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.
Radical prostatectomy is still the most widely recommended treatment for prostate cancer. Yet, according to a recent study, only one out of every forty-eight men who undergo this debilitating procedure survives longer than those who forgo surgery. Invasion of the Prostate Snatchers reports the latest thinking on prostate cancer management in clear, easy-to-understand prose.
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 new perspective on managing this disease. Ralph Blum’s surprisingly entertaining twenty-year journey and eventual decision to treat his cancer as a “chronic condition,” together with Dr. Mark Scholz’s presentation of the newest scientific evidence, will liberate thousands of newly diagnosed men to pursue a noninvasive approach and thereby preserve normal sexual and urinary function. Invasion of the Prostate Snatchers serves as an indispensable map through the medical minefield of prostate cancer.
From Publishers Weekly
There are at least half a million reasons–the number of prostate cancer diagnoses in the U.S. and Europe–to read this engaging diary/resource written from the alternating perspectives of doctor and patient. But those who’ve faced any cancer crisis should also take heed–and heart–from cultural anthropologist Blum, who’s lived with prostate cancer for two decades, and oncologist Scholz, an associate clinical professor at USC School of Medicine, who champions “testosterone inactivating pharmaceuticals” for earlystage disease–these reduce levels of testosterone, which prostate cancer cells need to grow. Among cancers, prostate cancer “is the best deal in town,” Blum argues–a slow-growing cancer that demands a slow-go approach, second opinion, and, in his own case, a decision to do no more than watch-and-wait. He then gamely examines his own fear-driven homework on standard and alternative treatments: prostatectomy, cryosurgery, radiation, chemicals, and alternative approaches like Eastern medicine and lifestyle changes. Yet in the end, Blum notes, it’s the “insight and involvement of the individual” that makes the difference in a patient’s outcome. Here’s good advice based on the brave experiences of two compatible souls and medical mavericks.
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Each year nearly 500,000 men in both the U.S. and Europe are informed that they have prostate cancer. Along with this frightening news comes pressure from urologists, most of them surgeons, to undergo a radical prostatectomy and avoid a potential death sentence. Yet according to the authors of this eye-opening study of prostate cancer and its current treatment protocols, fully 80 percent of these surgeries are unnecessary. Unlike more lethal cancer varieties, such as breast and lung, prostate cancer is more frequently a milder health condition, and most men live with it for decades, eventually passing away from other causes. Blum, a veteran author and 20-year prostate cancer survivor himself, gives the much-needed patient’s viewpoint here, while Scholz, a board-certified oncologist, presents the medical perspective. Together, in two dozen lucid and engaging chapters, the pair offers a balanced guide to navigating through the thicket of doctors, biopsies, incontinence and impotency risks, and the latest surgical and noninvasive treatment options. An indispensable guide for newly diagnosed and aging males, and their loved ones. –Carl Hays