, immediately started searching for information on treatments and surgeries. He heard about Doctor Nilesh Patil's robotically assisted surgery using the catheter-less approach through a friend.
Dr. Patil at the UC Cancer Institute is one of only two doctors in the country offering the prostatectomy. It's a no-catheter technique that spares the patient of the pain involved with a catheter.
"It's currently, surgically, the most precise technique of taking out a prostate if you are diagnosed with prostate cancer," said Dr. Patil. "People who are having the catherterless prostatectomy actually had less pain required and they are able to get back to the activities much quicker."
If Andrews had a traditional prostate cancer surgery, he would have had a catheter for seven to 10 days.
"Running the catheter directly from the bladder, I didn't have any bladder control problems, and that was my biggest worry," said Andrews.
Studies show that 80 percent of patients are bothered by a catheter after surgery.
"Seeing what happens with some men versus my recovery, I was thanking the good Lord everyday," said Andrews.
Andrews underwent the robot-assisted catheter-less prostatectomy in June. He remains cancer free and says everything is back to normal in his life.
The UC Health Barrett Center's mobile prostate cancer screening program is having a free prostate cancer screening event on Sept. 15. No appointments are required and tests are given first come, first served. The event will run from noon until 3 p.m. at Jordan's Crossing, located at Allen Temple Senior Center, 7030 Reading Road.