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Johns Hopkins Health - An Unbeatable Team
Issue No. 12
An Unbeatable Team
Date: April 21, 2011
Faced with a diagnosis that every man dreads, Steve Lucido discovered life can return to normal after prostate cancer treatment
My doctor dropped the bombshell when I was age 56—just when my wife and I were beginning to enjoy our newfound freedom after the youngest of our three children had graduated from college and I was semi-retired as a real estate developer. I lived a healthy and active lifestyle—I ran every day and enjoyed paragliding, snowboarding, kayaking and mountain rescue near our home in Beaver Creek, outside Vail, Colo. So I was stunned when a routine blood test revealed my prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level had suddenly shot up, a red flag for prostate cancer.
Even before a biopsy confirmed my worst fears, I dove into research about prostate cancer and treatments. I discovered that Johns Hopkins specializes in a way of performing prostate cancer surgery that minimizes the dreaded long-lasting side effects—incontinence and impotence—that once made the cure seem even worse than the disease. The surgical technique spares the nerve bundles near the prostate.
I read all the bios of the different surgeons at Johns Hopkins online and gravitated toward Dr. Edward Schaeffer. Not only is he a surgeon, but a researcher, and that’s exactly the type of person I wanted to deal with a situation like mine. I fired off an e-mail to him with my bio, diagnosis and how I found out I had cancer. I was surprised when he called me about five minutes after I hit “send.” We talked for at least 45 minutes, and when I hung up the phone I knew he was my surgeon.
Dr. Schaeffer performed my open radical prostatectomy on Oct. 6, 2008, and afterward he told me he felt really good about the surgery. He felt that he had gotten everything and was confident that I was going to heal well and be cancer-free.
Today, I’m extremely grateful for Dr. Schaeffer’s expertise and the cutting-edge surgical techniques available at Johns Hopkins that have made it possible for me to remain cancer-free for more than two years—without the dreaded side effects. In fact, I learned to surf shortly after my surgery, and soon I’m hoping to learn to sail.
Men, Cancer and Hope
- More than 2 million men in the U.S. are prostate cancer survivors.
- Prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer in men (after skin cancer).
- Radical prostatectomy surgery at Johns Hopkins’ Brady Urological Institute is considered to be the gold standard for cancer treatment.
In His Own Words
To watch a video of Steve Lucido telling his story, visit hopkinsmedicine.org/mystory. For more information, appointments or consultations, call 877-546-1872.