Joe Gruesu’s steely blue eyes reveal an intensity absent in many men his age. Still actively working for a major international corporation into his mid/late-60s, Joe has a story to tell and the energy to tell it. In 1992, his PSA was detected at an alarming level: 13.2. A first, second, third and fourth biopsy, performed over a 7-year period, each came back negative. All the while, his PSA continued to climb. With no family history but a persistent and troubling PSA progression, Joe sought the advice of no less than five nationally-known clinics. When he found Dr. Dattoli, his PSA had escalated to 21.58; a successful biopsy located his tumors and the pathology was telling. Joe’s prostate cancer was a Gleason 3+3=6. This news was almost a relief – at least the cause of his PSA spiral had been found. The next step would be choosing a treatment. Adamantly opposed to surgery, Joe put his busy life on hold, temporarily relocated to Florida and began a course of radiation and brachytherapy. His seeds were implanted in early 2000. Today he is a happy, healthy and grateful man. His PSA is barely detectable at 0.094, and he embraces life full-steam ahead with Bernice by his side.
At age 55, Alex Thompson felt he was “on top of the world” – a busy American architect practicing in Beijing. His active lifestyle was shared by his wife and two teenage children. Hiking, skiing, and mountain climbing were usual vacations for the family. Until 2000, his only real medical complaint had been chronic athletes’ foot. When Alex noticed some unusual symptoms, he saw a urologist – cancer or prostate cancer was farthest from his mind. But Alex’s lab test results were startling. His PSA was highly elevated at 260. Two weeks later, in a re-check, the PSA had soared to 991. Alex was in trouble and he knew he should head for home for evaluation. Repeat biopsies verified prostate cancer. An early Gleason of 6 was revised to 5+4=9. Physicians in Alex’s native West Virginia started him on the search for an appropriate therapy. Because of his high risk factors (PSA greater than 10 and Gleason greater than 6), Alex learned that the combination of external radiation and interstitial brachytherapy would give him the best chance of a cure. Michael Dattoli’s name appeared often in the architect’s research, recognized widely as one of the most experienced and successful brachytherapists available. “Half-way around the world is not too far to travel to get the best care,” Alex remembers. Five years later, Alex is like new – no evidence of prostate cancer at all. With his children on their own and more time on his hands, Alex completed a 750-mile pilgrimage in 2004 and is back climbing mountains. The view from the top is awesome, he reports.