David Wells, Prostate Cancer Patient | Center for Urologic Care

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Published on March 19, 2018

Expert Doctors, Excellent Technology Combine to Save Prostate Cancer Patient

David's Story

David Wells, Prostate Cancer SurvivorIn 2016, David Wells of Wolfeboro was proud to compete in senior track and field events. In 2017, he was happy to be at the senior games, period. In between, doctors at Concord Hospital Center for Urologic Care, using their expertise and imaging technology, found and removed previously undetected, aggressive, prostate cancer, saving his life.

After transferring to Epsom Family Medicine, David’s new primary care physician, Dr. Christopher Allen, suspected something was wrong with David’s prostate and referred him to the Center for Urologic Care. This referral proved to be a critical step in the diagnosis and remedy of David’s prostate cancer.

While a patient of the Center for Urologic Care, tests revealed steadily rising PSA blood levels, a sign of potential prostate cancer. But three traditional prostate biopsies were negative. The biopsies, guided by ultrasound imaging, had missed a growing tumor.

Subsequent to the negative prostate biopsies, Dr. Ronald Yap used MRI images and a technique called cognitive fusion biopsy to confirm that David had cancer that already had spread beyond his prostate. Soon after, Dr. William Santis removed David’s prostate gland, aided by the robotic daVinci surgical system.

In performing the biopsy, Dr. Yap studied the vivid MRI images of David’s suspected tumor and committed them to memory. Then, aided by live ultrasound imaging, he guided a probe to the area and obtained samples that confirmed the tumor was cancerous.

David said the MRI images made the difference. “Even before they began the process of taking the actual biopsy sample, they knew exactly what they were hunting for and where it was on the prostate,” he said. “Without the MRI images, I never would have made it.”

After David’s procedure, Concord Hospital acquired equipment that takes prostate biopsies to a higher, much more precise level. Instead of relying on a mental picture of MRI images, doctors now can fuse, or digitally match, MRI images with live ultrasound as they obtain samples from suspected tumors.

David, 69, a technology consultant, recovered well, without any additional cancer treatment, allowing him to continue his passion – track and field and other athletic competition. In 2016, as his undetected cancer grew, he competed in several running events in state competitions that qualified him for the 2017 National Senior Games. In 2017, four months after surgery, he competed in the national games in Alabama.

“I was no star, and I didn’t care how fast or how slow I was, but I was delighted to be in each event,” he said.

David credits Concord Hospital with developing the kind of program that attracts providers such as Dr. Yap, Dr. Santis and the team that treated him.

“These people aren’t walking around the streets of every town in the U.S.,” he said. “There has to be a means or some incentive to have those folks come to work at Concord Hospital, so whatever that investment is, it’s paying off handsomely."