For Simon and Schuster editor-in-chief and author Korda (Charmed Lives, 1979), it was devastating: on October 22, 1994 he was told he had cancer. Like Korda, over 200,000 American men are told every year that they have joined the prostate cancer club. The disease will take over their lives as fears of incontinence, impotence, pain, and death begin to spook their minds. Korda writes frankly of his experience and translates his sick-role ordeal into a read as artful as a novel. Although few readers will have Korda's entree to the medical establishment, his clear and practical not-to-be-left-to-the-last-minute logistical advice, frank and informative presentation of his prostate cancer trials, and follow-up advice on support groups make this moving personal account highly recommended. [See also Swanton's An Rx for Men's Health Collections, LJ 1/96, p. 53-56; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/96.]-James Swanton, Harlem Hospital Lib., New York
A riveting, candid, first-person account of one man's encounter with prostate cancer.
Every year some 200,000 men in this country are diagnosed with prostate cancer. In 1994, Korda, editor in chief of Simon and Schuster and a master storyteller (The Immortals, 1992, etc.), became one of them. He relates, doctor by doctor, test by test, fear by fear, how it changed his life. Initially referred to Memorial Sloan-Kettering's Prostate Cancer Detection Center in New York City, he began a learning process there that he shares honestly and clearly with readers. After interviewing both a surgeon and a radiologist and listening to the advice of prostate cancer survivors, he opted for surgery at Johns Hopkins. His surgeon was Dr. Patrick Walsh, inventor of a nerve-sparing technique for radical prostatectomy that offered Korda the hope of retaining sexual potency. Following surgery, however, it was not impotence but incontinence, with its stigma and potential for humiliating accidents, that became his major concern. Although Korda is amazingly frank in his discussion of his problems, male readers are likely to find his experiences more reassuring than alarming. Happily, by book's end, some nine months after surgery, he seems to be well on the way to living a normal life. While the book is as difficult to put down as a good thriller, Korda's account is notable for the amount of solid information about prostate cancer that he weaves into this very personal story. In Korda's view, knowledge is power, and he urges all men to learn as much as possible about prostate cancer before it happens to them.
Not the final word on prostate cancer detection or treatment, but a great awareness-raiser and highly recommended for any man who has, or has ever had, a prostate.