Former Will County Sheriff First to Undergo Advanced Prostate Cancer Treatment at Silver Cross

Dr. Dan GoldenMore than 160,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, according to the American Cancer Society. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men behind skin cancer. The key is early detection, so when John Johnsen, 73, of Morris, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the spring of 2016 he never panicked. 

Back in January of 2016, after a routine physical exam, his doctor noticed his PSA levels were elevated and he was referred to an urologist in Chicago for a prostate biopsy. His Gleason score, a scoring system used to grade prostate cancer when looking at it under a microscope, was high enough to diagnose him with a less aggressive form of prostate cancer that required treatment. 

“The urologist said that it was not a rapidly developing situation. It wasn’t going to go away, but it wasn’t an emergency situation,” Johnsen said. “Although my doctor in Chicago did tell me that it needed some attention.” 

After further testing he was referred to Dr. Daniel Golden, a radiation oncologist with the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross. 

Hypofractionated Radiation

Because his prostate cancer was considered less aggressive and there was no sign of cancer in any lymph nodes, Dr. Golden told Johnsen he was a candidate for procedure called hypofractionated radiation. 

Hypofractionation increases the amount of radiation per visit and cuts down the amount of daily treatments needed for men with less aggressive forms of prostate cancer. Traditional radiation for less aggressive forms of prostate cancer requires 39 daily treatments, while the hypofractionated treatment program Johnsen received was 28 treatments. 

“We’ve been using hypofractionated treatment for breast cancer for 10 years now,” Dr. Golden said. “Because of advancing technology, we can now target prostate cancer more efficiently, which allows us to safely increase the amount of radiation delivered each day while maintaining a low risk of side effects.” 

In Johnsen’s case, his doctors told him his prostate cancer was less aggressive but it still needed to be addressed. 

Johnsen, who served as Will County sheriff in the late 1980s and early 1990s, began hormonal therapy for a couple of months before beginning radiation treatment in late June. Johnsen completed his treatment course in just over 5 weeks with minimal side effects. One month after completing 28 treatments of hypofractionated radiation, Golden said Johnsen no longer has any signs of prostate cancer. 

“I can’t say enough about Dr. Golden and all of the staff here. Everybody is very accommodating. I was very happy that the University of Chicago had a place here, and I didn’t have to go all the way to Chicago,” Johnsen said.

For more information about treatment for prostate cancer or to schedule an appointment, call 1-855-UCM-1400.

Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care. These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.