It's always a shock to learn you have cancer, but it was especially so for Bill Molash.
"I felt fine, there were no symptoms," he said.
But a routine blood test showed elevated levels of PSA — prostate specific antigen — which indicates possible prostate cancer. Further tests confirmed the diagnosis.
At age 57, Molash was a bit younger than the typical prostate cancer patient. This common cancer generally strikes men in their mid 60s and older.
For older patients, doctors generally offer several options, including watchful waiting, to see if the tumor grows; radiation therapy to destroy the cancer; or surgery.
"I was too young to do nothing," said Molash. "So I said, 'Take it out. I don't want to mess with it anymore!'"
His urologist, Joseph W. Akornor, MD, of Wichita Urology Group, recommended minimally invasive da Vinci robotic surgery.
Performed with just a few tiny incisions, Dr. Akornor said this high-tech surgery is easier on patients, with less pain and a shorter recovery than with traditional "long incision" surgery.
And that was the case for Molash.
"Thirty minutes afterward, they had me get up and walk around," he said. "I had five little incisions and one short one, all closed with an adhesive covering instead of stitches. But I had no pain."
In just 10 days, he returned to his job as an operations assistant at Wichita State University's Elliott School of Communication.
"But my doctor made me wait a bit longer before he'd let me go back to riding my motorcycle! "he added with a smile.
Barely two months after his surgery, his life was completely back to normal. He's back on his Goldwing motorcycle, riding to work and, as part of the Patriot Guard, standing watch at the funerals of fallen military heroes.
"I didn't have any problems at all, and now, I feel great!"