How One Veteran's Motto of 'Never Quit' Helped Him Through Prostate Cancer Treatment and Urinary Incontinence
Posted: October 09, 2023 | Word Count: 949
Steve Cooper, an 18-year military veteran and successful businessman, was 41 years old when he received a devastating diagnosis of stage four prostate cancer and was given just months to live. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men, behind skin cancer. While prostate cancer is typically treated successfully when found early, Steve’s cancer was diagnosed in an advanced stage.
“My personal motto is ‘Never Quit’ and after hearing about my prognosis, my training and discipline from years in the U.S. Army immediately kicked in,” said Steve. “I truly believe that keeping my focus on staying physically active helped me keep my mind off this disease and ultimately, get through treatment.”
Steve first underwent a prostatectomy — an operation to remove part or all of the prostate gland — followed by radiation, chemotherapy and anti-hormone therapy. While this approach led to Steve’s remission, in the years following his treatment he began to struggle with urinary incontinence. Men who have a prostatectomy experience bladder leakage in the first few weeks after their procedure, and about 10% report urinary incontinence to be a significant problem a year or more after their procedure.,
As his bladder leakage worsened, Steve had to begin wearing adult diapers. Beyond feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed, he stopped many of the physical and daily activities that had defined his life up to that point.
“As devastating as my cancer diagnosis was, my struggle with bladder leakage was worse,” Steve recalled. “I wanted to be active, but I didn’t want to change in a locker room anymore. I stopped dating because of the embarrassment of wearing diapers. My life was falling apart.”
Steve realized he needed to do something to regain control of his life and spoke with his doctor about his options. Together they decided on an implantable device called the AMS 800™ Artificial Urinary Sphincter (AUS). The AMS 800 AUS is entirely contained within the body. A cuff gently squeezes the urethra closed and prevents urine leakage.
Soon after having the artificial urinary sphincter implanted, he was able to ditch the diapers. For Steve, it was like a weight had been lifted. He was able to feel like himself again without the constant fear of bladder leakage. Steve began dating again, met his future wife, and even competed in a half Ironman race in Hawaii nearly two years following the procedure.
“It’s sometimes hard for people to understand the impact of incontinence on so many aspects of daily life if they haven’t experienced it themselves,” Steve shared. “I find myself telling people that the day I married my wife was the best day of my life, but the day I received my implant was a close second!”
Several years later, Steve remains active and is cancer-free. His current mission is to help veterans receive the care and benefits they’ve earned and raise awareness about prostate cancer treatment and its side effects, including urinary incontinence.
As with any medical procedure, there are risks and benefits involved with the AMS 800 AUS, and it’s important for patients to talk with their doctor to determine an appropriate treatment approach for them. To learn more about the AMS 800 AUS, visit www.FixIncontinence.com/AMS800.
Some risks include, but are not limited to, device malfunction or failure, which may require revision surgery, wearing away/loss of tissue (device/tissue erosion), inability to urinate (urinary retention), infection and postoperative pain. Safety information, as well as a complete list of potential side effects associated with the AMS 800 AUS, can be found online at: www.FixIncontinence.com/risks.
Results from this patient are not necessarily predictive of results in other cases. Results in other cases may vary.
 American Cancer Society. Key Statistics for Prostate Cancer. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/about/key-statistics.html. Accessed September 2023.
 Johns Hopkins Medicine. Prostate Cancer Prognosis. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/prostate-cancer/prostate-cancer-prognosis. Accessed September 2023.
 American Cancer Society. Surgery for Prostate Cancer. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/prostate-cancer/treating/surgery.html. Accessed September 2023.
 Ficarra V, Novara G, Rosen RC, et al. Systematic review and meta-analysis of studies reporting urinary continence recovery after robot-assisted radical prostatectomy. Eur Urol. 2012;62(3):405-17.
 Data on file with Boston Scientific.
AMS 800™ Artificial Urinary Sphincter
Caution: U.S. Federal law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a physician.
Your doctor is your best source for information on the risks and benefits of the AMS 800 Artificial Urinary Sphincter. Talk to your doctor for a complete listing of risks, warnings and important safety information.
The AMS 800 Artificial Urinary Sphincter is intended for use in the treatment of male stress urinary incontinence (intrinsic sphincter deficiency) following prostate surgery.
Men with diabetes, spinal cord injuries or skin infections may have an increased risk of infection. Some AMS 800 devices contain an antibiotic (InhibiZone™ Antibiotic Surface Treatment). The device may not be suited for patients who are allergic to the antibiotics contained within the device (rifampin, minocycline or other tetracyclines) or have systemic lupus.
Potential risks may include: device malfunction/failure leading to additional surgery, wearing away/loss of tissue (device/tissue erosion), inability to urinate (urinary retention), infection, and pain/soreness. MH-545611-AB
Results from case studies are not necessarily predictive of results in other cases. Results in other cases may vary.
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URO-1685903-AA OCT 2023