Every year almost a quarter of a million confused and frightened American men are tossed into a prostate cancer cauldron stirred by salespeople representing a multibillion-dollar industry. In this flourishing business, the radical prostatectomy is still the most widely recommended treatment option. Yet a recent and definitive study in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that out of the fifty thousand prostate operations performed annually, more than forty thousand are unjustified. But this is no surprise given that 99 percent of all doctors treating this disease are surgeons or radiation therapists. The appalling fact is that men are still being rushed into a major operation that rarely prolongs life and more than half the time leaves them impotent.
Invasion of the Prostate Snatchers is a report on the latest thinking in prostate cancer therapy: close monitoring–active surveillance rather than surgery or radiation–should be the initial treatment approach for many men. There are three stages of prostate cancer and this book will provide accurate information about how to distinguish between them: Low-Risk, which requires no immediate treatment; Intermediate-Risk, which will benefit from surgery, radiation, and/or hormonal therapy; and High-Risk, a type that does require immediate treatment with a combination of therapies. In a unique collaboration, doctor and patient provide a wholly new perspective on managing this disease. Ralph Blum’s account of his personal struggle, together with Dr.Mark Scholz’s presentation of newscientific advances, provides convincing evidence that this noninvasive approach can be crucial in preventing tens of thousands of men from being overtreated every year. Invasion of the Prostate Snatchers serves as an indispensable map through the medical minefield of prostate cancer.
|Publisher:||Other Press, LLC|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
MARK SCHOLZ, MD, 54, is board certified in medical oncology and internal medicine. He has been treating men with prostate cancer exclusively since 1995. Medical Director of Prostate Cancer Specialists, Inc., and Executive Director of the Prostate Cancer Research Institute, Dr. Scholz is also an associate clinical professor at the University of Southern California School of Medicine’s Department of Oncology and a consultant to the Journal of Urology. Dr. Scholz volunteers for the Internet list “Patient to Physician,” found via Resources at www.pcri.org.
RALPH H. BLUM, 77, a cultural anthropologist and author, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard University with a degree in Russian Studies. His reporting from the Soviet Union, the first of its kind for The NewYorker (1961—1965), included two three-part series on Russian cultural life. He has written for various magazines, among them Reader’s Digest, Cosmopolitan, and Vogue. Blumhas published three novels and five nonfiction books on the oracular tradition, beginning with The Book of Runes. He has been living with prostate cancer, without radical intervention, for twenty years.
Read an Excerpt
Assume you just learned that you have prostate cancer. As an uninformed layperson you reckon your demise is imminent. All of a sudden you are on death row. Your spouse and family feel this too. Your wife and children wonder about losing their provider. Your friends will look at you differently. So will your insurance company. Now factor in your own shock and horror, the unbalancing and disorienting realization that you have cancer. You have just received the worst news of your life; only moments before you were a normal healthy person. Now you’re wondering about splurging on a last set of golf clubs or planning a final get-together for the family in the Bahamas. Feelings of profound grief and terror flood in. Rational thought is gone, emotion takes over.
Under these pressured circumstances the urologist smoothly assumes leadership. He seizes the wheel and you become the passenger. Disoriented, you have no idea, no idea at all, of what you have just done. You have become one more dutiful lamb being herded into the pen. You’ve already had one intimate experience with this stranger. You have already trusted him by allowing him to poke needles into what one woman called “the true heart of the male.” What is there to deter you now from trusting him to recommend treatment based on his findings? Why wouldn’t you trust him now to prescribe his treatment of choice? It simply doesn’t occur to you to think otherwise. The hook has been set. What usually happens is that you uncritically proceed to make an appointment for surgery.