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Patients speak about prostate cancer and laparoscopic radical prostatectomy

Don Reed, Miami Beach, Florida

I am a 67-year old retired U.S. Air Force pilot and a "golf nut" with a 19 handicap. My wife and I live in Miami Beach and enjoy our house on Biscayne Bay, especially Sara, who is a "fishing nut." Our three children and four grandchildren all live in the Dade-Broward counties of South Florida. Life doesn't get any better than this.

For the past 4 or 5 years I noticed a lot of media coverage of male senior citizens diagnosed with prostate cancer and general prostate cancer news. Since that is my peer group, I started saving these magazine and newspaper articles in a file - "just in case." I was especially interested in articles on prostate cancer new treatments. The one that caught my eye was the Miami Herald spread on laparoscopic radical prostatectomy that came out in the summer of 2000. Wouldn't you know it, a month or two later I found out my PSA prostate specific antigen had jumped to 6.5 and a subsequent prostate biopsy confirmed the presence of prostate cancer.

Several of my golf buddies had gone through this experience before me. One is taking the Chinese herbal remedies for prostate cancer. Another is undergoing prostate cancer treatment with radiation seeds with needles. Still another had radical prostate cancer surgery the old way, radical retropubic prostatectomy, which resulted in a large scar, loss of a lot of blood, two days in intensive care, and a total hospital stay of eight days followed by several weeks of considerable pain and much discomfort.

For me, the choice was a no-brainer. I wanted to go for prostate removal and laparoscopic radical prostatectomy seemed the best way to go. Three hours after the anesthesia had worn off, I walked around my room, and soon after that, I was walking out in the corridor. There was some pain of course, after all it is a major operation, but it was very manageable. After spending the night in the hospital, I was home by 9:30 the next morning. Recovery was rapid and an occasional Tylenol took care of the pain. The pathologist's report revealed that there were no breaks in the edges of the prostate and blood tests this past year reveal PSA levels of zero. I'm convinced I made the right decision.

Just a word or two about Dr. Krongrad: his skill as a surgeon is renowned, but his sincere personal interest in each patient, before, and more importantly after surgery, is unmatched ... anywhere! And you get sweet, kind, and efficient Ruth as an added bonus. Like I said, it's a no- brainer.
Friends took a lot, even herbal remedies for prostate cancer, but he chose one of the prostate cancer new 

treatments: laparoscopic radical prostatectomy.