Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Aggressive prostate cancer treatment saved his life

Neil, age 74, who wrote his Personal View of Prostate Surgery and Sex here, wants to add this:

I hope I did not leave the impression that I am anti-physician. I do not want to imply that my caregivers were incompetent or uncaring. I certainly don't think anyone lied to me. I am blessed with a caring and extremely competent urologist who has given me nine years free of prostate cancer.

The urologist was aggressive in treatment. Tests were conducted well before my PSA even reached critical numbers. Normal range is 1 to 4 -- mine was a little over 2. The disease was caught early because of a very dedicated doctor.

My urologist routinely spends 12 to 14 hour days in the battle against cancer and has very little personal time. I am grateful for what was done for me. My physician, by the way, was not the person who gave the word that sex didn't matter after 55. That was a second opinion guy at another medical center.

I suppose the myths and lack of information come from two areas:
(1) The work load of dedicated health care professionals is unbelievable. When faced with a choice of saving life or providing sexuality education, I would want my doctor to first go after the cancer. I was very grateful my urologist did just that. I am here today because of this priority.
(2) While some counseling was given, my physician candidly stated that not much training was given in matters of sexuality. There simply was not enough time for everything. I believe that. As I have talked to other urologists, the story is the same. There is just not enough time to get everything into the program of study.

I am sure that we, as sex educators, have some responsibility to assist in making things better. Perhaps more of us will somehow find our way into relationships with medical school faculties. Hopefully, we can also raise awareness that would provide support to local medical groups as well. I would hope that we could be of assistance to the medical profession without getting in the way of their very important clinical work. I am sure that your book will also provide more information that can be placed in the hands of the health care community.

Above all, I want to leave the message for men to find a competent urologist and stay with their professional judgment. This stuff is nothing to mess with or take lightly. I prefer that we work hand in hand with health care professionals in the battle against cancer as well as the enhancement of sexuality.

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