A WRONG DIAGNOSIS ALMOST COST VINCE HIS LIFE
In 2018, Vince showed up at the Urology Cancer Center from out of state for a second opinion from Dr. Nordquist regarding his recently diagnosed kidney cancer. He was suffering with pain and dropping weight. His kidney was biopsied and confirmed he did indeed have kidney cancer. His CT scans showed multiple areas of cancer in his bones also. It was assumed by his initial oncologist that he had metastatic kidney cancer that had spread to the bones and advised him to start treatment for kidney cancer.
However, during his initial visit, Dr. Nordquist found this to be an unusual presentation for kidney cancer. Although kidney cancer does spread to the bone it typically occurs after first spreading to other organs. In addition, given the small size of Vince’s kidney cancer it was unlikely that the kidney cancer would have even spread at all. He realized Vince had not had a recent PSA blood test to screen for prostate cancer, which commonly spreads to bone. A normal PSA value is less than 4 and Vince’s PSA was more than 5,000. What Vince actually had was a small curable kidney cancer that was treated with an outpatient freezing procedure and prostate cancer that had spread to the bone.
Although still not curable prostate cancer has a much better prognosis and patients can live much longer with appropriate treatment than they can with metastatic kidney cancer. Within less than 6 months Vince’s PSA was less than 1 and he continues to do well today without cancer symptoms.
"I started seeing Dr. Luke in September of 2018 after I had recently been diagnosed with kidney cancer and went to Dr Luke for a second opinion. We initially were taken to his personal office and met with him for over 2 hours. Our first impression of Dr. Luke was amazing. He asked a lot of questions and spent a lot of time explaining things my family and I could easily understand. During the visit it was determined not only did I have a tumor on my kidney but also had an extremely elevated PSA consistent with prostate cancer that spread to my bones. Because of Dr. Luke and his treatment plan I am still riding my motorcycle, mowing the yard, and spending time with my family. I would recommend Dr. Luke to anybody. He and his office are very caring and professional making you feel more than just a patient. I am so blessed to have Dr. Luke caring for me."
RAY'S FINAL WISH
Ray was an amazing man full of life. He had been a patient of Dr. Luke's for over 10 years. Ray had advanced prostate cancer that had spread throughout his body. He did well for several years and remained active. He participated in several research trials with Dr. Luke that had prolonged his life. In 2015, his story took a turn for worse when he was diagnosed with a second cancer, lung cancer, which later spread to his brain. He continued to fight like a champion undergoing treatment both his prostate cancer with Dr. Luke and for his lung cancer through another Omaha cancer physician.
In late 2019, what turned out to be his last visit with Dr. Luke he said he wanted a ride in Dr. Luke's Ferrari before he died. Dr. Luke said "Ok let's do it". With that Dr. Luke stopped his clinic and with the help of his staff Ray was loaded into the passenger seat and they spent the next 30 minutes speeding around west Omaha. When they pulled back up to the center Ray had a smile from ear to ear! According to his daughter, in tears, that was the first time Ray had smiled in 3 months. Ray passed a few days later.
A CLINICAL RESEARCH TRIAL BRINGS NEW HOPE, NEW LIFE
Eric was first diagnosed with a very aggressive form of prostate cancer in July 2008. Despite being aggressive, his cancer was thought to be confined to his prostate and potentially curable. Following curative treatment radiation, Eric unfortunately had a cancer recurrence and was being managed at Mayo Clinic. Although he was under the impression he had minimal treatment options remaining, he was referred to the Urology Cancer Center in 2019 to see what clinical trial options might be available. He was enrolled on a clinical research trial and nearly 2 years later he remains with minimal detectable disease and was recently able to take a trip to Hawaii.
“We arrived at Urology Cancer Center 18 months ago after a strong referral from Mayo Clinic to apply for the Lutetium-PSMA-617 Clinical Study. We were very pleased when we were accepted into the study. Dr. Luke and his team have done an exceptional job of helping us manage our care through this Clinical Study. The staff is always very friendly and helpful. We are so pleased to be a patient under Dr. Luke’s care. Because of his expert care, we have enjoyed traveling and spending more time with our grandkids in our retirement.”
ADVANCED PROSTATE CANCER IS NOT ALWAYS A DEATH SENTENCE
In 2007, Kurt at age 53 was diagnosed with late-stage prostate cancer. It had already spread throughout his bones. His cancer was discovered during routine Prostate Cancer screening with an initial PSA of over 800 (normal <4). He was confirmed to have an aggressive prostate cancer. His first oncologist told him to get his affairs in order because he only had a few years to live at most. He quickly progressed on first- and second-line therapies at which time he met with Dr. Nordquist for a second opinion.
During his visit, Dr. Nordquist discussed a promising Phase I/II clinical research trial as a potential treatment option. Kurt had limited financial resources and decided to give it a try. On the trial his treatment was given for free. This treatment controlled Kurt’s cancer for more than 4 years. His treatments have been changed several times since then as new treatments continue to evolve. Now over 13 years after his initial diagnosis, Kurt is still enjoying the outdoors and doing side projects around his house.
“I’ve been seeing Dr. Luke for over 13 years and I think I’m 10 years on borrowed time. When I was first diagnosed and first saw Dr. Luke, my PSA was over 800. I’m still here and I don’t believe I’m still here and it’s all because of Dr. Luke and the UCC team… they are the angels in my life, they are the best!”
FIRST IN WORLD ON TRIAL, HIS BRAVERY PAYS OFF
Bill, a former PE teacher, was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer at the young age of 54. Roughly seven years into his cancer battle with no FDA approved treatments remaining, Bill was considering hospice and likely had only weeks to live. He commented, “I’m ready for the Good Lord to take me home”. He was wheelchair bound and requiring around the clock pain medications. He rarely left his home except to go to doctor appointments. After long conversations regarding Bill and his wife’s wishes, he chose to consider a clinical research trial and fight one more time.
In 2018, Bill became the first patient in the world to enroll on a global clinical research trial at the Urology Cancer Center, with a novel class of medicine called a radiopharmaceutical. In 2020, nearly 3 years later Bill has no significant disease present. He is no longer in a wheel chair and is back to working out at the gym daily with no pain. He has returned to his love of kayaking. “I’m living life and every day is just like a brand-new day to me, “ said Bill.
NEVER LOSING HOPE, BUYS TIME TO SEE MY FAMILY GROW
Mary was diagnosed in 2012 with Bladder Cancer that had spread to several surrounding organs and lymph nodes. She underwent an extensive abdominal surgery in an attempt to remove the cancer which was unsuccessful. One month after surgery the cancer had spread even more. She was told by her urologist she only had months to live.
At that time Mary was referred to Dr. Nordquist for further medical management. Dr. Nordquist had recommended multiple treatment options including FDA approved clinical trials. Mary chose a clinical trial. She had a complete response with resolution of all of her cancer. Nearly 2 years later, Mary’s cancer recurred. At that time Dr Nordquist and Mary chose to “think outside of the box” and Mary was started on a medication that was FDA approved for other types of cancer but not yet for Mary’s Bladder Cancer. Mary was treated on this medicine for nearly 1 year with nearly no side effects. She again had complete resolution of all of her cancer. Remarkably, Mary’s last treatment is now over 6 years ago and she is living her best life without any evidence of disease.
BEATING CANCER, CELEBRATING LIFE EVERY DAY
Marion was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013. Despite having metastatic prostate cancer, he continues to do well in 2020 on medications to control his cancer. Over the course of the last several years, he has required treatments that have been extremely expensive and unaffordable. Several of those treatments had costs of over $100,000 per year. Our Patient Financial Advocacy Team at Urology Cancer Center was able to get several of these medications at no cost to Marion through utilizing foundations and relationships with pharmaceutical companies. With the assistance of our Patient Financial Advocacy Team, Marion has been able to select an appropriate plan best suited for his illness and treatments allowing him access to the necessary medications needed for his treatment while also helping Marion save money.
"In 2013, I was given three years to live. I was referred to Dr. Nordquist by my Urologist to see if there was anything left for me. He was a God send as far as I was concerned and it was one of the better decisions we made. The nursing staff and the entire staff have all made it a fun time for me and everybody has treated me like royalty. Ever since I have been with Dr. Nordquist I have worn different funny costumes at each visit to celebrate life and will continue doing so because I love seeing everyone’s reactions and smiling faces. Thanks Dr. Nordquist and team!”
KNOWING MORE OPTIONS, KNOWING THE FACTS PAYS OFF
Maurice was diagnosed with urothelial cell carcinoma near his kidney in 2012. It was recommended he undergo surgery to remove his kidney. He refused to have his kidney removed and he also was reluctant to consider any medication or chemo because of his negative impression of them. He sought out a Second Opinion with Dr. Nordquist. Dr. Nordquist took several hours to discuss all of his options. He described each medication, how it worked and what the potential side effects could be. He assured Maurice that if he didn’t like any of the side effects that they could stop the treatment at any time. Maurice agreed to go on a medication. He tolerated this well. Dr. Nordquist’s team was able to get the medication at no charge to Maurice on a compassionate use program. Maurice had a complete response and was able to avoid removal of his kidney. He was eventually able to stop the medication and has been off of treatment for nearly 2 years with no evidence of cancer present on imaging. He has been able to continue working and enjoys spending time with his wife and children.
“I was notified seven years ago that I had cancer in my kidney. I was told from the start by many experts to remove my kidney or undergo chemo treatments, which was more than I was willing to do. My son insisted I see someone else and one of the area’s greatest surgeon’s, Dr Steven Koukol, said I can remove your kidney without any complications, BUT I would rather send you to my friend Dr. Nordquist who has many years of experience in cancer treatment. When I met Dr. Nordquist and his wonderful staff, he said I will try my best to help you and my staff and I will do everything that we can. He started with one medicine with no side effects for over a year, then when the tumor shrunk to as minimal as possible, he stopped the treatment to give me a break. At this time, I am cured from cancer without removing my kidney or going through potentially difficult chemotherapy. I owe my new life to Dr. Nordquist, and his staff. My family is happy to see their father is healthy and I can live to see my children growing, getting married, and spend time with them.”
SOMETIMES MORE TREATMENT IS NOT THE ANSWER!
John was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013 and was initially sent to surgery for potential cure. While his PSA was just slightly detectable at 0.1 following surgery, he had been told by his first Urologist that any PSA rise after surgery meant the cancer had recurred and he would need Salvage Radiation. John had actually started the radiation and was 3 doses into his treatments when he presented to Dr. Nordquist for a Second Opinion. Dr. Nordquist explained to John that unless his PSA was above 0.2 that we couldn’t conclude that the cancer was not cured with surgery and his current radiation was likely not going to benefit him and could lead to worsening side effects. John chose to follow Dr. Nordquist’s advice and stop radiation. In 2020, more than 3 years later, he remains with an undetectable PSA and avoided additional potentially long-term side effects of radiation.
Your UCC Cancer Team brings all of the FDA approved standard of care treatments to the fight against your cancer. However, more than ANY other cancer center in the U.S., the UCC Cancer Team has the most access to the latest cutting edge clinical research trials providing potentially life-saving treatments. Cancer research is the only way to discover and utilize new treatments for cancer patients. The Urology Center's Research Team is Globally recognized as a leader by scientific thought leaders, patients and pharmaceutical companies Contact us today for the expert 2nd opinion that you deserve to see how we can bring the best fight against your cancer!Start Your Care