Prostate Club meets with new hospital medical director

Published on Wednesday, 30 August 2017 21:51
Written by Lorenzo Burgio


BRISTOL - The Prostate Club met with Bristol Hospital’s new medical director for urologic robotic surgeries to spread information and awareness of prostate cancer.

John Leone explained he began the club about 10 years ago after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He said the club provides a platform for anyone who has been diagnosed to speak with others who have been in, or are in a similar situation, and to receive first-hand knowledge and experiences.

“It’s an informational group. I felt it was a good way for those who are diagnosed to come together and learn information about prostate cancer,” he said. “The more information someone can get on the subject, the better off they are.”

When someone is diagnosed, they are unsure what to do or expect, Leone said, and “a lot of people don’t want to share their diagnosis with family and friends, so the club allows them to do so, with people who understand.”

The club meets once or twice a year, Leone said, and with newly staffed urologist, Dr. Kai Hans Hammerich, Bristol Hospital decided to host the club, luncheon and invite the doctor.

“The club is a good source and resource for patients,” Hammerich said. “It’s a good opportunity to spread the word and introduce it to others in the community.”

About a year ago, Bristol Hospital acquired the newest da Vinci Xi surgical system model for robotic surgeries. In the event a patient needs a prostatectomy, Hammerich said, the surgical system provides patients the option of robotic or open surgery.

“From my perspective, surgery is always the best option, but is always up to the patient,” Hammerich said. “Open surgery is fading out. Robotic is the preferred surgery.”

He explained that robotic surgery is minimally invasive, has better visualization, a wide range of movement of instruments and better ergonomics, though, he emphasized that it is always the patient’s decision.

There has been a three-month study to distinguish the difference between the two surgeries, he noted, that resulted in no statistical differences with regard to sexual function, urinary function and positive surgical margins, which are common side effects.

Hammerich explained acknowledged that in 2017 there were a little more than 160,000 new cases of prostate cancer, 26,000 deaths from prostate cancer and is the third leading cause of cancer death.

He added that one in seven men will be diagnosed during their lifetime, six of 10 cases are diagnosed at the age of 65 or older and one in 39 men will die of prostate cancer.

“If other people want to get involved in the club, they are more than welcome,” Leone added.

Lorenzo Burgio can be reached at or at 860-973-5088.

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, General Business, General News on Wednesday, 30 August 2017 21:51. Updated: Wednesday, 30 August 2017 21:54.