Patient Stories

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The UCLA Department of Urology provides treatment for urological conditions of all kinds and is committed to providing the highest quality of patient care. We take great pride in being able to share a few of our patients' stories with you.

The UCLA Department of Urology provides treatment for urological conditions of all kinds and is committed to providing the highest quality of patient care. We take great pride in being able to share a few of our patients' stories with you.

Adam Schaffer Patient Story

Adam's Story - Bladder Cancer

Bladder Cancer Surgery
Looking back Adam Schaffer now 50 years old and a proud bladder cancer survivor who was treated at UCLA, reflects on that fateful day five years ago when his then six-year old son kneed him in the groin on Thanksgiving Day.

Testicular Cancer Awareness: Ted's Story

Testicular Cancer Awareness: Ted's Story

Testicular Cancer Awareness Month is held annually to call attention to a cancer that primarily effects young adult men. Testicular cancer is usually curable, even in advanced cases, but self-exam is key for early diagnosis. Ted Dunlap knew something was wrong when he felt a pressure on his testicle. He didn’t think it could ever happen to him, but he got screened at UCLA Health right away, where he was diagnosed and treated successfully for testicular cancer.

Testicular Cancer Awareness: Connor's Story

Testicular Cancer Awareness: Connor's Story

Testicular cancer primarily affects young adult men and, fortunately, is very treatable. In most cases, it is curable, but self-exam is key for early diagnosis. For baseball player, Connor Joe, cancer was discovered in 2020 during a physical exam while in Spring Training with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Following surgery at UCLA and chemotherapy, Connor is cancer-free and playing professional baseball.

Chad Rubel

Early detection of prostate cancer proves crucial for father of two.

Chad Rubel was more than a little surprised when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. At 42, Rubel was decades away from the average diagnosis age of 66. He wasn’t experiencing any of the typical symptoms, and to his knowledge, he had no family history of the disease. Prostate cancer is one of the most curable cancers if caught early. In fact, many men with low-risk disease live symptom-free without requiring treatment. ‘If we discovered this at 50, this would be a much different story,’ says Rubel, a patient of Dr. Christopher Saigal, Professor of UCLA Urology. A little over a month post-surgery, Rubel is starting to resume his favorite activities, including playing with his two boys.

Alan and Blyden story

Alan and Blyden’s Story - Kidney Transplant

Kidney Transplant for Polycystic Kidney Disease
Kidney Transplant Rejuvenates a Life and Reconnects Old Friends. Friends since childhood but separated by years and geography, Alan Landros and Blyden Loutensock found each other again in a time of need.

Alex's Story Pediatric Partial Nephrectom

Alex's Story: Pediatric, Partial Nephrectomy Restores 5-Year-Old to Normal Activities

Robotic Kidney Surgery
Alex made history as the first pediatric patient to undergo a robotic partial nephrectomy at UCLA
“The first thing we thought was, ‘Oh my gosh, I hope this is not the C-word,’” says Angela
Lomeli about her son, Alex, age 5. “That was the scary part.”

Barbara's Story

Barbara's Story - Cancer of the Ureters and Kidneys

Going the Extra Mile(s) for Effective Treatment
Unfortunately, cancer runs in Barbara Pytlewski’s family. Years ago, she and her brother learned they have Lynch syndrome, a hereditary condition associated with a high risk of developing colon cancer, as well as an increased likelihood of urinary tract, uterine and liver cancers.

Bill's Story - Prostate Cancer Surgery

Bill's Story - Prostate Cancer Surgery

Software Developed by UCLA Urologist Helps Men Avoid Decisions They Might Regret
Like many men diagnosed with prostate cancer, Bill Pickett faced a tough question when he came to UCLA for treatment: how to fight it? Prostate cancer is one of the more curable cancers — it has a 96 percent survival rate 15 years after diagnosis, according to the American Cancer Society

Bob's Story - Same-Day Robotic-assisted Prostatectomy

Same-Day Robotic-assisted Prostatectomy, Prostate Cancer Treatment at UCLA
Patient Reports Quick Recovery: Back to Work, the Gym and Golf in Weeks

Carey's Story

Carey's Story - Robotic Prostate Cancer Surgery

Finding the Best Doctor for Robotic Surgery to Eliminate Prostate Cancer
While shooting on location in Australia, Carey Melcher sensed something was wrong. But the 55-year-old Los Angeles-based commercial producer is the first to admit that he responded the way many men in his situation do: by ignoring the problem and hoping it would go away.

Ed's Story

Ed's Story - Robotic-assisted Prostatectomy at UCLA

Early Diagnosis makes all the difference for Prostate Cancer Survivor, Ed Evans
It was a routine, annual checkup for Ed Evans. His blood pressure and cholesterol levels were normal. Ed exercised regularly and watched his diet, so physically he was in great shape. Everything looked fine, until his blood work came back. The doctor explained that Ed’s PSA levels were dangerously high.  That Spring afternoon in 2012, Ed learned that he had prostate cancer.

Eddie's Story

Eddie's Story - Active Surveillance for Prostate Cancer

A Close Call: Under Surveillance for Prostate Cancer - Dr. Leonard Marks Patient Story
Eddie Carrillo experienced no symptoms that might have alerted him to his elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level. But at a routine physical, Carrillo learned that his PSA was an alarming 4.5; normal is 1.0. Carrillo’s doctor told him it was likely he had prostate cancer, and that his prostate would have to be removed to prevent the cancer from spreading.

Gaston and Luis' Story - Kidney Donation

Patient Story: Life-Saving Kidney Donation
A pair of sisters attracted – national attention in January when Mississippi governor Haley Barbour released them from prison-on condition that one donate a kidney to the other.

Dexter and Charlie's Story

Dexter and Charlie's Story - End-stage Renal Disease & Hydronephrosis

Teri Parcon was looking forward to the birth of her son, Dexter, when a routine prenatal ultrasound revealed some bad news: Her baby had end-stage renal disease, a condition resulting in severely limited kidney function and requiring either dialysis or transplantation to ensure survival. Dexter was transferred to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center under the care of Dr. Jennifer Singer, a UCLA pediatric urologist with expertise in treating patients with end-stage renal disease.

David's Story - Prostate Cancer

David's Story - Prostate Cancer

Active Surveillance and Life Beyond Prostate Cancer: David Orthner’s Story on Living with the Enemy
David Orthner learned he might have cancer by a fluke. When sending his blood sample to the lab after a routine physical, Orthner’s doctor checked the box for a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) measurement, something not typically done until a patient turns 50.

Ilija’s Story

Ilija’s Story - Kidney Cancer

Partial Nephrectomy using Advanced Robotic Surgery
Ilija Sakota's left kidney was removed due to cancer in 2004. Last year, his right kidney was diagnosed as cancerous.

John's Story

John's Story - Bladder Cancer

Neo-bladder Surgery
Just days before his 59th birthday, John Hottinger found specs of blood in his urine. Since he worked for an insurance agency, he asked a friend at work to book him in with an internist. After the tests, he received the phone call from the doctor who told him to come in and bring his wife.

Ken's Story

Ken's Story - Surveillance Rather Than Prostate Surgery

Active Surveillance for Prostate Cancer
While PSA testing to screen for prostate cancer has led to more detection, the concept of “active surveillance” is gaining traction as a means to reduce overtreatment of the disease.

Lance's Story

Lance's Story - Kidney Cancer

Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Partial Nephrectomy
KCLU News -- For more than a decade, KCLU’s Lance Orozco has been bringing us stories about the news, and the events in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. You might have noticed he hasn’t been on the air for the last few weeks. Today, he returns with a very personal story about a fight he’s been facing for the last few months…his struggle with kidney cancer.

Mark's Story

Mark's Story - Bladder Cancer

Neo-bladder Surgery
Mark Felling is an aerospace engineer and an avid backpacker. He is healthy, never smoked, works out regularly, but within a week that all changed in July 2008.

Michelle's Story

Michelle's Story - Overactive Bladder Syndrome (OAB)

Neuromodulation Therapy at UCLA
What It’s Like to Have to Pee 40 Times a Day. From the time the alarm went off to walking out the door in the morning, I would be in and out of the bathroom five to ten times. I have overactive bladder syndrome (OAB) paired with a smaller than normal bladder capacity, which is thought to be due to a congenital birth defect. For me, this means that I have to urinate, a lot, sometimes more than 30 to 40 times a day.

Sally's Story

Sally's Story - Bladder Cancer

Bladder Reconstruction: Radical Cystectomy
Two summers ago just before a trip back to her native country South Africa, Sally Dansey, 57, noticed blood in her urine and she suffered from painful urination.