AUA is an annual meeting of urologists where data from new studies are presented. This data is presented in abstracts, or summaries of the entire peer reviewed articles. In this article, Mark Scholz, MD, analyzes the data and explains the practical implications of these new studies.
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Interpreting a Pathology Report By Jonathan Epstein, MD | Johns Hopkins University
Patients should personally review their pathology report; the expert description of the information obtained from the needle biopsy. In this article, Dr. Epstein answers 15 common questions about understanding a pathology report.
Survival. It’s a huge word. Yet science uses it often, and without pause. It is a statistic. But for the cancer patient, the word survival is more than a statistic. It is one of the most personal statements about him and his cancer journey. It deserves more than common reference, and more understanding of its true definition. For the newly diagnosed prostate cancer patient, survival is one of the first thoughts. But we are still learning how to explain more clearly that every prostate cancer is different, and the majority do not even shorten survival.
Choosing the right specialist is a decision that will have a significant effect the rest of your life. So I repeat, take your time. And make sure that the doctor you choose gives you confidence that the treatment he recommends will be successful.
Every day in the office, as a practicing prostate oncologist, I confront serious problems: PSA levels that are rising, treatments causing too many side effects, patients desperately worried about their future. And sometimes, given our limited tools, the solutions we can offer are only partial. However, every time the FDA approves a new treatment there is an excitement akin to opening gifts on Christmas morning. All of a sudden we have a shiny new tool in the tool chest to help us do a better job.
There is no easy way to receive the news that you have cancer, but it is important to realize that prostate cancer is typically not a death sentence. In fact the vast majority of men diagnosed with prostate cancer have the low-risk form of the disease, and will live a normal life span. Even those men diagnosed with the more aggressive kind of prostate cancer have effective treatment options available to them today.
The stress of a diagnosis of cancer can throw patients into an “altered state” in which they are particularly vulnerable to suggestion—good or bad. And because most of us, as children, are taught to believe in the infallibility of doctors, the manner in which a doctor delivers a life-threatening diagnosis has a profound effect, and actually has the power to influence the course of the disease.