Recognizing Prostate Cancer

Michael Beesley, 75, immigrated to the United States from his native England nearly a decade ago. He settled in Boston where he and his wife began living their version of the American Dream.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Michael enjoys spending time outdoors tending to his yard.

“We totally uprooted our lives moving here from England,” Michael shares. “After living in Boston for a good while, we decided it was too busy and crowded, so we moved to a small town in New Hampshire. We are Florida snowbirds now. We shuttle back and forth between our home in Bonita Springs and New Hampshire. We love both places. It’s the best of both worlds, as we like to call it.”
In his retirement, Michael says he enjoys much of what the outdoors has to offer when he is in Florida, including long walks and fishing.
“I come to Florida in the winter months because I can still go outside and enjoy my days in the warm sunshine instead of looking at cloudy, grey skies.”
Michael says in recent years, a nagging issue began to hinder his ability to spend long hours outdoors and sleep uninterrupted at night.
“For the last several years, I’ve had the urge to urinate more frequently, especially at night,” Michael confirms. “It interfered with my day-to-day activities. I just dismissed it with getting older. After sharing my issues with a friend of mine who is close in age, I thought it may be a prostate issue worth looking into before something serious occurred.”
“After I continued to complain about my issues to my primary doctor, he suggested I have a PSA [prostate specific antigen] blood test done to see where my levels were,” Michael relays.
The prostate is located directly beneath the bladder and in front of the rectum. Because the upper portion of the urethra passes through the prostate, if the gland becomes enlarged, it can obstruct the passage of fluid through the urethra.
PSA is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. The PSA blood test measures the level of PSA in a man’s blood. Higher levels can be indicative of prostate cancer.
“Over the course of about a year, I had several PSA blood tests done, and each time, my levels increased,” Michael recalls. “By the third increase, the doctor decided it was time to refer me to a specialist, and that’s when he sent me to
Dr. Miranda-Sousa at Urology Experts.”

Early Detection

“After initially meeting with Michael and talking with him and conducting a thorough physical exam, I conducted a prostate biopsy. This biopsy came back negative for cancer, but his blood tests showed a persistent elevation of his PSA count,” explains Alejandro Miranda-Sousa, MD. “With the PSA still reading high levels, I knew there was something more to it. I suspected prostate cancer because of the symptoms he described, his age and the persistent PSA elevation, but needed more testing in order to positively diagnose it.”
As men age, their risk of developing prostate cancer increases, according to Dr. Miranda-Sousa. Age, race and family history are all important risk factors for prostate cancer. In addition, diet and lifestyle factors can also influence whether a man will develop the disease. Additionally, physical inactivity or being overweight can affect the development or progression of prostate cancer. The age-
related increased risk is greater for prostate cancer than for any other type of cancer. The average age at diagnosis is between 65 and 70.

“This new high-definition MRI is a true lifesaver. I am really thankful that my primary doctor sent me to Urology Experts and this was found.” – Michael

Prostate cancer typically causes no symptoms in its early stages. As the prostate enlarges, however, a man may experience difficulty in starting to urinate, awakening during the night to urinate and urinary urgency and frequency.
“Much to their advantage, patients can now undergo a high-definition, 3-D, MRI-guided prostate biopsy that is the most advanced and clear indicator of abnormalities with the prostate gland,” explains Dr. Miranda-Sousa. “Urologists have been using this advanced imaging for about a year and a half now. I sent Michael to have this specialized MRI performed because as I said, prostate cancer was suspected and early detection is key to successful treatment.
“With your average prostate ultrasounds, which was the imaging used before this advanced MRI technology was in place, a lot of cancerous tumors went undetected because prostate cancer could be invisible on ultrasound.
“With the advanced, 3-D imaging capabilities of this machine, we are able to conduct a much more thorough biopsy in multiple sections. After looking at the 3-D images, we were able to confidently detect and diagnose the presence of confined prostate cancer in Michael.”

Best Possible Option

Dr. Miranda-Sousa says he takes his time discussing and deciding the best treatment options for patients.
“All decisions for treatment are based on the patient’s age, urinary symptoms, general size of the prostate, family history and likelihood of recurrence,”
Dr. Miranda-Sousa says. “In Michael’s case, he had several cancerous lesions in various areas of the prostate. After much discussion for a personalized treatment, together we decided that a complete prostatectomy was indicated. This was the best possible course of action for Michael, and I am happy to say he is doing quite well now.”
“I feel great, and I am relieved that it was found early through this new MRI technology,” Michael assures. “It’s kind of scary to think that the older testing options may not even detect prostate cancer. This new high-definition MRI is a true lifesaver. I am really thankful that my primary doctor sent me to Urology Experts and this was found. There’s no telling where I would be today if that had not happened.”
Since his surgery, Michael is back to enjoying long walks without having to find a bathroom all the time. He is delighted that he can finally get a decent night’s sleep.
“I used to get up multiple times a night to go to the bathroom,” he says. “Now, I get up maybe once, and I know that’s not abnormal. I can spend time doing things I enjoy and not feel like I always need to be near a bathroom.
“I feel great, and I owe it to Dr. Miranda-Sousa!”

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    • Urology Experts

      The team at Urology Experts is dedicated to providing exceptional healthcare and personalized treatment plans. They offer a number of different urological services and specialties that will help any patient restore their quality of life.... Read More

    • Alejandro Miranda-Sousa, MD

      Alejandro Miranda-Sousa, MD, is a board-certified urologist by the American Board of Urology. Dr. Miranda-Sousa graduated from the prestigious Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia School of Medicine in Lima, Peru. He also completed his r... Read More