Ronald Cheek has enjoyed a long life of success. After graduating from MIT and working as an engineer for the entirety of his professional career, he is accustomed to working with skilled professionals, maintaining pinpoint accuracy on his projects and analyzing every aspect of an assignment. Being meticulous is not only part of his professional life, but his personal life as well. Through his work, Ronald knows just how important maintenance is to assuring that his designs are working correctly. It is with this same attitude that Ronald goes about caring for himself.
Following up with his primary physician like clockwork, Ronald was always prepared for his annual check-ups. At 72, Ronald went in for his yearly visit and his primary care physician found that his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level was high. The test measures the blood level of PSA, a protein that is produced by the prostate gland. The higher a man’s PSA level, the more likely it is that he has prostate cancer.
With this new and somewhat jarring information, Ronald was referred to Stuart Chalfin, M.D., urologist, Long Beach Medical Center, for further consultation. After his initial visit with Dr. Chalfin, they decided that Ronald should have a biopsy to determine the cause of his high PSA level. Upon receiving the test results, Dr. Chalfin was able to accurately diagnose Ronald with prostate cancer.
When he got the news, Ronald did what most people would have done and weighed his options for treatment. After deliberating between chemotherapy and surgery, Ronald ultimately decided to move forward with a prostatectomy, which is a surgical procedure to remove the prostate gland. The prostatectomy Ronald underwent was a relatively quick outpatient surgery and he made it through without any complications. Post-surgery, Ronald was responding well to the removal of the tumor, but it was not completely gone.
When Ronald returned to his home after surgery, he began researching where to receive radiation therapy. After looking at multiple programs and physicians, he chose to see Linda Chan, M.D., radiation oncologist, MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute, Long Beach Medical Center. Dr. Chan and Ronald discussed a plan for his radiation treatment that would eradicate the remainder of the tumor on Ronald’s prostate. Radiation therapy treats cancer by using high energy to kill tumor cells. The goal is to kill or damage cancer cells without hurting healthy cells.
“Having my radiation therapy done at the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute not only saved my life, it was an overall great experience,” says Ronald. “I always looked forward to going in for my treatments. Long Beach Memorial provides a great environment for patients, and the entire staff is always attentive. It shows that they really care for their patients and enjoy interacting with the people whose lives they’re saving.”
Ronald received 28 radiation therapy treatments at the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute. Throughout his treatment, Ronald experienced virtually no side effects and nothing out of the ordinary involving his treatments. He even continued to work while receiving treatment and never skipped a beat.
Now, Ronald is fully recovered and is back to normal with his annual check-ups to monitor his health. “At times I actually miss going to the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute to receive my treatments,” says Ronald. “Being there with the technicians, nurses and physicians felt so much like home. I might have to find new reasons to come back and visit.”