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Early stage prostate cancer: Do you need surgery?

Posted Jul 30 2012 6:33pm

Throughout this blog, I have kept you up to date on my prostate cancer. I was diagnosed with an early-stage cancer and, after a period of active surveillance, decided to be treated with radiation. So far, so good.  Post-treatment blood tests show my PSA at normal levels. Yet, I need to keep up with regular screenings, to make sure the cancer doesn’t progress.

I understand many men prefer surgery, so they know their cancerous prostate has been removed.  It makes a great deal of sense.  But what is a guy to do? Recent news reports are throwing out many conflicting messages.  Do I wait and monitor my cancer?  Do I opt for surgical removal?  Do I decide on radiation treatment? It’s confusing stuff for any guy.

The following article by Tara Parker-Pope , in the New York Times, explores whether surgery is a good choice for early-stage cancer.

I am not a doctor, but here is my suggestion. Talk with your doctor about prostate cancer. Bring up the subject, even if you’re a younger man. Start taking prostate exams at the appropriate age (after consulting with the doctor). Some men are at higher risk and need to be screened at a younger age.  If you’re eventually diagnosed with the disease, you don’t need to panic. Do research, talk with your family and spend a lot of time with your urologist (and perhaps a radiation oncologist) to determine the best treatment option. A lot will be determined by the clinical grade of the cancer.  It’s a fact guys don’t like to see the doctor. It’s a main theme throughout my blog.

So guys, don’t avoid the doctor during your baby boomer years.

Note: Since posting this piece, I came across the latest from HealthDay.com


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