Tom's Prostate Cancer StoryJun 6, 2019
Dr. Eric Gwynn Patient and Prostate Cancer Survivor
Tom Clymer is a retired pastor from Tennessee. He moved to Hilton Head a few years ago to help build a mission church and be closer to his father. Once he and his wife settled in the area, he went to his father’s doctor for a routine checkup. His bloodwork results came back and showed a high prostate-specific antigen (PSA). This is a serum blood test for prostate cancer.
Tom went to Eric Gwynn, M.D., urologist at Coastal Carolina Hospital, who advised him to proceed with an MRI and Artemis targeted prostate biopsy. “It turned out to be prostate cancer,” says Tom. “When Dr. Gwynn broke the news to my wife and me, he was calm and collected. He went over my options and gave us all the information we have needed.”
“It’s a big deal if you have your prostate removed. There are some health problems you may have to face once it’s gone like incontinence and intimacy issues,” says Tom. “My wife and I talked about it and did our research. You need to be alive for the issues to be a problem, so I decided to have to prostate removed.” Tom chose to have da Vinci robotic surgery at Coastal Carolina Hospital this past May.
The Artemis biopsy procedure offers a more precise method for early detection versus the “blind” biopsies where multiple locations in the prostate are tested with the hope of finding the cancer. “The beauty of the Artemis biopsy is that they are able to locate exactly where the tumor is and biopsy with confidence,” says Tom. Regarding the da Vinci robotic surgery, “They are able to, in most cases; spare the nerves for continence and erections.” In addition, “the minimally invasive surgery allowed my pain to be diminished significantly.”
Tom was pleasantly surprised that the potential health issues were not as bad as he expected. “Much to my joy, the incontinence rapidly became minimal and the intimacy issues have been far less than what we were worried about,” he says. “I haven’t had to take any medication to help with that along the way.” By late June, Tom was walking up to three miles a day. “I was back to better than myself a month after my surgery,” he says. “When something like this happens to you it gives you a wakeup call. Now, I’m in better shape than I’ve been in years.”
Tom is grateful to Dr. Gwynn and his staff for the exceptional quality of care he received. “I would definitely send a friend or family member to see Dr. Gwynn,” he says. “I chalk my positive experience up to the good lord and the servant he chose in Dr. Gwynn. He and his staff did a superb job.”