WHAT TO DO

A friend asked me what I thought was the best treatment for prostate cancer.  He had researched all of the available options on the internet and was confused.  I told him that, several years ago, I went through a prostate cancer scare.  I, too, was confused!

The treatment for prostate cancer varies depending on the type of prostate cancer present, the physicians treating you, and your own personal needs and wishes.  For many men, the fear of the potential aftermath of treating prostate cancer is greater than the fear of the cancer itself.  The options available at the time I retired ranged from a “watchful waiting” approach to radical prostatectomy and hormonal therapy.  Options also included laparoscopic surgery and radiation treatment.

I used to give my patients four referrals: one to a University of Chicago professor who was famous for open, radical prostatectomy; one for a local urologist who had done more laparoscopic surgeries than anyone else in the area; one to meet a radiation oncologist; and lastly, one to a prostate cancer support group.  Armed with firsthand knowledge of their options, most patients were able to find a treatment option that satisfied their need.

While most patients were able to decide on an approach to treating their cancer, almost all remained highly anxious about the possible aftermath.  Tell a man that you are going to cut out his prostate and he’ll schedule the surgery.  Tell him that he may not be able to get an erection or that he may be incontinent and he will leave your office as fast as he can and put off whichever treatment he had decided on.

The reality is that most men do well with whichever approach they take. Post treatment physical therapy and the Viagra class meds have been very successful in treating the aftermath.

So, how did I help the patient who couldn’t make a decision?  I asked him which specialist did he like/trust the best.  Once he identified the physician he felt safest with, then the decision became a slam dunk.  Simply follow your physician’s advice and let him/her care for you with the approach he/she gets

the best outcome from.

Here’s your joke for the day and a song.

When I was a teen, my dad showed me a 30 minute PowerPoint presentation on why one should always wear a condom during sex.

All the slides were just pictures of me.

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