Question: The media have carried a lot of information about prostate surgery since the President was operated on. Since I'm in my late 50s, I'm glad to see that the operation is not a very serious one. But no operation would be better than even a simple operation, and I would like to know if there isn't some way to treat this without an operation.
Answer: Medical management of the condition know as benign prostatic hyperplasia has been attempted. These efforts include the use of medication that would cure the condition by shrinking the prostate.
Q: If a person has to take a painkiller for a couple of weeks because of an operation, for example, isn't it possible for him to become physically dependent on the drug?
A: A person who has to take a narcotic for at least two weeks because of acute pain may develop a temporary physical dependency on the drug. Furthermore, if use of the drug is abruptly stopped, the person may show some signs of a withdrawal reaction. However, these symptoms can be avoided by slowly reducing the doses of the narcotic over several days.
Q: My brother-in-law is always complaining about being sick. If anyone mentions any disease, you can bet that my brother-in-law will say he has it. I finally told him that he enjoys being sick, and the sicker he thinks he is, the happier he is. My wife says her brother is a hypochondriac and needs help. I think he's a nut. I would like to know what you think and what you would recommend.
A: If your brother-in-law has hypochondria, which you seem to be describing, then he has a psychiatric disorder. With some hypochondriacs, their preoccupation with their symptoms may reflect a desire to avoid other problems. In addition, hypochondria is often associated with feelings of anxiety and depression.