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a selection from:

Man to Man: Surviving Prostate Cancer by Michael Korda
continuing Part I - The Silent Killer



Page 4 - (go to page 3)

It is precisely this reticence which makes prostate cancer such a deadly, silent scourge. Women talk to each other about their bodies; men do not — still less so when their ability to function sexually is at risk.

As a result, men who have prostate cancer all too often feel themselves isolated at the very first mention of the bad news, unable to share their worst fears with anybody. To the fear, which is perfectly natural, of death, loss of virility, and incontinence is therefore added a dreadful loneliness; for unlike women, who tend to bond together in distress, men — certainly in the face of this disease — tend to retreat into silence. For many of them, prostate cancer is a private battle, and because of that, it is all too often lost.



THIS BOOK IS an attempt to break through that barrier of silence and isolation to write about prostate cancer — about surviving it successfully — with a frankness that I myself have found lacking in every book on the subject, and to make the experience less fearful by being truthful about it. I mean this book to be hopeful — the key word is survival. I also mean it to be realistic.

It is, of course, only one man's story, but I have talked to many other survivors of prostate cancer, as well as to doctors, nurses, and therapists, so it is also the story of many other people. Of course, every case of cancer is as individual as the person whose life it threatens; still, everybody who has had prostate cancer shares certain fears, experiences, and doubts: it is a kind of community, with its own language, its own key questions (''What was your PSA1 level?''; ''Did they get it all out?''; ''When did you regain continence?''; ''Have you had an erection yet?''), its own lore, its own heroes and villains.

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1  PSA stands for Prostate Specific Antigen, and is used here to signify the blood test that is commonly used to determine whether a patient may be at risk for prostate cancer.


Selections reproduced at www.phoenix5.org with the kind permission of the author. Copyright © 1996, 1997 by Success Research Corporation

 

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