I’ve been writing these letters for a while now.
And every so often, I really strike a nerve…
Some time ago I mentioned that surgery for prostate cancer was something I might think twice about. Even seek a second (or third) opinion.
And that really set some people off.
I get it. When people hear “cancer,” three words come to mind: Get. It. Out.
But you need to know the facts.
The simple truth about prostate cancer is this: Most people die WITH it, not OF it.
And the side effects of prostate surgery are not pretty.
A long-term follow up from a major study has confirmed what I said before.
For men with low-risk, early stage prostate cancer, surgery does not reduce the risk of death, compared with observation.
Sometimes this “observation” is called “watchful waiting.”
You monitor your cancer along with your doctor, and resort to surgery only if the cancer proves to be fast growing or invasive.
Now, when you hear that a “radical prostatectomy” – yes, they cut your prostate out – had a 16% decreased risk for death of any cause…
And a 37% decreased risk for death from prostate cancer or its treatment…
You may think, “That sounds like pretty good odds.”
Until you realize the difference in outcomes compared with doing nothing but observing were not statistically significant.
No real difference. It didn’t save more lives.
But what WAS significant was the incidence of adverse events.
Like almost 4 times the likelihood of becoming incontinent. Or 3 times the chance of ED.
If you (or a loved one) find yourself facing prostate cancer, I strongly encourage you to discuss the “PIVOT” study with your doctors. (It stands for Prostate Cancer Intervention Versus Observational Trial).
Because there’s no benefit in extending your life by having surgery in many cases. And all too often, your quality of life goes down…
I realize cancer is very scary. The urge to “do something” is very strong. But you need to know the facts before going under the knife.
Because it’s nearly impossible to get a “do over” after they cut you open.
Editor, Patriot Health Alliance