Family, safety, and quality of life were top of mind for Wayne Gregory when he chose laser focal therapy to treat his prostate cancer. Now years in remission, he reflected back on his journey, which he called “nothing short of incredible.”
“When you get the diagnosis of cancer, it’s like you get hit with a ton of bricks. That was just one of those things that overwhelmed me.”
At just 60-years-old, Wayne Gregory was diagnosed with prostate cancer in November 2016.
“Working in my church, I just want to help people. Same with my security business. I want to protect people.”
Gregory says that prior to his diagnosis he had a rising PSA number. He also has a family history of prostate cancer that profoundly impacted both his father and grandfather’s lives.
“My Grandfather passed away in 1982. He had had prostate cancer for a significant period of time. Would not go to the doctor. My dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and his was so far gone that there was nothing else they could do other than to take it out. He wore a diaper for the last 20 plus years of his life because he was incontinent. He had no physical relationship with my mother because there was nothing they could do,” says Gregory.
“I’m not interested in living that way.”
Gregory immediately began researching his options.
“I went to several doctors and all of them relating to chemo, radiation, radical prostatectomy, all those types of treatments. They all told me the same thing. I could not accept that a radical prostatectomy was all that was out there.”
Radical prostatectomy is often the first and sometimes only option presented to men facing a prostate cancer diagnosis. The procedure involves surgically removing the prostate gland and carries a risk as high as 50 percent for causing erectile dysfunction and 25 percent for incontinence.
“One surgeon, the last surgeon that I spoke with, who had recommended radical prostatectomy, he said, there’s a guy you need to talk to.’ I met with Dr. Karamanian. I met with Donnie. I met with the staff. Just wonderful people. It was a fantastic amount of information that he gave to us so that we could make an informed decision.”
It was in Houston, Texas in Dr. Ara Karamanian’s office that Gregory says he discovered the treatment he’d been searching for.
“I understood that focal laser ablation could leave me in a position where I could live a normal life.”
Gregory had an initial MRI-guided diagnostic screening, followed by an MRI-guided biopsy.
“I was able to see conclusively that I did indeed have cancer and exactly where it was, so it was an easy decision after that.”
With his mind made up, Gregory opted to treat his prostate cancer with laser focal therapy.
“The procedure that was done was just magnificent. It was razor thin on that wall. Dr. K was able get all the cancer without impacting any other part of my life. I didn’t have any pain.”
Gregory says Dr. Karamanian and his staff at the Prostate Laser Center in Houston treated him like family before, during, and after the ablation.
“Another thing that I really like about Dr. K’s office, about the people that work there, is that they keep you fully informed, so you know what’s going on and they’re accessible.”
Knowing that there are never any guarantees when it comes to medicine, Gregory says he was surprised at how quickly he returned to normal activities.
“The thing that probably amazed me the most about all of it was the speed of my recovery. My wife and I went to dinner that night. This was the day after the procedure.”
Today Gregory says he experiences no side effects from the procedure – a positive outcome, he says, not just for him, but for his entire family.
“Quality of life is so important. And that’s why I like FLA. I want whatever years that God has blessed me with to be profitable and fruitful so that I can be a husband to my wife, a father to my kids, and a grandfather to my grandkids. I can do things with my family without the fear of having an accident. This is an investment in your life. This is an investment in the lives of your family.”
Gregory will soon celebrate 39 years of marriage with his wife, his high school sweetheart. Together the two share four daughters, three sons-in-law, and an arm-load of grandchildren.
“This process that I went through changed my life. This procedure will change men’s lives. Even if it pops up again, and it might. I know exactly what I’m going to do. Focal laser ablation – it worked for me and I live a really good life and I’m thankful.”