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Joe Gruesu

Johnsonburg, PA

Solving a 7-Year Old Mystery

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.


Alex Thompson

Beijing, China

From Half-Way Round the World

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.

Palmetto, FL

Elzie McCord, Jr., PhD

Palmetto, FL

Learning and Teaching About Prostate Cancer

Elzie McCord, Jr., PhD, has spent the best part of his life in the world of research and academia. An entomologist, research scientist, and biology professor, he can tell you most anything you want to know about insects, and a great deal about sailboat racing. Today, add to that list a first-person’s intimate knowledge of prostate cancer. At age 50, the professor insisted that his annual physical include a PSA test, although his doctor thought he was too young, too fit to be concerned about prostate cancer. Although neither his blood test nor digital exam revealed an abnormality, within 2.5 years his life would be on the line. His PSA would rise from 3.4 to 6.4 and 6.4 to 6.7 in just months. Shortly after his mind-numbing diagnosis, Elzie would learn about prostate cancer treatment options and the Dattoli Cancer Center from a sailing buddy. Steeped in the scientific method, even a friend’s recommendation was not enough to convince the professor. He needed to investigate for himself. What he learned was not necessarily encouraging because his cancer had already spread beyond the gland. Thinking back on his upbringing in rural Vidalia, GA, he suspects that several of his uncles may have had this disease. His aggressive treatment at the Dattoli Center has given him a new appreciation for life. He suffers no ill effects from the combination treatment, but admits that he is a “changed man.” His is a vocal advocate for prostate cancer education and screening, especially in the African-American community. And he rarely misses an opportunity to race a sailboat. It is a feeling of “euphoria,” one that he savors as often as possible.

Atlanta, GA

Rob Moser

Atlanta, GA

This Can’t Ground Me!

Flying was the only thing 55-year old Rob Moser had ever wanted to do. As senior captain with a major airline, piloting the big 767s to Europe and back, he had the world as his oyster. With his wife and two teenagers, Rob lived in Florida and flew out of Atlanta, counted close friends across the globe and had gained respect and tenure in a job he loved. When his PSA started to rise, Rob feared a black cloud was about to obscure his future – especially as a pilot. Like so many others, he didn’t feel like a killer was at work in his prostate, but he didn’t want to take any chances. Not wasting any time, he and Julie went into the seek-and-learn mode, consulting with the company flight surgeon, searching the Internet and talking to anyone who had experience with prostate cancer. One chance conversation brought him to the Dattoli Center. With a rising PSA and Gleason 6, Rob chose to put his care in the hands of the Dattoli team, undergoing IMRT and brachytherapy. Two years down the road and 74 seeds later, Captain Moser is back in the pilot’s seat and flying the newest birds in the fleet – the Boeing 777s. Says the Captain, “it is important – it’s imperative – to look at every option and get yourself to the very best treatment center you can find.”


Walter Sutkowski

Kingston, NY


Stuart Holland

Virginia Beach, VA


Bob Hicks

Birmingham, AL


Kevin Chaffee

Batesville, IN


Werner Langenbach

Frankfort, Germany


Andre Greico

Chico, CA


(En Español)

Guillermo Galan

Guatemala City, Guatemala


Paul Rink

Manchester, UK


Jerry Chessler

Sarasota, FL


Carl Vorhoff

Union, KY


Jose Riebeiro

Sao Paulo, Brazil


Tony Swain

Sarasota, FL

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