The Ride of a Lifetime
As a radiographer at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center, Danny Wright knew well the importance of having annual physicals. But like many men his age, he wasn’t inclined to take the time to have one.
Nonetheless, he took time from his busy work schedule and his active social life, and chose to have a physical exam. As it happens, results found during the physical likely saved his life.
During one part of the exam, his blood was drawn for a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. This blood test shows the level of PSA substance in the blood stream. High amounts may indicate cancer or other conditions. Danny’s PSA level was 8.6, which is considered quite high for his age. With PSA results in hand, he made an appointment to see Dr. Bernard Gburek, a staff urologist at Scottsdale Healthcare. Danny had worked with Dr. Gburek for years and was very confident in the doctor’s ability, attention to detail and his caring nature.
When eight of 10 biopsies taken from his prostate showed cancer cells, Danny’s cancer diagnosis was deemed aggressive. “I was only 46 years old and I believed the diagnosis just had to be a mistake,” he said. “I felt healthy, and I didn’t have any symptoms. But once I finally came to terms with the fact I had cancer, I put on my clinician’s hat and started conducting my research. I think it’s important to learn as much as you can about your disease and work with your doctor to choose treatment options that are right for you.”
Danny’s battle with cancer was quite worrisome for about two years. After two surgeries, his PSA level continued to rise, and his oncologist at Scottsdale Healthcare, Dr. Farley Yang recommended he have radiation using Novalis shaped beam surgery offered through The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare
Today at age 52, Danny is cancer free, and continues to live the active life he’s always enjoyed. When he’s not working, Danny can be found riding his Harley, taking photographs, hiking or swimming.
“I’m grateful I chose to have the physical exam when I did,” he said. “If I didn’t, my cancer would have gone undetected and who knows if I’d still be around today.”
To help raise awareness about prostate cancer, Danny tells as many men as he can to schedule an annual physical and to have their PSA level checked. “I tell men not to be stubborn like I was,” he said. “A simple test is worth the time. It saved my life and gave me the chance to ride another day.”
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