Larry Rogers has traveled all over the world as a part of working for his family-owned business that works with whiskey distilleries. In fact, Larry has been to Ireland so often to work with Irish distillers that they even gave him Irish citizenship
It was in September of 2015, shortly before one of these regular trips to Ireland, that Larry discovered that he had prostate cancer. He spent that seven-hour plane ride across the Atlantic Ocean really coming to terms with what it meant to have cancer and how it might impact his future and health overall. That was a lot to think about.
Larry had always been active. He watched what he ate, took care of himself, kept his weight down. He did all the things he thought would keep him healthy. Prostate cancer was not supposed to happen to him. It was not part of this plan for the future.
“I was diagnosed by my long-time urologist, Dr. John Jurige, who I had been seeing for 20 years, “ said Larry. “ He talked to me about the treatment options and I started making plans to have radiation therapy.”
Larry knew this meant 43 sessions of radiation, every day of the week except for the weekends. “I was not looking forward to it. I knew the side effects caused by radiation, “ said Larry. “I had watched two of my sisters receive radiation for breast cancer and I was well aware of the things they were having to deal with.”
A change in prostate cancer treatment plans
However, when he got home from that trip, a magazine caught his eye and changed his prostate cancer treatment plan. The magazine had Dr. Jurige on the cover with a HIFU device called the Sonablate. He read the article about HIFU being approved for use in the U.S. (in October 2015) and Dr. Jurige being the first doctor to perform HIFU treatment in the country (outside of a clinical trial).
“I had to ask him about it,” said Larry. “I wanted to know if I was a candidate for HIFU because it sounded a lot better than radiation. He ran a few tests and eventually came back and told me I did qualify for HIFU.”
Larry explained that “compared to what I was looking at with radiation in terms of side effects and the treatment itself, HIFU was a no-brainer.”
Before the procedure, Larry admits that he didn’t have that many concerns, “I trusted my doctor wholeheartedly, if he recommended it for me, then I was good with it.”
Larry had HIFU in January 2016 and says, “Everything was totally fine. I had the treatment in the morning and went home later that afternoon. I had a catheter for about seven days but once that came out, everything went back to normal. “
Larry’s PSA dropped to 0.02 and stayed there. He had no urinary problems and no sexual problems.
“After I got home, I waited for the pain to start, but there never was any pain. I kept thinking to myself – How could this be this easy? Surely, there is some kind of dark cloud coming – but it never came,” said Larry.
Larry feels like he avoided a lot of complications that he has seen other men experience after choosing something other than HIFU. He has also seen men who choose radiation have very limited options for treatment after their cancer comes back.
“I think one of the biggest benefits of HIFU is that you can do it again if you need to. Or you can have any other treatment,” said Larry.
When Larry encounters men just diagnosed with prostate cancer he encourages them to do their own investigation and be comfortable with their own decision, but he always highly recommends HIFU.
“I don’t know why anyone would choose surgery or radiation if they could have HIFU. We all know what the side effects of those treatments are, ” Larry said.
Now when Larry travels, prostate cancer rarely crosses his mind. He feels grateful for the decision he made and the cancer-free life he is living thanks to HIFU.