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Oakland Ca. area

mbeck5
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2006

My best friend lives near Oakland and was diagnosed with prostate cancer. After researching, he decided on the radical surgery option. He is 57 years old. Does anyone have any knowledge of surgeons in that area(I have read the experience of the surgeon is critical) or any other recommendations. I live in Texas and want to help him any way I can without being overly aggressive. Thanks for your help.

Benji48
Posts: 117
Joined: May 2003

Hi,
Here's a reprint of an article which may be helpful.
Overcoming prostate cancer

The experts at Alta Bates Summit are pioneering advanced treatments to beat prostate cancer and save countless lives. Sometimes life throws you curveballs that make Major League pitches seem like gentle tosses. One of the most frustrating is a cancer diagnosis.

And for men in the East Bay, prostate cancer is a devastating statistic – with an incident rate that’s higher than in many other areas of California.

The upside for these men, however, is that prostate cancer, if caught early, is a very beatable disease. And right here in the East Bay, men can access some of the most state-of-the-art, successful treatments available anywhere in the country. At Alta Bates Summit, men with prostate cancer benefit from care delivered at a facility known widely for its extensive research and adoption of the latest techniques and treatments.

Start with screening

“Prostate cancer is a highly curable form of cancer when it’s detected early,” says Joel Piser, M.D., chief of urology at the Alta Bates campus. “But to detect it early, men need to get screened regularly. Right now, the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test is the most sensitive indicator that there might be cancer in the prostate.” Even if a man feels healthy, stresses Dr. Piser, he needs an annual PSA test and digital rectal exam beginning around age 50. All African-American men (who have a higher incidence of the disease than Caucasian men) and those with a family history of the disease should begin screenings earlier, around age 40.

When the cancer hasn’t spread beyond the prostate, surgery to remove this gland is one of the most common treatments. An amazing advance-robotic surgery has taken this option to a new level of refinement. Urologist James Karol, M.D., is one of the Alta Bates Summit specialists skilled in the daVinci Robotics System to perform surgeries. During the procedure, Dr. Karol sits at a console and views the inside of the body via a 3-D camera that magnifies items to 10 times the size an unaided eye can see. With this view, he operates tiny robotic instruments that cut and sew more precisely than human hands.

“This is the wave of the future,” says Dr. Karol. “This is a minimally invasive surgery that has a lot of advantages for patients. Since the incisions are much smaller, (patients) have a faster recovery and a shorter hospital stay, and because of the precision, we can do a good job of sparing the nerves that affect erectile function.”

Big results with tiny seeds

Another effective means of controlling cancer confined to the prostate is called brachytherapy. This technique employs safe, tiny radioactive seeds implanted into the prostate. The seeds’ radiation destroys the cancer cells, but because of their precise placement, spares healthy tissue.

For patients with cancer confined to the prostate, the 10-year cure rates for external radiation, brachytherapy, and surgical treatments are approximate 90 percent. So if the results are so similar, what factors determine a patient’s route? A lot depends on personal preference. “Some people feel more secure knowing the entire prostate has been removed through surgery, while others like the concept of keeping their anatomy intact, so they choose radiation,” says Dr. Demanes. “The risks and side effects of surgery and radiation are also somewhat different.

For a referral to an experienced physician affiliated with Alta Bates Summit who treats prostate cancer, call (510) 869-6777.

best of luck, Ben

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