Cognition & Reality

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Prostate Lottery

Filed under: Attachment,Medical Morality — drtone @ 10:43 am

I finally went to my urology appointment, to consult about my high PSA score. The doctor had Grade-A vibes, which surprised me. He was a very nice man, as I told him. He seemed to understand my objections to both a biopsy and to treatment, although he tried gently to talk me into the latter and did convince me to schedule the former, with the understanding that it would be OK for me to cancel. He also seemed puzzled when I told him that my primary care doctor had declined to order another PSA or a free PSA, and suggested that I get another free PSA at my convenience. The urologist also suggested that a biopsy can distinguish aggressive cancer for others. I’m not so sure about that. In any case, reality wasn’t nearly as bad as my story about it.

That having been said, I can’t get out of my mind that urologists know that most of the radical treatments they offer are not necessary, and that they carry the risk of making the men who undergo them impotent, incontinent, or both. As I’ve mentioned before, 49 out of 50 of these treatments may be unnecessary, a figure known , if not accepted, by every urologist. I feel as though I’m sitting in a crowded restaurant and have been approached by someone with a bizarre offer: Take a chance that I will become impotent in order to save the life of a man unknown to me sitting at a table across the room.

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