There is an article in today’s New York Times in which the author describes his thought processes as he went about first choosing a treatment and then a doctor after he was diagnosed with PC. Trouble is the guy is a newbie who doesn’t know anything but thinks he does . But didn’t we all?? I think this article is important to read because I see so many SMART men (and women) making the exact same (bad) choices. Here are some excerpts from the article, along with my comments.
In Prostate Cancer, Pick a Number, Any Number
By Burt Solomon, August 25, 2008
“I was counseled to pooh-pooh the higher-than-desirable Gleason score of 6, derived by adding the aggressiveness in every spot of cancer, because there was so little cancer in each.”
Get the facts straight. A Gleason score is NOT “derived by adding the aggressiveness in every spot of cancer“. Fair warning of what’s to come.
“I was only dimly aware of the evidence that most prostate cancers never become dangerous, even if left alone. But because nobody can tell which ones will and which ones won’t, the information was useless to me.”
Don’t make decisions when you’re “dimly aware”. And the information we have, although not precise, is not quite useless. You should have checked out all treatments before making a decision, including active surveillance.
“I quickly decided to have surgery to remove the prostate, but I had to choose between the two types”.
You should never decide “quickly” to have surgery. Buy now, pay later.
“I cared most about my plumbing returning to normal. But this was when the numbers really began to confuse things.”
Big mistake! Your first priority should be getting rid of the cancer. The plumbing comes in a distant second.
“One option was to go to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, my hometown, where the older-style, slash-and-scoop surgery was devised. But the doctors there, my urologist said,