“..Prostate cancer is not a medical emergency. You can and should take time to size up your particular disease so you can make the soundest choice about treatment. To get the most accurate picture of what you’re up against, consider all the relevant diagnostic factors. Mathematical models called nomograms can help you to evaluate the odds that you’ll be cured with any given approach….” (Scardino – Pg. 194 

Survivor Story Heading

I believed my chances of having cancer were remote until my urologist received the results of the biopsy. I had a Gleason 8 reading for one of the cores. I was stunned and shaken when I received this news! I had an MRI and Bone Scan. Thankfully, they were negative suggesting the cancer was still in the prostate or had not spread far beyond it. My urologist recommended a radical prostatectomy and observed he uses a ‘circulating blood’ approach because a lot can be spilled and if the cancer appeared to spread beyond the prostate he would stop the operation, making me a candidate for radiation. He did not keep formal records with statistical analyses of success rates. My instincts told me I could get a better understanding and treatment somewhere.

At that point I gathered my wonderful family, wife Nita and three daughters, Laurie, Nita Anne and Lisa and we chose to go into a high energy proactive search for the best treatment. With all contributing we read the seminal books, including the much quoted excerpts from Dr. Peter Scardino’s Prostate Book and Dr. Stuart Holden’s Report to the Nation, published by the Prostate Cancer Foundation. And, we searched the web looking at Conference Proceedings and those urologists making contributions.

A clear pattern emerged! In my opinion, the major medical centers are using the latest technologies and drugs in diagnosis and treatment, have the most able senior staff and attract the best and brightest young residents. I met with Dr. Timothy Wilson, City of Hope, Dr. William Catalona, Northwestern University, Dr. Stuart Holden, Cedars Sinai Los Angeles and Dr. Peter Carroll, U.C. San Francisco Hospital. All are esteemed and have enviable records of success. And, every one of them quickly responded and was available on very short notice. Collectively, they agreed I should have a radical prostatectomy. Oh, no need to donate blood because they spill very little, would continue to remove the prostate if cancer were observed to have escaped, keep copious statistical records and report findings to their colleagues in a public setting. And, I am sure there are many more great urologists at the major medical centers!

James F. Girand