Synopses & Reviews
Every year almost a quarter of a million confused and frightened American men are tossed into a prostate cancer cauldron stirred by salespeople representing a multibillion-dollar industry. In this flourishing business, the radical prostatectomy is still the most widely recommended treatment option. Yet a recent and definitive study in the New England Journal of Medicine
concluded that out of the fifty thousand prostate operations performed annually, more than forty thousand are unjustified. But this is no surprise given that 99 percent of all doctors treating this disease are surgeons or radiation therapists. The appalling fact is that men are still being rushed into a major operation that rarely prolongs life and more than half the time leaves them impotent.
Invasion of the Prostate Snatchers is a report on the latest thinking in prostate cancer therapy: close monitoring–active surveillance rather than surgery or radiation–should be the initial treatment approach for many men. There are three stages of prostate cancer and this book will provide accurate information about how to distinguish between them: Low-Risk, which requires no immediate treatment; Intermediate-Risk, which will benefit from surgery, radiation, and/or hormonal therapy; and High-Risk, a type that does require immediate treatment with a combination of therapies. In a unique collaboration, doctor and patient provide a wholly new perspective on managing this disease. Ralph Blum’s account of his personal struggle, together with Dr.Mark Scholz’s presentation of newscientific advances, provides convincing evidence that this noninvasive approach can be crucial in preventing tens of thousands of men from being overtreated every year. Invasion of the Prostate Snatchers serves as an indispensable map through the medical minefield of prostate cancer.
"There are at least half a million reasons--the number of prostate cancer diagnoses in the U.S. and Europe--to read this engaging diary/resource written from the alternating perspectives of doctor and patient. But those who've faced any cancer crisis should also take heed--and heart--from cultural anthropologist Blum, who's lived with prostate cancer for two decades, and oncologist Scholz, an associate clinical professor at USC School of Medicine, who champions 'testosterone inactivating pharmaceuticals' for earlystage disease--these reduce levels of testosterone, which prostate cancer cells need to grow. Among cancers, prostate cancer 'is the best deal in town,' Blum argues--a slow-growing cancer that demands a slow-go approach, second opinion, and, in his own case, a decision to do no more than watch-and-wait. He then gamely examines his own fear-driven homework on standard and alternative treatments: prostatectomy, cryosurgery, radiation, chemicals, and alternative approaches like Eastern medicine and lifestyle changes. Yet in the end, Blum notes, it's the 'insight and involvement of the individual' that makes the difference in a patient's outcome. Here's good advice based on the brave experiences of two compatible souls and medical mavericks. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
About the Author
MARK SCHOLZ, MD
, 54, is board certified in medical oncology and internal medicine. He has been treating men with prostate cancer exclusively since 1995. Medical Director of Prostate Cancer Specialists, Inc., and Executive Director of the Prostate Cancer Research Institute, Dr. Scholz is also an associate clinical professor at the University of Southern California School of Medicine’s Department of Oncology and a consultant to the Journal of Urology
. Dr. Scholz volunteers for the Internet list “Patient to Physician,” found via Resources at www.pcri.org.
RALPH H. BLUM, 77, a cultural anthropologist and author, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard University with a degree in Russian Studies. His reporting from the Soviet Union, the first of its kind for The NewYorker (1961—1965), included two three-part series on Russian cultural life. He has written for various magazines, among them Reader’s Digest, Cosmopolitan, and Vogue. Blumhas published three novels and five nonfiction books on the oracular tradition, beginning with The Book of Runes. He has been living with prostate cancer, without radical intervention, for twenty years.