Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2008/11/08

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Subject: [Leica] Off Topic - Prostate
From: jmaddox01 at (Jack Maddox)
Date: Sat Nov 8 08:37:00 2008
References: <765583B635E87540A05D8BF3C92C2486060D73C0@c249.HFKP.LOCAL>

Don Lawrence wrote:
> Having been reading this list for years and being an infrequent poster,
> I feel a bit like part of the extended LUG family.
> Therefore, I feel comfortable and hope no minds me asking for advice on
> an important topic totally unrelated to photography.
> I was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer.  
> One of the advantages of living in Houston, is that we have MD Anderson
> Cancer Center here. Frequently rated number one or two in the USA for
> cancer care, they have been a client of mine for years. I was able to
> speak to some friends and got an appointment very quickly. They are also
> one of only three sites in the USA with a proton radiation therapy
> machine, a form of therapy that uses particles rather than photons. This
> is a breakthrough, as it can reduce the risk of collateral tissue damage
> during the course of therapy.
> I am 53 years old and my father died of prostate cancer metastatic
> disease at the age of 70.
> Since there a probably many of you here near my age or above, I thought
> some of you might have been through this experience.
> Everyone in my family has advised me, and I have had first and second
> professional opinions on all the various treatment options.
> Of course since day one, I have scoured the internet to learn more.
> Finding that people are right when they say the internet can be a
> torrential downpour of information, mostly unfiltered and frequently
> overwhelming. 
> Given all this, I feel fairly well versed in all of my options.
> I am almost convinced to have a radical prostatectomy using the DaVinici
> robot, but if any of you have been through this mess of treatment
> options you know that each medical professional who consults with you is
> totally convinced that their specialty offers a great chance of a total
> cure.
> Radiation oncologists are convincingly describing a 90% chance of no
> cancer in 5 years and surgeons give about the same odds.
> It boggles the mind and makes it hard to come to a decision.
> It is interesting to see how some people react when they learn you have
> cancer. A few are motherly and are willing to consult and share
> thoughts. But mostly people are strangely silent, as if the subject is
> taboo and too personal to speak about. Weird!
> So if any of you photographers here have been down this road, I would
> appreciate any advice or thoughts you are willing to share.
> Contact me by private email.
> Thanks
> Don Lawrence
> _______________________________________________
> Leica Users Group.
> See for more information

I will be more than glad to relate my experience with prostate 
cancer.One year ago I had an elevated psa (6.5). I let it ride for a 
couple of months. When I had it checked again it was still at 6. In Feb. 
I had a biopsy performed that came back 6 on the gleason scale. I am 62 
years old. I had mine removed with the robot in March. I was out of the 
hospital in 1 1/2 days. The catheter was removed in 9days. I returned to 
work in 2 weeks. The only lasting problem is bladder control. It is 
slowly improving and with time I expect it to return naturally. If not 
there are several options available that will make it normal. I chose to 
wait and see if it will return naturally before taking advantage of them.

My thinking on the treatment of prostate cancer when it occurs at an 
early age is to have it removed. All of the treatments come with there 
own risks and problems. When one is looking forward to living 20 or 30 
years longer taking the risk of leaving it in to reoccur to me is not an 
The use of the robot in surgery allows the surgeon a clear view, reduces 
hand shake, the view is magnified, it is less invasive, the recovery is 
faster and the incisions are smaller.

I highly recommend robotic surgery. The main thing is DO NOT WAIT TO 
LONG (wait and see is not an option in my opinion). As with all cancers 
the earlier detected the better.I have known people who waited and lost 
the battle because of it.

If I can be of more help please feel free to contact me.

Good luck and best wishes

In reply to: Message from DLawrence at (Don Lawrence) ([Leica] Off Topic - Prostate)