Fishing is Mr. Placente’s favorite pastime. A potentially devastating diagnosis of prostate cancer hasn’t stopped him.
“I haven’t slowed down. I would say I was at 100 percent before I was diagnosed. I am now at 97 percent. I have never had to take a day off from work or from my fishing,” he said. The 58-year-old works full-time in a barber shop. Mr. Placente attributes feeling so well to the superior care he receives from the physicians and nurses at The Cooper Cancer Institute. The Alabama resident travels more than 1,000 miles to Voorhees for his treatments.
Mr. Placente heard about Cooper’s Genitourinary Cancer Center through his nephew who lives in Philadelphia. Then Mr. Placente spoke with Genitourinary Nurse Coordinator Jaime Austino, R.N., even before he was a Cooper patient. Impressed with her and what she told him about the program, he came to Cooper and met with Robert A. Somer, M.D.; Director of the Genitourinary Cancer Center at the Cooper Cancer Institute, and Raul Parra, M.D., Chief of the Division of Urology. The South Jersey native decided occasional trips to the facility were worth the effort.
“Because we have access to so many treatment choices at Cooper, we can help patients with prostate cancer live longer and healthier lives,” Ms. Austino says.
Mr. Placente’s Treatment
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men, other than skin cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates one in six will get prostate cancer during his lifetime, yet only one in 34 will die of the disease. The death rate for prostate cancer is decreasing, and the disease is being found earlier. Ninety percent of men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the early stages of the disease.
Typical treatment options include surgery, radiation or hormone therapy. Chemotherapy and clinical trials are two additional options. Choosing the right treatment approach depends on a number of factors, including the patient’s age, overall health, stage and grade of the cancer, and the patient’s feelings about the side effects of different treatments.
“The fact that we are diagnosing the disease sooner and that we have so many treatment options available for patients has a great impact on our patients’ quality of life,” Dr. Somer says.
Mr. Placente is receiving hormone therapy to treat his cancer. The goal of hormone therapy is to lower androgen levels, which can cause the cancer cells to shrink or grow more slowly.
“I have been 100 percent impressed with Jaime, Dr. Parra and Dr. Somer. I am 100 percent satisfied. I’m not going to give up. I’ll beat the odds and live 20 years, especially considering the way medicine has come along,” Mr. Placente says.
For more information about The Cooper Cancer Institute or to make an appointment with a Cooper University Hospital physician at an office near you, please call 1-800-8-COOPER (800-826-6737) to speak with a member of our physician referral and information service.