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a selection from:

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

Page 5 - (go to page 4)

Membership is simple, and not dependent on race, creed, religion, or sexual preference (though gender here matters — this is still an all-male club and certain to remain so, perhaps the last one): all you have to do to join is be told by your doctor after your next annual physical examination that you have a suspiciously high PSA level, or an irregularity on the prostate during the course of what ought to be your doctor's annual digital rectal examination (DRE) of that organ, followed by a positive biopsy (about which more later), and you're in, no questions asked, welcome to the club.

I JOINED THE club, unexpectedly, in the autumn of 1994 — it was a Thursday in October, at about two-thirty in the afternoon.

A few days before, my internist had called me after my annual physical examination to say that my PSA level had risen from 15 the year before to 22.

I wasn't unduly alarmed, nor did he seem to be. A biopsy done the previous year had proved negative for cancer. I did not think I had anything to worry about.

Some people, I had been assured at the time, particularly those like myself with an enlarged prostate, tend to run high PSA levels without cancer. All the same, another biopsy was indicated, so, since my own urologist was away, I made an appointment at the Prostate Cancer Detection Center of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital, in New York City, which specializes in cancer, and had it done, much as I disliked the procedure. I felt good about being cautious and taking sensible precautions, but in no way anxious.

I phoned Kathy, a cheerful young nurse at the Prostate Cancer Detection Center, for the results of my biopsy before I went to lunch, but we failed to make contact, so I left a message. I returned from lunch, took off my coat, and sat down to call her again, when the phone rang and I picked it up. It was Kathy, calling me.

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


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