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What They Say About Prostate Cancer

March 07, 1997

"It's one of the worst cancers to die of. It's characterized by widespread bone pain, which is almost an intractable pain for us to deal with, and the terminal phases last a year or two or even longer."

--Thomas E. Ahlering

MD, chief of urology,

UC Irvine College

of Medicine

"Search for the first time the word 'prostate' was mentioned in your newspaper. It was not before 1960 or '70, I'll tell you that, even though it was a major disease in this country. No one talked about this."

--Donald F. Coffey

Director of prostate

research, Johns Hopkins

University, Baltimore

"It is my belief that the harm of screening [for prostate cancer] is proven, and the benefits are theoretical. There are men who are diagnosed who have cancer, and if the cancer was never treated they would be a lot better off. The cure has lots of side effects."

--Otis Brawley

Urologist, National

Cancer Institute,

Bethesda, Md.

"Traditionally, a physician would make a recommendation and the patient would accept it. Now patients share in the decision process. That's a major change. Doctors don't always realize that the patient's goal may differ from the physician's goal. Physicians have personal bias. Surgeons recommend surgery; radiotherapists recommend radiation therapy. It makes the choices difficult."

--Gerald Chodak

Urologist, director of

Weiss Memorial Hospital

prostate center, Chicago

"I wouldn't wish this on Adolf Hitler."

--Dying prostate

cancer patient who

asked not to

be identified

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