For Joe Becker being the general manager of Carpet Galleria in Traverse City is what he does on a regular basis. Yet, when he learned he had prostate cancer last year it caught him off guard, especially since he went for yearly physicals. "My PSA level had also been within the norms and last year it went from three point something to six point two which is a jump," says Becker.
That's when Becker immediately made an appointment with his doctor to fix the situation.
"My response to things like this is 'lets get it done' . I'd rather be proactive than not and get rid of stuff that I don't need to have anyway," says Becker.
Doctor Robert M. Hall is a Munson urologist at Bay Area Urology in Traverse City. Although he was Becker's surgeon, it was an intricate tool that helped save his life. It's called the da Vinci robot.
"It's a control system and an instrument control system that's operated by a surgeon sitting at the console next to the patient in the operating room that magnifies your vision and gives you tremendous visual dexterity," says Dr. Hall.
The da Vinci robot has only been around for about five years. Munson Medical Center started using the tool about two years ago.
"It allows you to use a minimally invasive technique with much smaller incisions in order to move the prostate gland which makes recovery quicker," says Dr. Hall.
...And that is leading to shorter hospital stays.
"It's usually about a day, blood loss during this procedure is very rare. Other important factor is in the sexual function because we can see things better as far as preserving the nerves for erectile dysfunction," says Dr. Hall.
"I had it done on a Tuesday and stayed home for the weekend, then the following Monday I was back at work," says Becker.
For Becker though, there's an even bigger message that he wants to get across about prostate cancer.
"Have your PSA levels checked, have your phsyicals done. That's the key. If I had not taken a physical it wouldn't have gotten better," says Becker.
For more information about the da Vinci robot click here.