What do these three men ( Mitt Romney, Colin Powell and John Kerry) have in common? You may think the answer is politics and you’d be both right and wrong. The answer that was sought is, “They each were diagnosed with prostate cancer.” Mitt Romney was diagnosed last year along with another 161,360 men.
This year, 164,690 men are estimated to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Most of those men will be between the ages of 60 and 70. The average age is 66. Romney chose to be treated for his cancer with surgery. His option was radiation, but his doctor, Dr. David Samadi, Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, chose to use surgery because the cancer was localized in the prostate gland and hadn’t spread.
Dr. Samadi notes that patients can select radiation instead of surgery. However if radiation doesn’t destroy the cancer, then the patient has exposed delicate areas of the body to radiation and a secondary cancer in the bladder or rectum could develop as a result of that exposure. Secondly, if radiation is completed first and the cancer returns, it is hard to then turn to surgery. They are more likely to die from prostate cancer and die sooner, when they chose to rely on radiation for treatment instead of surgery.
Patients with a localized prostate cancer that elect surgery have a 100% survival rate, while patients that chose radiation and then have the cancer spread only have a 30% chance of living another five years. The statistics are even more dire sounding: Patients treated with radiation die from prostate cancer twice as frequently than those that submitted to surgery. Plus, they will die one and one half times sooner from prostate cancer than men who have their prostate gland removed with surgery.
As a board certified urologic oncologist, Dr. Samadi specializes in the treatment of prostate cancer. He is considered an expert in his field, helping men to return to health in general health and sexual health. He uses laparoscopic and robotic surgical methods to restore his patients to good health.
Men should get the prostate specific antigen screening as early as age 40 when a family member developed prostate cancer, at age 45 if they are African American and at age 50 and above if they are cancer free family history. African Americans are at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer than other races. Prostate health is just one more area older men have to watch as they age and Dr.’s like David Samadi are making it easier to reach those ripe old ages each of us fantasizes about reaching.