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Invasion of the Prostate Snatchers: No More Unnecessary Biopsies, Radical Treatment or Loss of Sexual Potency

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  • Posted September 21, 2010

    Best Book for Men Newly Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer

    This book excels in helping men decide about prostate cancer (PCa) treatment. Co-written by an excellent medical oncologist specializing in PCa (MOSPC), it contains authoritative information, e.g.:

    There are three basic categories of PCa--Low-, Intermediate-, and High-Risk.

    High-Risk, also known as "aggressive," should be treated aggressively whereas Low-Risk often can be safely managed with no treatment. 

    A doctor refers a man to a urologist because of an abnormal PSA test and/or digital rectal examination (DRE): The urologist biopsies the man's prostate and finds PCa. Typically, the man views PCa as a death sentence, panics, and feels pressured to get rid of it immediately. He avoids delaying for second opinions and agrees quickly to have the urologist cut out his prostate (radical prostatectomy or RP)--an aggressive treatment.

    Of the 50,000 RPs done in the USA every year, more than 40,000 were not necessary. That is, the vast majority of PCa patients would have lived as long without having their prostates removed.

    RP is no longer the most effective treatment for PCa. Radiation therapy (RT), another aggressive treatment, has evolved into being at least as effective. 

    Another type of PCa doctor is a medical oncologist, who is trained to treat all cancers. Their training in PCa treatment focuses only on advanced disease. Early-stage disease is left for urologists.  

    Medical oncologists treat some PCa patients with testosterone inactivating pharmaceuticals (TIP, also known as "hormone blockade" or "androgen deprivation therapy").  TIP has its side effects but, unlike RP, RT, or cryotherapy, the side effects are often reversible when the doctor stops the TIP.

    Only a minority of urologists are as skilled as MOSPCs in providing TIP. 

    Of the more than 10,000  medical oncologists in the USA only less than 100 are MOSPCs.

    MOSPCs often do more comprehensive evaluations than some urologists. In addition to PSAs, DREs, PSA velocity calculations, and PSA density calculations, they may use spectrographic endorectal MRI (S-MRI) scans, color doppler ultrasound scans, and PCA-3 tests to assess the risk-level. The tests also help monitor PCa (called "active surveillance" or AS).

    The evaluation also helps determine whether an immediate initial biopsy is needed. If the patient has had a biopsy, the evaluation may reduce the number of repeat biopsies needed for AS.

    Chapters by Blum, a patient of his co-author, illustrate the benefits received by a patient who learns about PCa, finds the right doctor, and avoids blindly following doctors' advice. Blum's story of his 20-year PCa journey is likely to empower more patients to take charge of theirs.

    Blum went overseas to Holland for a Combidex MRI because it was only available there. My guess is that less than 10 percent of PCa patients are able to take the time off and/or pay for out-of-state/country trips for expert help. The book does not acknowledge this obstacle.

    Snatchers adds greatly to the meager literature on how MOSPCs help patients decide on a treatment and care for Low-Risk patients.

    The list of MOSPCs might help patients find the right doctor.

    My qualifications: participating in PCa online forums; leading PCa support group discussions; seeing the MOSPC co-author of Snatchers every three months for nine years; undergoing biopsies, S-MRIs, Color Dopplers; avoiding aggressive treatment; writing my PCa s

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2011

    The New Gold Standard Book on Prostate Cancer

    Buy this book! I rank it five stars plus-the new GOLD STANDARD for a book on prostate cancer. It will now be the one book I advise all men to read first. I am not surprised at its high quality since I have followed the career and writings of Dr. Mark Scholz over the Internet for years. He is a spectacular doctor. I do not personally know Ralph Blum, but I feel like I know him now, because he is such an excellent and personable writer. Blum does something that is extremely valuable: he spills his intimate secrets about sex and other prostate cancer related indignities, which is exactly what men need to know. He also takes the reader on a fascinating journey through acupuncture, herbal medicine, alternative medicine, complimentary medicine, new age, and mind-body theories.
    Invasion of the Prostate Snatchers creates an important new paradigm in medical writing for the general public: Dr. Scholz provides the science and the new treatment advances, while Ralph Blum roams, speculates and elaborates on everything prostate cancer related. The resulting personal-and-scientific dance is more successful than I have ever seen in a book before. When you partner a great doctor with a great patient you get a really great book; you get INVASION OF THE PROSTATE SNATCHERS. - Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., physician & economist, Author of Surviving Prostate Cancer Without Surgery, (Roseville Books, 2005).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2012

    Good overview of Prostate cancer issues

    A balanced viewpoint from patient and non- surgeon MD regarding issues confronting prostate cancer patients. Most such books are by either surgeons, radiation oncologists, or others with particular treatment biases.
    Alternates between patient talking and doctor talking. Patient viewpoint should be taken with a grain of salt. His approach could be fatal-he seems to have been lucky.
    Extensive appendix, glossary and and bibliography in back. Tables are hard to read in Nook version.

    Should be on your reading list if prostate problems are on your plate.

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  • Posted November 21, 2011

    Outstanding reference-a necessary read for new patients

    This book gives a full view of ALL the options available to a newly diagnosed prostate cancer patient. Not all prostate cancers are the same and should not be treated the same.

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    Posted October 22, 2011

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    Posted December 27, 2010

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    Posted February 24, 2011

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    Posted March 22, 2011

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