Medical College of Wisconsin cancer specialists help executive return to work
Erle Hug was fearful he might only have six months to live.
Hug, National Food Service Account Manager in the Ice Cream Division at Unilever, was 51 years old when a physical suggested the possibility of prostate cancer. Hug’s prostate specific antigen (PSA) level was elevated and his family physician immediately referred him to a local urologist. The urologist performed a biopsy, which revealed cancer.
At that point Hug sought a second opinion. He scheduled an appointment with William See, MD, Chairman of Urology at The Medical College of Wisconsin, after a friend called Dr. See “the best guy in town.” Within 48 hours, Hug and his wife were sitting in Dr. See’s office at Froedtert Hospital.
“We were fearful,” Hug said. “I thought I was going to die. But Dr. See was very understanding. He laid out the options, including the pluses and minuses.”
Dr. See is Professor and Chairman of Urology; Dr. Lawton is Professor of Radiation Oncology.
Hug selected a nerve-sparing prostatectomy, a specialized surgical procedure designed to spare nerve function and minimize post-surgical side effects. During the surgery, the cancerous prostate is removed without disturbing the nerves that are vital for urinary control.
Hug healed quickly after surgery. Dr. See told him a relapse was possible, but assured Hug that radiation therapy, if needed, could knock out any stubborn cancer cells. Two years later, Hug’s PSA crept up again. Dr. See referred Hug to Colleen Lawton, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin radiation oncologist who specializes in prostate cancer. After 42 radiation treatments at Froedtert Hospital, Hug’s PSA was back to normal.
Now, nearly 10 years later, Hug remains cancer-free and active in his career and family life. “I have two grandchildren. I went on a cruise. I feel as good today as I did 10 years ago,” Hug said.
Physician Expertise at Froedtert & The Medical College Clinical Cancer Center
- The widest range of treatment options for prostate cancer in Wisconsin.
- Access to regionally unique clinical trials. The only site in the central U.S. that offers access to high intensity ultrasound for treatment of early stage localized prostate cancer.
- Web-accessible outcome data for open and robotic surgery.
- Expertise in minimally invasive procedures, including a fellowship-trained urologist in robotic surgery. In robotic surgery, the surgeon removes the prostate by manipulating computerized robotic arms, making just a few small incisions.
- The radiation oncology program is a leader in Wisconsin in providing the most advanced radiation therapy technology and expertise available.