Harry Belafonte (1996), Arnold Palmer (1997), Joe Torre (1999), Colin Powell (2003), and John Kerry (2003) all had successful prostate cancer surgery. But knowing whether surgery is the best treatment or if it's smarter to opt for radiation, hormone therapy or even watchful waiting is a tough decision.
If you have prostate cancer, doctors will rely on something called the Partin tables to help decide if you're likely to be cured by prostate removal. (Surgery for localized prostate cancer has a higher survival rate than other treatments.) The table looks at your PSA (prostate specific antigen) level; your Gleason score (an estimation of tumor aggressiveness, based on a biopsy); and how much the tumor can be felt during a digital exam.
Thanks to a revised edition of the table, men with a Gleason score of 8 and a PSA of 10 are now considered good candidates for surgery. So if you and your doctor are discussing your treatment options, we suggest that you:
1. Ask your doc for your rating on the Partin tables.
2. Discuss all the risks of surgery and what can be done to minimize them. New techniques now make it possible to prevent permanent nerve damage, sexual dysfunction, and incontinence in a large percentage of men.
3. Bolster your immune system. Reduce stress with 10 minutes of meditation a day; eat lots veggies and fruit; stick with 100 percent whole grains; nix all red meat, soda, and dairy that's not fat-free; and stay clear of trans fats, added sugars and sugar syrups.
© King Features Syndicate