Southern California is known for its sunshine and beautiful landscape. Residents can walk the beaches of the Pacific coast one day and hike through hills or mountains the next. For Edward Duarte of Rancho Santa Margarita, there’s nowhere on earth he’d rather be. While Edward sits at the edge of a local lake reflecting on his journey, he can’t help but think bout is decision to get a screening that ultimately saved his life.

Like many, Edward prolonged having his annual medical exam. However, at the age of 60, he decided it was time to go in for blood work.

“Not long after I went in for blood work, I received a call the next morning on my way to work. Before the caller from the laboratory could finish her first sentence, I knew something was wrong,” recalls Edward.

Edward was told that his prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a protein produced by cells in the prostate gland, was slightly elevated. He was referred to urologist, Neyssan Tebyani, M.D., who ordered a biopsy of his prostate.

The results revealed that Edward had cancer. Additionally, imaging was required to ensure that the cancer had not spread.

Dr. Tebyani performed a robotic-assisted prostatectomy, a minimally invasive operation for prostate cancer. Utilizing robotic-assisted surgical technology, Dr. Tebyani removed the cancerous prostate gland. One of the many benefits of robotic-assisted surgery is that it requires a very small incision resulting in better outcomes, while minimizing patient discomfort and blood loss. Dr. Tebyani has extensive experience in robotic-assisted surgeries, having performed one of the first robotic surgeries in Orange County in 2008.

“Robotic-assisted surgery provides me with excellent 3-D visualization and allows for precise movement. Operating, on or near the prostate, is a delicate procedure. In addition to curing the cancer, my goal is to maintain the patients' normal urinary and sexual functions," says Dr. Tebyani.

While treatment options range from hormone or radiation therapy, to robotic assisted cancer surgery, the MemorialCare Cancer Institute at Saddleback Medical Center offers coordinated and state-of-the-art care. Oncologists, surgeons and personal nurse navigators guide patients through diagnosis and treatment, while providing emotional support the entire way.

Cancer diagnosed at the early stages is more curable and easily treatable. Saddleback Medical Center encourages patients to discuss cancer screening options with their primary care physician. Today, Edward Duarte calls himself an advocate for cancer awareness.

“My advice? Don’t do what I did and fear the screening. Embrace it. All my buddies are getting tested because it hits home when a friend goes through this experience,” says Edward.

For more information on robotic-assisted surgery or to find a primary care physician, please call (877) 696-3622. To learn more about our cancer prevention program, visit our section on cancer care.