International Prostate Cancer Foundation



Winning the Fight



nba legend and all-star hall of famer — oscar robertson

My name is Oscar Robertson, I'm from Cincinnati, the QUEEN CITY in the Midwest. A few years ago, I had prostate surgery by Dr. Patel, and I want to let everyone know how happy and thrilled I am about it. To me it was a great success and if I can recommend it to anyone I know that has prostate problems now or in the future, Dr. Patel is who they should come see.

I went in for a routine PSA test. It's a funny thing how I found this out. People will not believe this: every time I looked at my cell phone for a 2-week period I had a missed call from a doctor that took care of me, my neurologist. After the 3rd time, I called him back and said, what do you need — and he said, I never called you. I took this as a sign to get my prostate checked. So, I went to get it checked, and my PSA number went up from 3.9 to 5.3. I didn't think it was such a big jump, because I felt no problems what so ever. And after going through a biopsy, we found I did have cancer. When you get diagnosed with Cancer you think, well is this the end? But the doctor assured me I could still live several more years, but there was no guarantee. I did some research and talked to doctors that I had some confidence in. My own urologist, the head of radiation in Cincinnati, the top guy who dealt with seeds in the prostate; And I talked to several people on the telephone, some of them had had the robotics surgery and some the traditional way. I just wanted to know who was the best to have this done. I know that when you say who is the best, to me, I think the more you do – like shooting baskets, the more you shoot the better you get. If I shoot a ball for 10 or 12 years, I'm going to be an expert at it. And Dr. Patel has done so many of these, there was no doubt he was an expert in my mind. I knew once I spoke with Dr. Patel, there was no doubt about it, I was going to have this done. Because I knew, he was the surgeon I needed. We went over the procedure, about everything that was going to happen, before and afterwards, how long I was going to be in the hospital, what I was going to need to do when I got out. They have a great staff and a great team effort, and Dr. Patel should be proud of his staff. There are a lot of things in life, that won't be that easy to take care of. I'm very happy about this, it takes a load of my mind and my family's mind as well. In life, there are so many things that happen, sometimes you can take care of these things, and sometimes you can't. this was something I could take care of and I'm happy about it. The procedure was easy to go through, and I'm happy about the way it's turned out.

Ladd D'angelo, ronnie Arnold &
chuck arnold — a familial disease

LADD D'ANGELO: I originally found out I had cancer in June of 2008, when I first found out I thought they had made a mistake. News of my diagnosis circulated throughout my family and reached my niece's husband Ronnie. my niece insisted Ronnie get checked as well and he too found out he had prostate cancer. From there concern in my family grew. At this point I had the robotic surgery and Ronnie was scheduled for the surgery, which prompted Ronnie's Brother Chuck Arnold to get tested as well. Upon testing, Chuck found he too had Prostate Cancer. Upon hearing about their individual findings, the family members shared their research and determined what was the best option. Through my surgery and research, Dr. Patel was discovered. All 3 of us, underwent the robotic surgery with Dr. Patel, and I can say we all are happier for it, and would recommend Dr. Patel and his staff to anyone. It's a unique situation that all 3 of us had prostate cancer so closely together, and we can all say that none of us suffered any ill effects at all.


Tim madgett

At age 45, being a retired fighter pilot, I thought my biggest health problem was my lower back. But after some routine blood work, I received some life changing news. I was diagnoses with prostate cancer. I was otherwise healthy, and this diagnosis made my world come crashing down. My wife, Maria did most of the research and after our urologist recommended conventional surgery, this is the route we thought we would go. Sitting in the waiting room for my appointment, I met someone who had just had conventional surgery and was not a "happy camper". Which prompted us to further research robotic surgery options. This is how we found Dr. Patel, Dr. Patel called my wife personally, and she just couldn't believe she was speaking with him. Even though the procedure seemed relatively new and not yet mainstream. I wanted to do it, and we felt very secure in Dr. Patel and the professionals on his staff. My surgery was on a Monday, the catheter came out Friday. I had lifting restrictions, but that was it. Let's face it, as a man I was concerned about sexual function, but afterwards, I was amazed that not only did the function come back, but at how soon it came back. I say: Come to Dr. Patel. He is the best. His staff is great, the facilities are brand new, and the guy knows what he's doing. I was not that guy I met in that other waiting room. Hear his wife speak on the experience below.


Dr. Richard Franco — the doctor

The night I found out that I had prostate cancer (when I got the biopsy results), I emailed Dr. Patel. Obviously, I had some angst about the whole thing -- even though I am a physician, the idea that you have prostate cancer or cancer of any type was a bit intimidating. So, I emailed him once or twice about various issues, and I think the thing that was most incredible even when I had talked to him a year and a half or two years before, was that I already knew that clearly, he had become a superstar in his field, but he was very accessible and very lovable kind of guy. As a physician I am similar in the sense that I really fall in love with people. I think that is very important that patients feel that their doctor cares.   When I got a little concerned, one of the emails he sent back was remarkable. "You will be fine," he wrote. And that really helped a great deal. When I came over and met him, it was an equally good experience.   Being a physician in my 50s, it was not a question what I would do. I wanted to get the cancer out if possible. We booked surgery and fortunately got it done expeditiously. So, I feel like I had an incredible surgeon, and I was fortunate that my pathology results came out very favorable. He is a great human being, and I feel like I found a friend as well. I hope that we continue the relationship over the years. I have done my best to let people know that. I let patients make choices, but I think that once they met him there would not be much choice.   In fact, I feel that he is the person that everyone should really meet if surgical options are the way to go. I think he is the first person. So, without reservation this is the number-one place I recommend. In fact, I now say don't travel to New York or to Philadelphia or to Baltimore to John Hopkins – go to the Global Robotics Institute. 




I found out about my diagnosis, I thought it was wrong.  I went to the Mayo Clinic for a biopsy and they told me I had prostate cancer and should have a biopsy.  I didn’t want to get it done because my back was more of a concern and I didn’t have any problems with the functions that the prostate was supposed to perform.  You have the normal things as you grow old, but I thought they were wrong.  The biopsy came back and said I had prostate cancer, and even though I was older than the age that they operate on, the rest of my organs were so much younger and they felt that I should have surgery.

I was going to go to the Mayo Clinic to get it done, but with my busy schedule coming up, I wasn’t sure I should do it before or after football season and I was rather dejected.  Dr. Zhu, an acupuncturist I’ve been going for several years, sent me all kinds of information about Dr. Patel and highly recommended that I visit with him.  When I got done reading everything, I concluded that I should have robotic surgery done by Dr. Patel.

My experience with Dr. Patel and his staff pre-surgery was excellent.  Dr. Patel was a student of S. Cal when I was at ND and we were rather successful against them.  He joked and said you may not want me doing surgery on you because I still resent the fact that ND accounted for half the losses that our football team received when he was an undergraduate.  

When I went in to get surgery that morning, I felt good and I wasn’t nervous, but I wanted it behind me.  Everything happened so quickly and I didn’t really have time to think about everything.  I was very confident with Dr. Patel and his staff.  

The day after surgery, they got me out and made me walk, which I didn’t think I was capable of, but three times I had to walk the hall.  I was glad it was over but I wasn’t in a great deal of pain, and Dr. Patel seemed quite comfortable with the results of the surgery.  This made me feel very good.  Once the catheter was removed, I had no pain, no problems, and could not be more delighted with the results.  

My latest PSA was 0.1 which I guess is the lowest you can possibly get.  I highly recommend Dr. Patel and his staff to anybody who might have prostate cancer.  I have had a good life and worry more about the quality of life than I do about how long I will live.  But I can tell you that Dr. Patel is excellent and everybody should get checked.  I feel much better than I did before surgery because I know that I no longer have cancer, and how long I can be a contributing member of society and to my family will depend upon the lifestyle I choose.  Initially, I didn’t want anyone to know I had prostate cancer but the reason I am sharing it now is because hopefully it will help other people make the proper decision and realize this can happen to anybody. It doesn’t have to be the end of the world if you meet and go to somebody as talented and caring as Dr. Patel.

The only way this has really changed my life is I met some very good people who are still friends to this day.  Dr. Patel stays in touch even though he is very busy and wants to know how I’m doing.  It changed my life in the fact that I think that cancer is behind me.  I highly recommend Dr. Patel and the robotic procedure to anybody.  As a matter of fact, I would say that if you did anything but go to him, you’d be making a mistake.  I am not being paid to say this or do this, I am saying this because he is the absolute best and I could not be more thrilled with the result and the relationships I’ve established with his staff.


trevor cohn

I found out I had prostate cancer in May of 2009, my annual checkup had a high PSA reading. I had a biopsy and my diagnosis was confirmed. When you are first diagnosed with cancer, it is truly shocking. You always believe it's something that is never going to happen to you, so it came as a huge surprise. I started researching all my options and discovered robotic surgery. Robotic surgery is unknown in Canada, as it is still in the experimental stage. I had lots of reservations about robotic surgery because of this. In Fact, in the beginning it wasn't even an option I considered. I was recommended to Dr. Patel, by a neurosurgeon who is a very close friend of mine. I really trusted his opinion and he told me that Dr. Patel is the absolute best in the United States. The reason I went ahead and did this with Dr. Patel, was because it was less invasive and nerve sparing. There is no question, why Dr. Patel's reputation preceded him. And the fact that he has done so many of these procedures was the deciding factor for me. One week after surgery, it was hard to believe I had surgery. After the 2nd day I was back to walking one mile a day which is unbelievable. I've never done a testimonial for anyone in my life. I'm doing this because I feel it's the very least I can do for Dr. Patel, and Hopefully I can encourage some of the other patients that are facing similar situations. Don't have any reservations whatsoever. I can truly say it was a privilege to be operated on by Dr. Patel. All of the Anxiety and Stress that I had going into this if I can in anyway dispel some of those reservations that other patients may have, I am happy to do it. It truly has been an unbelievable experience and something that I will never forget. 

Alberto Latarowski

I had high levels of antigens for quite some time. My urologist determined a need for a biopsy in February of 2008, and I then received the results by the end of February. It was then I was informed that I had prostate cancer. The urologist advised me to have surgery. I agreed with his recommendation, but there were certain factors I had to consider. Should I have surgery in Uruguay or somewhere else? Uruguay has no robotic procedures available, just laparoscopic procedures, that are conducted by a visiting technician from Argentina. This left me with the option of having conventional surgery. After researching conventional surgery, I found the probability of success regarding nerve preservation, incontinence, and impotence was significantly less. So, I began researching the possibilities of Robotic Prostatectomy abroad. While conducting my research, by fortunate circumstances, my brother was seated next to someone in a restaurant that happened to be an associate of Dr. Patel. My brother learned all about Dr. Patel, whom I myself was not familiar with. Consequently, I began my investigation and asked several professionals. They informed me that without a doubt the only option was robotic surgery. From the first conversation with the staff, it was apparent that it was a solid organization, structured and very professional. Upon arriving at the hospital, I was very pleased. The lobby was very pleasing...5 star. The attention of the staff was extremely professional. My family and I were consistently informed about the overall process. There were no surprises that you are unaware of and you know what's going on always. Which in return lessened my anxiety. Also, it is worth mentioning Dr. Patel's qualities. Quite honestly, he was extremely cordial, devoted and consistently showing concern for all his patients. Considering the situation, it was a pleasure to have experienced it with him as opposed to anywhere else.


Dr. Hasan Al-Nimah — Ambassador of qatar to the united nations

A friend of mine was our ambassador to the United Nations before I took the same position a few years later. He had the same symptoms as I did. He traveled to London to get medical care. He went through the same prostate tests in London. They found out in a hospital that he had cancer, and that his situation was the same as mine. One of his doctors in London suggested that he should consult one of the best and most famous doctors in this field, Dr. Patel.   I found out through the hospital in my country and through my doctor that there are three different ways to get rid of this problem. The first one is the surgery in which Dr. Patel specializes. The second would be the use of radiation, and the third chemotherapy. Those two other methods were available, but I decided to go through surgery. I believe that's the safest way. With the surgery I won't have to go through any anxieties. Radiation and chemotherapy require follow-up and time, and the results are not guaranteed, so I chose the surgery with Dr. Patel. I am confident and sure of Dr. Patel, because of his knowledge and experience in this field, and because of the success he has experienced in all the surgeries he performed on patients from America and from outside America. I am one example of this success. Based on my own experience, I would advise everyone suffering from prostate cancer to seek better treatment and better results.   I would like to thank Dr. Patel and all the members of his team, and I am very pleased that I found total comfort in this hospital. Actually, it's not only a hospital, but a beautiful health facility. I thank all the employees and I am very proud to have been in this hospital, and to have known Dr. Patel.



Fact: In January of 2010, eight months post-surgery, Brett competed in the same triathlon and achieved a personal-best record time. Congratulations and thank you from all the cancer patients for whom you have raised funds. – Vipul Patel, MD

The treatment and care my family and I received from Florida Hospital and Dr. Vipul Patel's staff was top notch. They are the experts at taking something devastating like prostate cancer and focusing on the desired prognosis rather than the current diagnosis. I have never met such a humble, kind, gentle and sincere person as Dr. Vipul Patel.   On September 21, 2008, I raced for the cure with AFAC triathlon at Walt Disney World in Florida. While I joined in the fight raising over $1,700 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation, little did I know that I, too, had cancer growing within me – a cancer that does not discriminate based on age, race, health or religion.   I was diagnosed with prostate cancer on December 3, 2008, at 41 years old.   After a consultation New Year's Eve with surgeon Dr. Vipul Patel of the GRI, my wife and I decided that a robotic prostatectomy would be our course of treatment. Surgery was then scheduled for April 6, 2009.   I spent the next four months training spiritually and physically for my biggest race ever, the race against cancer. I made a commitment to go into surgery as physically prepared as possible by being in the best shape I have ever been.   So, I was off to prepare for the big day – April 6. The procedure took just over an hour and was executed with total perfection. By the afternoon of surgery day, I was up and walking around -- a bit wobbly at first, but nonetheless, I was on my feet. A mere 23 hours after arrival in my hospital room, I was discharged. Ten months from diagnosis, 25 weeks after surgery, I am cancer-free.

Ralph Jordan — Patient Advocate

I have been a business owner and professional in the health care industry for over 35 years and enjoy a broad knowledge of operating room services. My profession has provided me with a strong emphasis in the areas of neurosurgical, ophthalmic, cardiovascular and orthopedic surgery. However, I didn't have a clue about urology. Briefly, my journey began in July 2007. I had no symptoms, but a routine test revealed an elevated PSA of 4.2. A biopsy followed and cancer was found. I researched and read as many published clinical papers as I could find on prostate cancer treatments. I next contacted Intuitive Surgical, the manufacturer of the da Vinci surgical system, and spoke with their product manager and director of marketing who corroborated and reinforced everything I had heard about Dr. Patel. I contacted Medtronics Corporation, a company that worked with the da Vinci arm in cardiovascular surgery, and there, too, I heard glorious things about Dr. Patel. Finally, I spoke with a few of his patients. That was most beneficial because they confirmed what everyone else had been telling me.   The surgery took place on January 3, 2008. I was walking the halls three hours afterwards in the recovery room. By noon the following day, I was discharged from the hospital and allowed to spend a few days resting at home.

Florida Hospital Celebration Health is unlike any other hospital that I've experienced in all my years in business. Everyone who worked as part of Dr. Patel's team and as hospital support staff was competent and friendly. I was delighted by my experience during the few hours I spent in the hospital at Florida Hospital Celebration Health. I went back to see Dr. Patel on January 9 to have the catheter removed and learned that the cancer was completely contained and the margins were clear. I was cancer-free. My prayers and those of my family and friends had been answered. I was so relieved and happy. To make the day complete, and to my obvious surprise after the catheter was removed, I was and am still, completely continent. As for erectile dysfunction, at 10 weeks after surgery, there were signs and promise that I would soon be back to my old self. As I write this in November 2008, I can happily say it's all good!   I owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Patel and his wonderful staff and to the caring professionals at Florida Hospital Celebration Health. I will always be thankful for their genuine care, expertise, affirmation and encouragement. There is no question in my mind that robotic prostate surgery as performed by Dr. Patel and his staff is the best singular way to achieve positive results without guess work or complications. There is no doubt in my mind that having Dr. Patel perform the surgery was one of the best decisions that I have made in my life. 

Bertram lewars — the researcher

On October 1, 2007, I found out I had prostate cancer. Upon hearing the news from my urologist that the biopsy had come back positive for cancer, I was absolutely devastated. Once I came to accept the fact that I had cancer, I began weeks of intense research. I searched the Internet, consulted with urologists and other doctors, and spoke with current and former prostate cancer patients. Based on the research and given my age and good health, I determined that to remove the prostate via robotic surgery was the best option for me. The prognosis bode very well for me to make a full recovery since the amount of cancer was small and it was caught early.   Dr. Patel's staff is by far the most thorough, caring and responsible medical staff I have ever seen. Their attention to detail and follow-up is second to none. Dr. Patel himself has a great bedside manner that exudes total confidence and makes the patient feel at ease with the prospect of undergoing this very complicated and sensitive procedure.   On the day of the surgery, I was not nervous at all. Naturally, there was some anxiety, as this was going to be a major operation. However, I had every confidence in the doctor and was relaxed on my way to the hospital. Once I arrived, the medical staff was reassuring and everything went smoothly.   The day after the surgery I felt great. I was walking down the hall and back and had very little pain or discomfort. Once the catheter came out on day six, things began to improve even more quickly. I stopped taking oral pain medication altogether on day seven. Two weeks later all that remains is some minor abdominal soreness. Within a week I regained urinary control and soon all my sexual capacity. I am now cancer-free.

Irving Rosenbaum

I had a PSA test at a urologist, the test was high, from their I had a biopsy and they told me I had prostate cancer. My wife did some research, I consulted with people at the University and people outside of the University as well, they all mentioned Dr. Patel's name. Robotics was the best option for me because I evaluated the alternatives and in terms of my criteria it was my only choice. I think that everything went so well, with the staff with the people at the hospital. It's not easy to go through these transactions, but whatever I went through was a pleasant experience. Everything went very smoothly.