I was looking into Frank Zappa and his battle with prostate cancer and came across this NY Times article from 1991. Outdated ( very ) but interesting. Here are some passages and quotes that stuck out:
But in the last few years, urology surgeons have perfected a delicate technique that excises the gland without disturbing neighboring nerve fibers. Assuming the tumor is still confined to the prostate, most men can soon resume a normal sex life.
"Today it's possible to treat localized cancer and preserve sexual function in 60 to 70 percent of patients," said Dr. Patrick C. Walsh, urologist-in-chief at the Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. "And for those whose function is disturbed, there are ways to to bring it back to normal."
"The main obstacle to detecting prostate cancer early is that men are not as progressive as women are about getting routine checks," said Dr. William J. Catalona, chief of urologic surgery at Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis. "The fact is that 85 percent of men will not submit to a rectal exam unless they're having problems, usually related to urination."
As a result, he said, "7 out of 10 cases have already spread beyond the prostate gland by the time we detect them," at which point they are harder to treat.
As with most malignancies, the best way to treat prostate cancer is to catch it at its earliest possible stage. Many nascent tumors can be detected during a routine rectal exam; if a malignancy is removed when it is still confined to the prostate, the cure rate is essentially 100 percent.
Post Edited (davidg) : 4/15/2011 7:51:29 PM (GMT-6)