Jimmy Starr is what you’d call a hometown boy. The native of Camden has spent most of his life in this part of Ouachita County, where he helps run the family trucking business.
Camden is the kind of place where neighbors know each other, and strangers get a warm welcome. And it’s a place Starr has never taken for granted, especially after being diagnosed with prostate cancer a few years back.
“I was given some options as to what my treatment could be,” said Starr, 66. “Of course, one was to remove it. The other was to do radiation for, I remember it being 40 weeks or something like that, a pretty extended period of time.”
“And the third option was to do the HIFU procedure. My wife and I talked about it for a good while, and we chose to do the HIFU procedure.”
HIFU stands for high-intensity focused ultrasound, which is an advanced procedure done only in select urology clinics. Arkansas Urology, which is known for its cutting-edge treatments, is one of those practices having added HIFU as a service line in 2018.
However, at the time of Starr’s procedure AU was just getting up and running with the technology. So, the Arkansan was scheduled at another clinic, and physician Dr. Tim Goodson went along as part of his training on HIFU. Goodson also serves as Starr’s follow-up urologist.
“We ended up going to Las Vegas to have the procedure done just because that’s where the machine was,” Starr recalls. “It was a four- or five-hour procedure; we flew to Las Vegas and stayed a day in advance. We had that done one afternoon, and we flew back home the next day.
“To be honest with you, it’s been a very good experience for me because I have had no issues with what the procedure was, and it was successful.”
Prior to his departure for Las Vegas, AU physicians went the extra mile for Starr in a way that minimized his apprehension going into the treatment. They connected him with other prostate cancer survivors who’d had the procedure to answer any questions he had about what to expect.
Today Starr, who was up and about in no time and today gets a clean bill of health at his regular checkups, has volunteered to help other patients in this same meaningful way.
“I told Dr. Goodson one time if they ran across someone who’s uneasy about this or trying to decide or they’re just not sure and want to talk to somebody, I’ll be glad to talk to anybody,” he said. “I know how that feels, and it was comforting for me to talk to someone who had been through it.”