Live ballet is art at its finest. Alastair Macaulay knows, he's the chief dance critic for the New York Times. It was his life until a prostate cancer diagnosis.
"Immediate reaction is your heart drops a mile," Alastair Macaulay told Ivanhoe. "Somehow, you're not ready for that, despite all the warning signs along the way."
But instead of removing Alastair's prostate by robotic surgery, now doctors combine it with a CO 2 laser. The accurate, low-heat laser frees and preserves nerves around the prostate. The result is reduced risk for incontinence and sexual side effects. So far, results show 75 percent of men recovered sexual function in six months as opposed to one year with the old method.
"If you can have less traction on the nerves, less traction damage, then you would think that patients would recover the potency side of things much quicker," Ketan Badani, M.D., director of robotic surgery at New York Presbyterian hospital/Columbia University Medical Center said.
Doctor Mitchell Anscher's new clinical trial uses image-guided radiation therapy to hit the prostate with higher-than-normal doses of radiation. By just targeting cancer tissue and protecting other organs, you may kill more cancer cells in less time.
"Get a higher dose into the prostate, get a lower dose into the sensitive tissues around the prostate, like the bladder and the rectum," Mitchell Anscher, M.D., chair and professor ofradiation oncology at VCU Massey Cancer Center in Richmond, Va., explained.
Alastair's surgery has allowed this critic to dish opinions on cancer matters, too "Talk to as many different people who have been through this as possible." Alastair said. "It just helped. You just thought that you were not alone."
High-intensity radiation and high-tech surgical lasers, both are certainly headline news. Doctors at VCU Massey Cancer Center are performing another clinical trial using statins to combat post-radiation inflammation. Both studies are in-need of patient volunteers.
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