Customer Review

88 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, April 10, 2005
This review is from: Surviving Prostate Cancer without Surgery: The New Gold Standard Treatment That Can Save Your Life and Lifestyle (Paperback)
Like the previous reviewer ("Peace of Mind"), I found solid reassurance in this book but for different reasons, not the least of which is knowing that I chose the right path for myself.  I'm a retired lawyer and I was treated successfully with radioactive seeds and IMRT over two years ago at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering. My PSA has since fallen almost all the way to zero and as far as I know, I'm now cancer-free.  I've probably read most of the popular books about prostate cancer, those by radiation oncologists like Dr. Dattoli, as well as those by urologists like Dr. Walsh, and also a fine book by an oncologist, Dr. Stephen Strum, who specializes in hormonal therapies.  Aside from having an interest based on my own case, some years ago I happened to represent a patient who brought a malpractice suit against his urologist because the radical surgery had unfortunately resulted in a serious complication for which there was no remedy.  We've all heard those terrible stories, but this really was a case where the cure was probably worse than the disease.

Regardless of your opinion about malpractice, all doctors who treat prostate cancer have biases that are based on their own specialties. They recommend what they know how to do because of their training, and not always with the best interest of their patients in mind. It's more than a little unsettling for patients to realize that regardless of which type of treatment we choose to have, there's no 'magic bullet' and there will always be some chance that our cancer may come back.  As a radiation therapy "team," the three authors of this new book offer a very thorough and balanced presentation of this whole complicated field. What helped me the most was learning that I still have quite a few treatment options if my cancer should ever return, including being "re-seeded," or cryotherapy, or even having the dreaded prostatectomy. 

I think both surgical patients and radiation patients stand to benefit from Dr. Dattoli's discussion of the treatment options after recurrence.  More recently diagnosed patients should also benefit from the unusually clear comparisons of the various treatments in terms of their cure rates and side effects. Those critical comparisons are based on the results obtained by the very best practitioners of each type of treatment (radiation, surgery, etc). As anyone who's gone through it knows, the decisions aren't easy.

This book is very readable, with diagrams, graphs and photos to illustrate the important points in each chapter.  The authors also offer a lot of helpful advice for the wives of men with prostate cancer, especially useful in this age of Viagra and Cialis and other lifestyle issues (like cutting the red meat out of our diets!).  I don't think that anybody should make a treatment decision based on one doctor's opinion or on one book, but this one comes across as fair and informative even though it's written primarily from a radiation point of view, since radiation is the most widely used prostate cancer treatment and also one of the options after surgery fails.  Highly recommended if you're searching for answers and a healthy perspective. 
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Location: New York, NY

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