Larry Yeglin isn’t afraid to share the story of his cancer journey. “I’ve found many men are reluctant to talk about prostate cancer. Luckily for me, a good friend of mine mentored me through the process. Now I hope to do the same for others,” says Yeglin.
It was 2015 when blood work revealed elevated levels of prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, an indicator of potential prostate cancer. A biopsy confirmed the diagnosis, and Yeglin met with Andrew Selzman, MD, a urologist with Memorial Hermann Medical Group Memorial City Urology. He remembers facing an important choice.
“My wife and I sat down with Dr. Selzman, who went over all the options. I could undergo radiation or I could have my prostate removed. I did some research; I talked with others I knew had prostate cancer. My neighbor said to me, ‘Larry, you don’t want to worry about this later. You want it out; you want it to be over.’ That helped me decide to move forward with the surgery,” remembers Yeglin.
A Robotic Prostatectomy Offers Many Advantages
Yeglin underwent a robotic prostatectomy, a minimally invasive procedure that allows a surgeon to remove the prostate using a smaller incision and often leads to a quicker recovery time.
“Previously, a prostatectomy was an open or laparoscopic surgery. Now, the majority of my procedures utilize the robotic surgical system. The robot can move in ways your hand and wrist cannot. It allows surgeons to make more precise, smaller incisions, which usually leads to less blood loss and helps protect the delicate nerves in that area,” explains Dr. Selzman.
Yeglin says his recovery was an easy one.
“I really didn’t have any issues; I just stayed home and rested. I actually had several other surgeries that year, one on my knee and one on my back, and both were more difficult to recover from than the prostatectomy,” says Yeglin.
Now, Yeglin speaks with other men facing the same diagnosis.
“If I could offer any advice, it would be: don’t delay. Make sure to get your annual PSA test and talk to your doctors. I think men have this fear of the PSA results, but the good thing about prostate cancer is if it’s detected early, it can easily be treated. If it metastasizes and spreads to other areas of your body, that’s not okay,” says Yeglin.
Dr. Selzman supports that advice.
“There are a variety of factors, including aging, which can cause a man’s PSA level to increase. That’s why it’s so important to have the screening every year, beginning around age 50. The more years of testing results available for review, the better we can recommend a course of action,” says Dr. Selzman.
Dr. Selzman says it’s also important to have an honest conversation with your physician about your lifestyle preferences when deciding on a course of treatment.
“Because prostate cancer is a slow moving cancer, we often have multiple options for treatment, including choosing to closely monitor the cancer. It’s important you talk with your doctor so that you can make an informed decision about what treatment option will help you maintain your type of lifestyle,” says Dr. Selzman.
Yeglin, now three years cancer-free, continues to be active, traveling with his wife, enjoying his family and encouraging men to get their annual prostate cancer screenings.
“I was fortunate that my doctors followed my results over the years and I got the best care. Anybody that even whispers about prostate cancer, I tell people to call me. I tell them the fear is worse than anything else, and to just get the treatment done,” he says.
Schedule your prostate cancer screening with a urologist affiliated with Memorial Hermann. Should you require treatment, it’s good to know that Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers offer a full range of prostate cancer screening and treatment options, including advanced multiparametric MRI, brachytherapy and robotic prostatectomy.