April 11, 2020 | The Washington Post
I’m an oncologist who treats prostate cancer. For many patients and their manhood, the cure seems worse than the disease.
By Ravi Parikh for The Washington Post:
As an oncologist who specializes in prostate cancer, my treatments often work extremely well. Most of my patients have lived for years, even decades, after their diagnosis. They often die of something other than their cancer. But my treatments often have a unique side effect: They cause men to feel less like a man. And for many men, that is worse than the cancer itself.
One afternoon I saw an older man who was diagnosed with prostate cancer years ago. After having his prostate removed, he had enjoyed nearly a decade of being “cancer free.”
But upon checking his labs, I noticed that the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) — a blood marker of prostate cancer — had quadrupled over the past few months. His prostate cancer was probably back.
I explained to him that it was lucky we had caught this before his disease had spread to his bones or liver. I began to explain to him the therapy I was going to use to beat back his cancer.