prostate cancer and root canals…it’s about using all the “ists” at your disposal.

instead of spending a lot of time explaining why you can't help the patient, spend just a little time on how you can help.... john mchugh (just made it up this week)

So back to my tooth…the saga continues…

  • several months pass and I go back to the original again because of a cracked temporary crown and in the process of fixing me a new temporary he notes that the bone structure above the tooth has not changed like one would expect if there was a deep enough crack to preclude a crown.
  • “I’d like you to see an endodontist and see if you’d be a candidate for a root canal.”
  • “What does this mean? Can the tooth be saved?”
  • “Let’s just see what he thinks. I’ll call him and his office will call you for an appointment.”
  • I go to the root canal doctor and at that visit and after my fifth set of xrays of my teeth I experience first hand the dreaded and universally feared “root canal.”
  • It was fine except for the part where a “lateral canal” did not get the effect of the lidocaine and I felt a lightening bolt that shook me to my core.
  • “Huhhh. That must be a lateral canal. I’ll put more medicine in there. You  don’t see that often.”
  • After the root canal I am advised to return to my dentist for a crown on top of that (whatever he did) in two weeks.
  • The next night while having a potato chip half of my tooth breaks off and have to spit out the chip and the tooth to keep from swallowing the fragment.
  • The next day I am at the dentist. “I was only eating a potato chip,” I said in disbelief of my predicament.
  • “John. There are some pretty tough chips out there.”
  • I get new crown. I go back to the root canal guy and we determine that all of the root may not have been reamed out and I go through a second root canal.
  • After this one I developed a sinus that is like an abscess of the gum that swells to the size of a large grape and then bursts one night in my sleep.
  • I go back to the root canal guy and does the reaming yet again and floats the thought that I may have a crack that is extending too far to fix or that there is an aberrant root he cannot get to. He calls over an associate in the office next door to explain my case and see if I am a candidate to have the rood excised through my gum…periodontist an “apicalectomy.”
  • I don’t go back for about six months until the area swells again and decide to have it checked.
  • I see the periodontist.
  • He does the apicalectomy….an incision in the gum, the offending root is then drilled and reamed out.
  • As bad as the above seems all was done professionally and I have confidence in my doctors.
  • About six stitches are placed in the gum that hang around in my mouth for about a week.
  • I am now in the waiting phase to see if it will be successful. My gum is still sore but not swollen.
  • After the apicalectomy the left side of my face “swole up” like I’d been in a fight or having had an allergic reaction to shrimp.

So what to make of this?

You have been told you have prostate cancer.

You have about six options to include doing nothing.

You read, you listen and you gravitate to a decision.

Treat it like my tooth. See the urologist, the oncologist, the radiation guy, speak to friends, get a second opinion, hell…do it all.

But don’t whine at the end of your treatment that you were forced into something because you were not given options and now you feel it was all about money. Really?

Go to all the “ists” like I did. I have no regrets. All my guys were great and made clear to me that the treatment of a “crack” is not a science but an art and a lot of wait and see. I get it. Do you?

4 Replies to “prostate cancer and root canals…it’s about using all the “ists” at your disposal.”

  1. Sounds awfuly like a routine PSA/DRE test because having one as part of a routine check up could save a mans life.
    Ignoring the need for a PSA/DRE test or not being aware of what a PSA test or a DRE examination is accounts for almost all the deaths from prostate cancer.
    We are educated by our parents and at school as to why and how we should look after our teeth and so we can make a choice of how we wish to look after our teeth.
    In the UK only 6% of men are aware of what a prostate is or its function even more no one tells them if they are in the High Risk group!!
    Knowing your PSA score and having a Urologist who can interpret the results so that you get timely treatment as and if necessary is essential to avoiding unnecessary treatment or premature death from prostate cancer.
    What we need is a diagnostic tool for prostate cancer that would replace the biopsy


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