By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: November 2014
Richard B. Saint, M.D., F.A.C.S., is the official urologist for the newly integrated system between MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and St. John Hospital.
Richard B. Saint, M.D., F.A.C.S., is a regional authority in the field of bladder and testis cancer, as well as other urological malignancies. He practices at the St. John Medical Office Building in Broken Arrow, with additional offices at St. Francis South in Tulsa and St. John Owasso. Dr. Saint came to Tulsa after completing his residency at Indiana University and has practiced here for the past 25 years. His specialized training is in a procedure that revolutionized urinary tract reconstruction for patients where bladder removal was necessary. In 1992, Dr. Saint was the first in Oklahoma to perform a bladder replacement using the small intestine. Dr. Saint is highly experienced in all areas of urological oncology.
Recently, a new MRI for Prostate Program was begun at St. John Hospital, one of the first in Oklahoma to incorporate MRI and ultrasound fusion for guiding biopsies. Dr. Saint and an MD Anderson certified physician have teamed up with On Call Surgical, Inc., a mobile provider, to bring this exciting new diagnostic tool to the Tulsa area. Dr. Saint performed biopsies incorporating the new technology in September of this year, and Dr. Zach Chonka provided the multi-parametric MRI studies and interpretation used in the procedures.
On Call Surgical provides the technology and fusion expertise. Their system overlies MRI with live ultrasound imaging for live guidance during prostate biopsies. This helps guide the physician to regions of interest in the prostate, and those areas are identified by an experienced radiologist. The process has the potential to reduce the incidence of under and over treatment of lesions in the prostate.
Prostate cancer is the second most prevalent cause of cancer deaths in men in the country and is a significant healthcare challenge because of its high incidence. In January of 2014, the Urologic Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health stated, “Prostate MRI is currently the best diagnostic imaging method for the detection of prostate cancer.”
In July, St John Hospital joined forces with MD Anderson Houston to offer an integrated system, the only one in Oklahoma, and Dr. Saint is the official urologist for the program. A total of four surgical specialties are part of the program including prostate, lung, colon and breast cancer.
Dr. Saint has weekly consulting teleconferences with members of the MD Anderson staff. The benefit to Tulsa area patients is that they may now receive the highest level of treatment, diagnostic specialties, security and confidence that they once felt they had to go to Houston to obtain. St. John is one of only 12 locations in the United States that currently offers this service and treatment. “St. John has always been on the cutting edge of technology for urology,” said Dr. Saint, “and it is truly rewarding to be an integral part of their system.”
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Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.