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Ignore Conventional Wisdom About Aggressive Prostate CA Treatment And You May Live Longer

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One of the most important lessons my wife and I have learned during her bout with lung cancer is to never trust anything that sounds like "conventional wisdom."

I’ll never forget it when a local thoracic surgeon quoted us the survival statistics for someone with Stage IIIb NSCLC. Referring to the studies as “conventional wisdom,” the doctor preceded to suggest that my wife wouldn’t be around much longer. The problem was that his version of “conventional wisdom” was based upon studies that we knew to be 20-30 years old and out of date relative to treatment advances. That was almost three years ago and my wife is healthy and cancer free, thank you very much.

Accepting conventional wisdom at face value can be dangerous, at least when it comes to your health. Take prostate cancer for example. According to the authors of a recent study of men with aggressive prostate cancer, most men diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer are told that their disease is untreatable. The study authors attributed this to the“pessimism that abounds among many doctors, who believe that aggressive prostate cancers are beyond cure and should only be followed with watchful waiting.” In layman terms that means don’t do anything.

Amazingly the study which appeared in the March 2007 Journal of Urology found just the opposite. According to study which looked at 453 cases of localized aggressive prostate cancer, “surgical removal of the prostate (prostatectomy) or radiation treatment more than doubles life expectancy” (e.g., 14 years) compared to those receiving the a conservative approach (e.g., < 7 years).

What are the take always?

1). Question everything your doctor tells you. Do your own homework and get the facts.

2). If you don’t like what you hear from your doctor, get a second opinion.

3). Be highly skeptical of conventional wisdom especially when it applies to your health.
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About the Author


BA, MPH

Steve shares what he learned from his personal experience with cancer.

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