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Patients speak about prostate cancer and laparoscopic radical prostatectomy

Njoek Ie, MD, Plantation, Florida

I am a 71-year old diabetic, hypertensive pathologist. For the last six years, my PSA prostate specific antigen has been going up. Two prostate biopsies in the past showed nothing but prostatitis. I wasn't worried - everyone knows that Chinese men don't get prostate cancer.

Until this year. This year, my biopsy showed a Gleason score 7 prostate adenocarcinoma. Until now, it was somebody else's prostate under the microscope. Now it was mine. It took some time for this news to sink in.

The decision about what to do was easy for me. I already knew the drill about radiation treatment and prostate cancer surgery and, having seen so many prostate before, I knew that the pre-op picture was sometimes more rosy than the final result. I wanted my prostate out. The trouble was that at my age, not everyone supported my decision.

I spoke with several urologists before getting direct information on laparoscopic radical prostatectomy. One of my consultations was with Victor Politano, a very famous urologist and former president of the American Urological Association. Dr. Politano had been present for Dr. Krongrad's first LRP back in 1999 and endorsed my decision to pursue that option. I also read about other patients who had had LRP. Finally, I underwent complete evaluation and clearance with a cardiologist.

My operation went great. I had an LRP done which lasted three hours in which I lost no blood to speak of. I was walking around just a few hours later and left the hospital about 15 hours after surgery, with my diabetes under control and with no pain at all.

It's nice to see my prostate pickled in a jar of formaldehyde. As an old pathologist, this does my heart good.

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