Prostate Awareness Foundation

Prostate Self Help

Monthly Bulletin

June 2009

Cancer Climb For Prostate Awareness Expedition / Mt Cotopaxi, Ecuador – June 2009:

Since 2001, these fund raising expeditions have been the Prostate Awareness Foundation’s primary source of funding. Expedition members pay for the expedition and airfare out of their own pockets and are required to raise a minimum of $2,000 for PAF. Team members either have prostate cancer themselves or have family members or close friends with prostate cancer. Past expeditions have reached the summits of Mt Blanc, Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Aconcagua, El Misti, Mt Elbert, Mt Massive and all the highest peaks in Yosemite. This year’s expedition will be one of the most difficult as it is a technical ice climb to 19,347’.

Besides raising critically needed funding, the expeditions other goal is to inspire men and their families dealing with prostate cancer with the knowledge that there is a rich and rewarding life available after diagnosis.

Of course each climber has their own personal reasons for climbing. Ken Malik, one of the leaders of the expedition and a fourteen year veteran of prostate cancer says “ Since recent research indicates that men with prostate cancer that have the most aggressive exercise programs live the longest. That’s one reason I do the climbs each year”. Brad Neal, whose brother Tim died last year from advanced prostate cancer, will be honoring his brother and carrying his ashes to the summit. John Loesing and Doug Menelly will be honoring their fathers who have passed away from this disease. Tom Hyde will be paying tribute to his father-in-law who died of prostate cancer. Darren Paul and Darryl Loewen are climbing in honor of their grandfathers who died with the disease. Ralph Lake and Shana Malik are involved because their uncles both have prostate cancer. Lynette Fraser is honoring her father Rick who is also on the expedition and is a veteran of both a radical prostatectomy and radiation therapy. Steve Swindell will be honoring his father Murray, a long time survivor of prostate cancer and a member of the first Prostate Cancer Climb expedition in 2001 to Mt Aconcagua in the Argentine Andes. You can visit www.prostateawarenessfoundation,org to learn more about the climbers, prior expeditions and follow the expedition’s progress as it unfolds. Of course you can also visit the PAF website for the latest tips on taking a proactive approach to prostate health issues and the latest research on the subject.

Times are particularly difficult for nonprofits and PAF is no exception. Won’t you please join the expedition in spirit. Your generous tax deductible contribution will help ensure that PAF can continue to offer sane, proactive patient driven information to men all over. Thank you for your support.

Getting a Second Opinions After a Prostate Cancer Diagnosis:

Many men want to get a second opinion after being diagnosed with prostate cancer and this makes common sense. With all the controversy about treatment options (all the latest research indicates that there is no treatment protocol that has proven more effective than another!), success rates, side effects and rate of recurrence, getting a second opinion is important before deciding on a treatment path. One of the problems is that second opinions can be expensive and in many cases are not covered by insurance. But there are other potential problems that you should be aware of.

We regularly talk to men at PAF who have been recently diagnosed by their urologist with prostate cancer. They tell us that they have scheduled a second opinion with another urologist. We feel this is not a good strategy. There are a number of important things you need to consider before proceeding. The first is that you should schedule this second opinion with a health professional from a different discipline. We all have biases and health professionals, in most cases have theirs.

You need to understand that urologists are trained to be surgeons. Since surgery is what they know, they tend to feel most comfortable with this treatment option and will more often than not recommend a radical prostatectomy as the best protocol. The same is true of radiologists who, being trained to administer radiology and being most comfortable in this discipline are most apt to recommend this protocol as the primary intervention. Oncologists, because they specialize in pharmaceutical intervention are most likely to recommend this approach to their patients. Of course these biases are not true of all health professionals. But you do want to make sure you are dealing with an open minded physician who is familiar with all the treatment options available and can give you fair and accurate council and recommendations based on your own personal situation.

This appraisal should include at the minimum the following:

· Gleason score

· Size and location of your tumor(s),

· The size of your prostate gland

· PSA velocity

· Age and overall general health

· Lifestyle issues

Here in the San Francisco Bay area, we are fortunate to have a free service called The Second Opinion ( )( 415-775-9956 ). The service is conducted by a panel of experts consisting of doctors from all the above disciplines. They review a patients biopsy report, ultrasound scan, etc prior to the consultation and they present their findings and recommendations to the patient face to face.

We would really like to hear from other men around the country as to whether there are similar services like The Second Opinion available in other parts of the country. We would like to pass this information on to our membership when they make inquires.

Prostate Awareness Foundation

2166 12th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94116 / 415-675-5661 /