His Champion of Hope

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His Champion of Hope

Prostate cancer patient finds the right choice in renowned surgeon

When Chauncey Bingham was diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 75, he worried his age might bar him from some treatment options. But he remained determined to beat the disease.

His search for the best therapy led him from his home in Las Vegas to City of Hope and the care of surgeon Timothy Wilson, M.D. Thanks to the doctor’s concern and expertise, Bingham is enjoying life cancer-free five years after treatment. He recently showed his gratitude by honoring Wilson through City of Hope’s Champions of Hope program.

“If you have to go through something like prostate cancer, my time at City of Hope was a great experience,” says Bingham, a Korean War veteran who worked as a schoolteacher and administrator for more than 30 years.

His road to diagnosis was a long one. It took two and half years of worrisome prostate screening results before his sixth biopsy revealed prostate cancer in 2007. He immediately set out to find the right treatment. His doctor recommended a visit to City of Hope.

“My urologist knew I was looking around and wanted to make sure I had the right person,” Bingham says, “so he referred me to Dr. Wilson, which is the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Wilson, the Pauline and Martin Collins Family Chair in Urology, reassured him that age wouldn’t be a barrier to undergoing robotic surgery — a technique that requires smaller incisions than traditional surgery and results in fewer complications. More than focusing on defeating cancer, the surgeon also made a plan to give Bingham the best shot at a healthy, full life after treatment.

“Dr. Wilson told me he’d just gotten back from Bordeaux, France, where he’d had some extensive training in a special technique to separate the nerves so that I would have a better chance of not being incontinent. I liked that idea,” says Bingham.

Bingham’s operation went smoothly, requiring only an overnight stay at the medical center. And he was impressed by Wilson’s professionalism and caring.

“After a busy day of surgery, he came by late in the evening to see me and make sure I was OK. To have him personally come around, that made me feel good.”

After healing at home, Bingham was back to life as he knew it — without the side effect of incontinence that some men face after prostate surgery.

Today, Bingham enjoys traveling with his wife of 50 years, JoAnn, as he approaches his 80th birthday. They’ve spent time in Italy, New Zealand and, most recently, Australia.

Life after cancer, thanks to Wilson’s expert care, spurred Bingham to pay tribute to the doctor through Champions of Hope. This program provides a special way that patients, family members and friends can donate to City of Hope to honor an extraordinary physician, nurse or other health professional.

“I really have a special place in my heart for City of Hope,” Bingham says. “I like the research that’s going on. I like the way the staff talks to you and works with you. It’s just a great organization.” — Wayne Lewis

Honor Your Champion of Hope

Has a caregiver at City of Hope moved you in a special way? If so, you can honor that extraordinary person by making a donation through our new tribute program, Champions of Hope. To participate, call 800-667-5310 or visit www.cityofhope.org/champions.

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