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Ronald Kurze

Where are all the studies that prove the 1-2-3-4-5-year and 10-year survival rates for patients who opt to use cancer surgery & different therapies (hormone/chemo/radiation)? Doctors throw out generalities, i.e., "We've had good results with..." I want to see facts. Thanks. - Ron K.

Hi, Ron,

Thanks for your request to marshal reports that demonstrate survival rates for prostate cancer survivors. Generally no one treatment option has been demonstrated to add greater longevity than the next. However the American Cancer Society stipulates that for all prostate cancer treatments after 5 years most survivors (99%+) are still alive, after 10 years the figure is closer to 93%, and after 15 years it's 76%.

Putting it differently over ninety-percent of prostate cancer survivors will still be alive 10 years after their first diagnosis and treatment, and over 75% will still be alive after 15 years.

With current medical advances and earlier detection compared to 15 years ago, it's likely that those who have been recently diagnosed have better prospects for greater longevity compared to this study's results. After all the study refers to men who were first diagnosed 15 years ago!.

In addition it's recently been discovered that exercise after prostate cancer treatment can lower your risk of death due specifically to this disease by as much as 1/4 to 1/5. This too has been written up in a recent ACS report, although as of this date (May 15, 2010) it's not been peer reviewed or published.
- Rabbi Ed

For references see the following:

Mark and Judy Arnold

Rabbi Ed: We're so pleased to read about the recognition you are receiving with your new endeavor. May the doors now opening with your new career - as author, authority and speaker on prostate cancer -- help open more and more doors in your life and Yvonne's. Warmest regards, ----Mark and Judy Arnold

It's always good to hear from active members of my former North Shore, Boston congregation. Thanks for your good wishes in reference to my prostate cancer work these past two years and going forward. I would like to extend my best wishes for continued good health to you as well, and to all our readers. On that score we have to leave a little to God or our Higher Power. Still, the self-education and self-care I advocate are crucial components for keeping us in good health as long as possible.
----Rabbi Ed


Q. Are there symptoms that one should take as a warning in between annual checkups? E.S.

A. For the vast majority of men, prostate cancer is asymptomatic. That's why men need to have annual prostate cancer screenings from age 40. This includes a PSA blood test and DRE - digital rectal exam. These tests are needed lest you have the cancer but you don't know it.

Of course some doctors feel that diagnosis of prostate cancer in its early stage can lead to over-treatment, but that's another subject for another day.

In rare cases like my own, some warning signs are ED, penile irritation or burning. However it is up to your doctor to determine if these are symptoms of cancer versus a benign prostate enlargement or prostatitis (inflamation without cancer).
--Rabbi Ed

Ed Weinsberg

The article you wrote on the reasons for going to a sex therapist for help with Erectile Dysfunction associated with Prostate Cancer is very helpful to those of us who are dealing with this issue. It also de-mystifies the idea of what a sex therapist actually does. This article should also be helpful to men (and their partners) who have ED for other reasons. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. It tends to be a "hush-hush" subject, that even doctors prefer not to discuss, other than in pure medical terms.

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