Cancer Center Special Report
Prostate Cancer Second Opinion Program
When Tim Eichner, 51, of Germantown was diagnosed with prostate cancer in early 2005, he and his wife, Kathy, carefully investigated their options. They considered robotic surgery, but decided to seek a second opinion before proceeding.
Half a year later, Tim is cancer-free and grateful for the human touch. “My first thought was, ‘I don’t want it in my body. I just want it out,’” Tim recalls. But his physician and Kathy, a registered nurse, encouraged him to explore all options before deciding on treatment.
Tim initially planned to have robotic surgery. But because a number of friends and physicians recommended William See, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin urologist and chairman of Urology, the Eichners also booked an appointment through the Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin Prostate Cancer Second Opinion Program.
“We decided to talk with Dr. See,” Tim says. “He explained the advantages of touching and feeling what’s going on during surgery. He said, ‘I can touch an organ and tell whether or not there’s cancer there.’ That made so much sense,” Tim says.
After a weekend of reflection, the Eichners canceled Tim’s robotic procedure and scheduled surgery with Dr. See. Tim had a nerve-sparing prostatectomy on June 29, 2005. He went home after two days in the hospital and says his experience was never as bad as he expected. “Dr. See did an excellent job preparing me,” Tim says. “I think everybody really did.”
Tim did receive the benefit of “everybody’s” expertise. An entire team, including pathologists and imaging experts, discusses each case to decide the best options to offer each patient — options that may include surgery, radiation oncology with Colleen Lawton, MD, or chemo or hormone therapy with Nancy Davis, MD, for patients who have more advanced or recurring cancers. And a nurse navigator is there every step of the way to make sure treatment and follow-up care go smoothly.
Tim also credits his family with helping him beat cancer: “I’m fortunate to have Kathy to rely on,” he says. “It was wonderful having another pair of ears to help assimilate all the information we received. The loving support she and the kids gave me was a huge factor in my speedy recovery.”
Today, Tim remains happily cancer-free. Dr. See continues to work with him to minimize any side effects of treatment. “He wants to make sure that when I leave his fold, I’m going to be happy with my lifestyle,” Tim says. “I don’t regret the decision I made. I’m so glad we decided to have the surgery at Froedtert.”
Source: Cancer Center Special Report 2005/06