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Right Decision?

Military
Posts: 31
Joined: Mar 2004

I recently visited my doctor to have a second tumor removed from by bladder. Both were cancerous.My doctor wants to do a neo bladder and as he states he always removes the prostrate. I had numerous x-rays using dye and two CT SCANS. There is no indication that I have cancer in any other part of my body. When I asked the doctor if he would support a second opinion as to whether I am a candidate for neo bladder surgery, he agreed. However, he has now asked that I have my primary doctor refer me back to him. He also stated he wanted to beg him to preform the operation. I don't beg. I assured him it was not a reflection on his competency but prudent.

This doctor is a urologist but not a specialist in cancer although he performs numerous operations. His office will have no less than 50 patients waiting to see him. Secondly, he performs probably no less that 100 scope procedures in a month and 30 more complex operations at a hospital. He is very well educated but has his opinion on everything. In light of the circumstances I want to know if a person has to have their prostrate removed. He plans to use no chemo and or radiation. Do you think a second opinion is appropriate? Should I seek out a doctor who specializes in cancer. I have isolated a doctor in Pasadena who is both a Urologist and specializes in bladder cancer.

My research has indicated most people with a neo bladder are pleased with the results. Your comments and thoughts are appreciated. I am in good health except for this problem. I have never been in a hospital except as an out patient to remove the tumors (approx the size of a quarter and a dime).

Shaydie
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi Military ... and welcome! My fiance had a neobladder and it was wonderfully simple compared to the option. The surgeon also removed his prostate because "it's part of the procedure". I wasn't aware of this prior to the surgery, however, nor were we aware of the ramifications. You don't say how old you are or if you're sexually active. If you are, I'd see if the prostate can be saved. Without the prostate, erection can be difficult or impossible, and there is no ejaculate. We tried a pump, shots, lots of alternatives, and nothing seemed to work. He was upset that "the surgeon broke it"! (at least we were able to laugh about it) But in all seriousness, I'd first and foremost seek a 2nd opinion from an oncologist - a cancer doctor. Yours sounds like a real piece of work who's very impressed with himself. Get yourself a specialist if you can. It could make all the difference in the world to the outcome of your surgery and treatment. As for chemo and radiation, it depends on how advanced the cancer is and what type it is. There are a lot of variables to be considered and this guy doesn't sound like he has the knowledge to make a truly educated decision. I'd be very wary of him and find myself an oncologist. And do your research online. Ask a lot of questions until you're satisfied with the answers. YOU are your only advocate! Let us know how this turns out. You deserve the best. God Bless and good luck!

Military
Posts: 31
Joined: Mar 2004

Tnanks for the reply. I have already taken the initiative to find a oncologist. I have located one in Pasadena who is a urologist, oncologist and specializes in cancer of the bladder. Hope to meet with him this next week. From what I gather, the neo bladder is a very fine alternative. So far, I have only found one person who has indicated a slight problem with the neo bladder procedure. My wife is involved in all the meetings and will be part of the decision. I am 61.

kloot
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2004

hi military, i saw that your post is a few months old already and was wondering what your second opionion has lead to. my father (51 year old male) has had bladder cancer for a year now (carionoma in situ) which has now become invasive. He is sexualy active or would like to be and refuses having his sexual organs taken out. His doctors have wanted to remove his bladder for over a year, but we have found excellent doctors at the University of Michigan which have done and excellent job in slowing down this agressive type of tumor. he will now be starting a clinical trial of gemzar. he is happy with his decision and from what i read, most that have the bladder removed usually have cancer come back somewhere else.

Military
Posts: 31
Joined: Mar 2004

I have not heard of a lot of cases where people have had cancer return after bladder surgery. This is not necessarily the case where the cancer has spread to the muscle or lymph nodes. Almost all doctors have suggested that the prostrate be removed when they take out the bladder. To gamble is not smart because the only person you are kidding is yourself. The second opinion was by one of the pioneers in the field, Dr. Skinner of the USC Norris cancer center. I underwent the operation is June and am doing well. It does take a while to learn to control your urinating. However, that is a small price to pay to be cancer free.

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