Julius Panetta’s brother had prostate cancer, so his doctor always kept a close eye on Julius’ Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) levels, a test that could be an indicator of prostate cancer. When his doctor noticed that Julius’ PSA level had risen, he ordered a test.
The test came back positive for prostate cancer and his doctor, a surgeon, raised the possibility of prostate surgery. The Holstville resident then decided to consult with his wife’s oncologist, Michael Theodorokis, MD, of New York Cancer & Blood Specialists. Dr. Theodorokis recommended an alternative to surgery – Precision CyberKnife of New York.
Julius and his wife met with radiation oncologist Martin Silverstein, MD. “He went over everything,” he said. “He explained all about Precision CyberKnife — a pain free, non-invasive treatment for prostate cancer that targets the cancer with pinpoint accuracy. I thought it was a great idea. I thought it was a better option than surgery.”
Julius, 75, also talked with a deacon at his church who had also gone through CyberKnife treatment and he urged Julius to go that route.
Precision CyberKnife of New York, a program of Mather Hospital at New York Cancer & Blood Specialists in East Setauket, was close to Julius’ home and convenient. This was important to Julius because nine years earlier his wife, Carol, was diagnosed with breast cancer and went through traditional radiation treatments five days a week for seven weeks. Carol said it was an uncomfortable procedure and she had difficulty dealing with the fatigue, so she felt that CyberKnife was a great option for Julius.
At Precision CyberKnife, Julius had a total of five treatments over two weeks. The CyberKnife procedure was noninvasive and fast. “It was a piece of cake,” he said. “Actually all I had to do was pick the music to listen to. It was pretty cool.” Julius said that he had very few side effects and felt well enough following his treatments to enjoy his favorite things – being with his wife of 53 years, traveling and playing cards.