Monday, November 24, 2008

Preliminary Research Results

Researching prostate cancer and determining what can be done about it turned out to be an intimidating exercise. My effort included reading five or six books, viewing two tapes (on hormonal therapy), attending two medical seminars, surfing the Internet and interviewing several of my friends who survived their prostate cancer ordeals. I quit researching when the material tended toward redundancy. As for treatment options it seems fair to conclude there is no perfect solution. It also seems fair to say that one person's preferred choice may be wholly unsuited or unacceptable to the next individual.

In addition to doing nothing, known in the literature as watch and wait, localized prostate cancer can be treated in a variety of ways. The prostate can be frozen or it can be baked, i.e., by radioactive seed implantation or external beam radiation. The prostate can be removed either by scalpel or robotic scissors through the stomach wall or through a lateral incision in the perineum, i.e.,that narrow patch of skin nestled between the scrotum and anus. Yet another treatment choice is castration which can be accomplished surgically or chemically. None of these modalities offer a sure cure ,particularly the latter ,which is palliative in character. All treatments cause collateral damage ranging in severity from minor abnormalities to stone cold demise.

I urge anyone confronted with this disease to read Bob Marckini's book, "You Can Beat Prostate Cancer" Mr. Marckini touts proton therapy as the treatment of choice, and if you read his book you will understand why. Mr. Marckini successfully underwent proton therapy after conducting extensive research on the subject. Mr. Marckini has evolved as an eloquent spokesperson for and advocate of proton therapy. It is his book that introduced me to the proton therapy concept. It is his book more than anything else that convinced me proton therapy offered the best chance for a favorable outcome with the least likelihood for adverse side effects. Armed with Mr. Marckini's information and perspective I continued my journey.

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