Leading-edge treatment delivers long-term patient survival

By: Jean Waverka

12-year prostate cancer survivor thanks Penn State Health for leading-edge treatment

When Gary Young was told he had prostate cancer during an annual physical 12 years ago, he struggled with the news. But it wasn’t long before he set to work learning everything he could about this cancer that most often affects men 65 and older.

“Prostate cancer can end your life,” said Young, who was 60 when diagnosed. “I didn’t want to be a statistic.”

What he did want was to understand his options.

Doing the research

First referred to the Department of Urology at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Young sought out additional opinions from doctors at two other academic medical centers. One of the surgeons he met with gave him a large amount of reference materials to consider.

“When I got back home, I didn’t go to sleep,” he said. “I read all night long trying to figure out what was best for me.”

Ultimately, he decided to return to Hershey for treatment.

Making the right choice

“After all the check-ups and opinions, I went back to Penn State Health and got involved with Dr. Jay Raman because of his great reputation and experience with robotic-assisted surgery,” he said. “Not everyone was doing that procedure at the time. I felt it was a better way of doing the surgery. And, if the cancer ever came back, I could still have radiation.”

The choice turned out to be the right one for Young. After a short hospital stay and several weeks improving at home, he made a full recovery.

“I couldn’t be happier with Dr. Raman and his team of people,” said the now 73-year-old, who’s still working and splitting his time between Pennsylvania and Florida. “I have a lot of faith in him and have referred at least 20 people to him. Every one of them has been very happy and still thanks me when they see me.”

The reason for their satisfaction is simple, Young says.

Connecting with the right doctor

“When Dr. Raman visits with you in his office, he doesn’t rush you out like a lot of doctors do. He explains everything to you in common language, not in big medical words that nobody understands,” he said. “He’s very thorough. He puts you into a comfort zone.”

Find out how the 2022 No Shave November campaign supports prostate cancer research at Penn State Cancer Institute.