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The Real Prostate Cancer Second Opinion-That’s Right…I don’t have a dog in your fight!

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I pictured you walking backwards and that you were coming back home...I pictured you walking away from me and hoping you were not leaving me alone...

I pictured you walking backwards and that you were coming back home…I pictured you walking away from me and hoping you were not leaving me alone…

Chapter Two-A dog shows up at the lake
John and Karen had two other dogs, Oscar and Tootsie, both of whom they loved dearly, but there was an emptiness around their home without Meg. The couple felt her memory and presence everywhere in and about the house. The couch, the trampoline, the backyard, the bedroom, the children’s rooms, the porch, and years and years of pictures with members of the family framed throughout the house, served as a constant reminder of Meg. The two remaining dogs were dachshunds; Oscar was the grouchy father, and Tootsie, a high maintenance daughter. The female dachshund next door had been Oscar’s wife and Tootsie’s mother. It had been an “arranged” marriage.

“I miss having a big dog around here John,” Karen said.

“I miss having a dog that likes being in water,” John replied. He thought, “Dachshunds are like cats, they do not like water and don’t swim.”

John and Karen had a small piece of property on the lake near their home. They rarely spent the night at the small cabin on the site, but very much enjoyed going there for “day trips” and always got home before the time the street lights came on.

John and Meg could easily consume a Saturday at the lake with cutting grass, fishing, and working in their small garden there. They often visited the big box stores for stuff needed for whatever they would be doing that day. Meg loved riding in John’s truck, ambling around the property, and dipping into the lake for a swim from time to time as John worked.

“John, what on earth do you and Meg do all day out there?” Karen often asked.

John and Meg looked at Karen in unison and agreed that Karen just did not “get it.”
“Well Karen, Meg and me don’t have nothing to do out there, we got all day to do it, and we may not get but half of it done,” John answered. He wasn’t sharing any of their secrets.

With Meg gone there was a void on Saturdays, not only at home for the couple, but also for John at the lake. John attempted to make the dachshunds his “lake dogs,” but they did not like water and just made a mess out of his Saturdays. Oscar hated it at the lake preferring the warm and known confines of their home and being a lovable grouch on his turf. Tootsie loved riding in the truck to the lake and she loved to cuddle in the warmth of John’s jacket during the ride however, Tootsie was always doing something meddlesome. She explored to the extent that John spent the majority of his time looking for her or keeping Tootsie out of trouble.
On one occasion John lost Tootsie for about two hours though it seemed like an eternity. During the time she was missing, he frantically searched the shore of the lake, the cabin, and the surrounding area. He envisioned Karen chastising him for not “taking better care of Tootsie.” All of his worst fears as to her safety ran through his mind only to find her on top of the boat dock. Tootsie had no problem climbing the steps to the top of the deck, but once there, she would not come back down. He found her accidentally because he saw the silhouette of her small head on the horizon of the dock flooring. His fear of finding the more worrisome silhouette of her body floating in water hence relinquished, John commenced to chastise her under his breath. (Tootsie’s head is small for her body. John’s head is small and Karen often made fun of him for it. John’s mother said her first memory of John as a baby was that he could, “cover his whole face with his hand.” On his high school football team in LaGrange, Georgia, he wore the smallest helmet. It was a size 6 and 7/8, and was specially ordered for him. Karen told John, when she perceived he was gaining weight, “John, you need to be careful about gaining too much weight or you’ll start looking like Tootsie. Your head won’t match your body.”)
On another fateful day at the lake, Tootsie chased a mouse or some other rodent under the cabin, which had only a six-inch crawl space, and it took several hours to determine where she was. Once found, she would not come out and there was no obvious way to get to her or to get her out. Complicating the situation and intensifying the anxiety for John, it was not clear if Tootsie was trapped or just would not come out. Exasperated and about to give up, John found a neighbor with a skill saw to cut a hole in the cabin’s kitchen floor to “rescue” her. The sawed out square of flooring replaced the hole in a patch-like fashion serving as a constant reminder of that day’s three-hour ordeal to free Tootsie from the confines of the cabin crawlspace.
“Karen, I am not taking Tootsie out to the lake anymore. She is a good truck dog and likes to ride, but she is way too much trouble for me out there. I can’t get anything done with her. She gets into stuff. “Dachshunds have a Napoleon complex and that’s her problem,” John thought. He, however, did take her again. It would be a mistake to do so, and it would be the last trip to the lake for Tootsie.
The “last” time Tootsie went to the lake with John, she played the “Napoleon role” that only a foot-long dachshund can do with the great dane puppy which lived next door. She barked and taunted the dog until it grabbed her like a pillow, shook her, and then threw her about thirty feet. All of this transpired in a matter of seconds right in front of John to his amazement and chagrin while he was raking leaves and listening to a Georgia football game. Tootsie’s run in with the great dane resulted in a trip to the vet, a V-neck T-shirt soaked with Tootsie’s blood, ten holes in Tootsie’s abdomen (but no damage to her intestine), two hours of surgery in which John assisted the vet, fifty stitches, and another ruined Saturday at the lake. No Tootsie was not to be another Meg and she would not be going to the lake anymore, period. To make matters worse, on the day Tootsie came home from the hospital, John was holding her in his arms, and was about to give her cheek a kiss when she snapped up and bit him on the tip of his nose. He dropped her to the floor out of shock and a bit of anger, only to find her running to Karen. Karen now became the “good-guy” and Tootsie’s savior in this unprovoked attack, which further aggravated John. Karen then laughed uncontrollably at the situation and particularly at John clutching his nose. John’s nose was now bleeding profusely and when he checked it out in the mirror there was an inch long scratch which was deep and devoid of skin. The area subsequently scabbed over and for two weeks was a painful and visual reminder of the little ungrateful troublemaker that was Tootsie.
“Dr. McHugh, what happened to your nose?” John was asked a thousand times over the ensuing weeks.
“My dog bit me,” he answered. Having to respond to that question in light of the history of the event was “salt on the wound” to John. He did, however, forgive Tootsie.

Several months later after blowing leaves at the lake, John alone and without a lake dog, was resting on an old spring swing left at the lake by the original owner of the property Jessie Jewell. He saw a small puppy walking up the gravel driveway. The lake property is at the end of a road that has a cul de sac. His first thought was that someone had dropped off the dog and left it. As the puppy approached her gait and color made John think that the visitor was a golden retriever puppy and probably one of a neighbor’s dogs. She walked nonchalantly to where he was sitting and sat down right next to him. It was as if she was already his dog and that what she was doing now was what she was accustomed to doing naturally and often.

“Well, what’s your name, cutie pie?” John asked somewhat taken aback by the level of the “make yourself right at home” nature of this stranger.

The dog’s tail began wagging as it looked up at John contentedly. John confirmed that the dog was a female, and as best he could tell, she was a thoroughbred. He figured that someone was probably missing her pretty bad about now. She had no collar. It was unknown to John at the time that this was a foreboding sign. He picked her up, held her in his lap with her belly up, legs open and apart, and began to rub her. To John, a dog that will let you rub its belly is an “at peace” dog and a prerequisite characteristic of one you’d want to have. Oscar would not let you do that, but Tootsie would. This dog was as laid back as you please to be on her back and be rubbed, particularly behind her ears.

“I think I’ll keep you my little friend. Do you like the water?”

When John and the new dog arrived home that evening, he said as he entered the house, “Karen, guess what showed up at the lake today?”

Karen immediately said, “She’s pretty. Look at her tongue; it’s got a black spot on it. That means she has chow in her.”

“You don’t know that Karen. A black spot on the tongue? Are you kidding?”

“It means she has Chow in her. I bet she is a Golden-Chow.”
Karen was right about the puppy having Chow in her as evidenced by the way her bushy tail always was curled up over her back. None of the neighbors near the lake cabin reported losing a dog and so the family adopted the golden retriever looking puppy with the bushy tail and black spotted tongue as their own.

Bess, their middle child who was in sixth grade at the time, named the new pet Chloe. The new dog was the same color as Meg and since Meg was named after the spice, nutmeg, Bess wanted to name her after another brownish colored spice. She thought chloe was a spice as well. That chloe was not a spice was something that John and Karen did not note, but would not have corrected it even if they had noticed the error. John, a poor speller, the next day went to PetSmart to make a tag for her collar, but spelled her name “Clohe” much to the sarcastic delight of his family who never let him forget that he spelled her name incorrectly. Named for a spice that wasn’t, and having to wear a tag with the wrong name on it may have very well been a glimpse into Chloe’s unpredictable future.
The couple and their family fell instantly in love with the gentle intruder. As John’s mother would say, “One man’s loss is another one’s gain.”
The “gift” and the coming saga that was Chloe then commenced; the extent and complexity of which was unknown to John or Karen at the time. Chloe on the other hand, knew exactly what was to come and the role she’d play in the lives of John, Karen, their family, and more importantly, other lives.

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“John, these stories you write about me are not really true!”

I asked some female nurses who I work with in my amubulatory surgery center what exactly the term “my wife keeps me grounded” means? One lady said that when her husband started talking about all the things he was going to do or get she has to remind him that, ” honey, we need to pay the house payment first don’t you think.”

It reminds me of the story that Lou Holtz, a coach that took Notre Dame to the national championsip, tells about the time he was invited to be an assistant coach at South Carolina and then when he got there with his family the coach that hired him was fired. This in turn meant that his job was gone as well.

As Holtz tells it he then made a list of all the the things that he planned to accomplish in his life. Things like meet the President, skydive, and of course win a national football championship.

“Honey, I have here a list of 100 things I plan to accomplish before I die,” he said proudly to his loving wife.

“Maybe you should add 101…get a job.”

If you are ever drifting off in church or thinking about something good to read get out a bible and turn to Proverbs in the Old Testament. Find the section of wives. Very illuminating and so true today.

“Read about wives in Proverbs like I said….You hear.”

From “The Decision.”

I was totally incontinent for about three months. I initially thought that diapers would manage the problem, but even the most absorbent brand would last only 45 minutes without getting heavy and beginning to sag down between my legs. I went back to work with a full patient load 11 days after my surgery. It quickly became apparent that a diaper alone would not work. Going back and forth to the restroom in between every four or five patients got old very quickly. I then tried the technique of adding an absorbent liner inside the diaper and only changing that, but the liner was cumbersome as well, and still I had to dispose of and replace it several times a morning. I soon found that the only thing that would let me have freedom from all the paraphernalia related to diapers was a condom catheter. We used to joke as urology residents, saying, “I’m going to go empty my leg bag,” instead of saying we were going to go to the restroom. There were residents who would take condom catheters from the urology clinic and put them on at baseball games so they could drink beer without the inconvenience of going to the stadium restroom. I ordered several types to try out (I won’t tell which size I ultimately used) and actually got along quite well with them. The ones I used were like a condom with sticky glue on the inner surface. As you roll it on, it sticks to the skin and forms a water-tight seal; the end of it has a spout that connects to a tube and a bag that attaches to a leg, hence the term “leg bag.” I could wear this under my scrubs and no one knew I had it on. I worked in the office, operated, and even taught youth Sunday school with this set-up undetected. This system malfunctioned and popped open only once. This soaked the pant leg of the scrubs I was wearing, but no one saw it and I was able to correct that quickly with a new pair of scrub bottoms. There was an ever-present fear that it might leak at an inopportune time, but that never happened. I had told very few people who I had had my prostate removed, so hardly anyone knew that I had a “leakage” issue and was wearing a leg bag. I would be speaking to a patient about what they should do for their prostate and answering questions about incontinence, all the while wearing my leg bag. It was an odd time; I elected not to tell patients about my situation. I bet in those three months of wearing protection that I must have treated hundreds of patients with prostate issues. “What would you do if it were you?” they would ask as I could feel my leg bag filling up. The bag holds about a pint, so I could feel it getting heavy and bulging the scrubs at the calf level of my leg. If you let the bag get too full, then it begins to pull down on the tubing, which in turns pulls down on the condom, which pulls down on the… You get the picture. With time, as I am sure it is with most inconveniences that patients endure, all of the issues associated with the condom catheter became second nature, just part of my life.

 

I would take off the condom before my shower and then jump around to see if the leaking had improved, and each morning for those three months, I was disappointed. Following the shower, I would dry the area to perfection and then carefully roll on my condom catheter and begin the process of hooking everything up. I had a routine that took about 15 minutes. On one particular morning, some of the skin of my “you know what” was very irritated and little blisters were all over the skin, particularly where urine would contact inside the condom. The condom catheter’s glue made taking off the condom a very unpleasant experience, as it would pull at the irritated areas of skin and open the blisters as well. It was very painful to take off the old and miserable to then put on the new. I remember being quite depressed by my situation that morning, more so than usual. As if it were not bad enough to be leaking all the time, now my system for dealing with it was also problematic. The thought of wearing this contraption all day, considering all the movement and discomfort that this entailed, also added to my despondency. The other issue was that if the skin kept getting irritated, I would not be able to use the condom catheter and would have to go back to diapers. I was pondering my plight and was just about “situated” when my wife entered our master bath. I was stooped over in order to connect the rubber straps of the bag to my calf and looked up at her. She looked at me oddly and with what I perceived as a look of concern. I thought that maybe she had detected my frustration and slight depression. I remember being disappointed that my true feelings might have been revealed, as I had been trying to down-play to my family the pathetic “urinary” situation that had become my life. By the way she peered down at me I was sure she was going to ask, “Is everything O.K?” She then said,” John, I think I see a black hair on the tip of your nose.” Somewhat relieved, as I connected the last leg strap, I said, “Thank you dear.”

 

 

 

                        

 

 

 

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"Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength" - St. Francis de Sales

When I was a kid and grocery shopping with my mother the first place I went in the store was to the butcher department.

“May I have some bones for my dog please.” The butcher dutifully disappeared and returned with about five or six bones all wrapped up and gave them to me. Free of charge. I loved it, my dogs loved it and I thought of myself as being smart. It was great getting something useful for nothing and only because I had the courage to ask. Above Penelope is making quite the mess of our outdoor sofa with a bone that I got at the grocery but paid for. She loved it and ate every bit of it and it occupied her for about 30 minutes. I took the picture because she had two feet on the floor and two on the sofa so that she could get “good leverage” on that ole bone, that means it “were a good one.”

Don’t judge me on letting a dog eat a bone on outdoor furniture. The stain you see looks worse that it really is. Really.

A politician who had recently lost an election told a friend that he was disappointed that he had not contributed to his campaign.

The friend said, ” Well…you didn’t ask.”

What was the bible says about asking….hmmmmmmmm?

 

Well….just don’t do it….now where are you? Can you live with your abnormal PSA or not? Other than tissue (from a biopsy) all other things are “suggestive” of prostate cancer.

What would I tell you having done thousands of biopsies and had one myself? The risk of an infection is about 3% and the patient and doctor should have a heightened sense of awareness about fever.  If a temperture is developing then contact or get back to the urologist as soon as possible. What is probably happening is that the urologist gave you Cipro and the infection is not sensitive to it. A culture should be done quickly and a broader spectrum antibiotic given. In my office I have third generation cephlasporins available to give IM that sometimes will avert a hospitalization and used as a daily IM shot untill the culture is back. I admit about 2 people a year from infection after a biopsy and it is a frustrating situation because the bacteria is one that is not sensitive to the usual oral antibiotics and require antibiotics that can only be given by IM or IV administration.

Prostate Biopsy Risk?

Story Updated: Oct 5, 2011

In today’s health news: A danger from prostate screening that might catch guys by surprise.

Every year, millions of men have the familiar PSA test that can point to possible prostate cancer. The test is quick and simple – but it can have serious downsides.

In a new study from the Journal of Urology, researchers looked at Medicare records of men ages 65 and older who underwent a prostate biopsy. Doctors may want to do this procedure Рwhich involves taking a sample of prostate tissue Ð when a PSA test looks suspicious. They compared more than 17,000 men who had a prostate biopsy with nearly 135,000 similar men who didn’t have one.

Nearly 7 percent of the men in the biopsy group were hospitalized within 30 days, compared to just 2.9 percent of the other men. The men who went to the hospital after their biopsy had complications including bleeding and infection, as well as episodes of other problems like heart failure.

The American Cancer Society doesn’t specifically recommend that men should have the PSA test. It merely suggests that men should get familiar with the possible benefits of testing – and of course the risks – then talk to their doctor about whether testing is the right choice starting at age 45 to 50.

I’m Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the news that doctors are reading; health news that matters to you.

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god gave burdens...also shoulders

New Robotic Surgery Technique Maintains Sexual
Function After Prostate Cancer Surgery

The SMART Technique (Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique) Enhances
Surgical Precision and Maintains Sexual Wellbeing After Prostate Cancer
Treatment

Dr. David Samadi, Vice Chairman, Department of Urology, and Chief of Robotics
and Minimally Invasive Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center knows the wide
range of emotions and fears that men with prostate
cancer
face. As a robotic
prostatectomy
and prostate
cancer treatment
 expert, Dr. Samadi cares for the total patient, helping
them deal with all aspects of treatment, recovery and cure. Robotic
prostatectomy procedures, performed to remove the prostate gland and surrounding
cancer, can provide excellent cancer cure results, though many men fear the
potential side effects of the surgery. Top on their list of concerns: will they
be able to have and enjoy sex
after prostate cancer treatment
?

Dr. Samadi understands this concern. “For most men, sexual function is
equally as important as eliminating prostate cancer. Many of their fears about
sex after surgery are carry-overs from what they know of older open and
laparoscopic prostatectomy techniques. Thanks to robotic
surgery
, these fears can be greatly reduced.” Historically, the prostate
gland was removed through invasive surgery during which surgeons had a difficult
time sparing the tiny nerve bundles responsible for erectile and sexual
function. Often, a man’s ability to have sex after surgery was negatively
impacted. With the advent of robotic surgery techniques, experienced surgeons
like Dr. Samadi have an enhanced view of the prostate gland, allowing increased
precision and dexterity. As a result, the risk of damage to the nerves vital to
sexual function is significantly diminished.

When treating his prostate cancer patients, Dr. Samadi employs a
start-to-finish approach, including an individualized evaluation of sexual
function prior to surgery and on-going, post-surgical assessments of options to
aid the return of sexual function. “I consider robotic surgery successful when
the cancer is cured and the patient has full continence and potency. All three
criteria must be met for me to consider the surgery a success.” Dr. Samadi dubs
this whole-patient approach, “Treatment Trifecta.”

Dr. Samadi customizes robotic surgery with his own SMART
(Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique) method
. Using the da Vinci
System, the commonly recommended treatment for localized prostate cancer, Dr.
Samadi is able to perform highly precise movements at the surgical site:
cancerous tissue is cleanly removed and critical nerves are spared. By not
opening the surrounding fascia around the prostate and not suturing the dorsal
vein complex, Dr. Samadi has improved the quality of men’s post operative sex
life. Ultimately, this leads to faster recovery and an improved outlook for
regaining sexual function and urinary continence.

“Men want to know they can return to a normal life when this is all over.
They want the cancer gone and they want to move on and enjoy sex the way they
always have,” says Dr. Samadi. While the resumption of sexual potency can take
up to 12 months or more, Dr. Samadi assures patients that this is within the
normal course of recovery. His comprehensive approach to prostate cancer
treatment and sexual wellbeing continues beyond surgery. “It’s not uncommon for
men to experience some ED immediately following prostatectomy procedures, but
this is not an indication of their long-term sexual potency. I continue to work
with patients to achieve the complete results they desire.”

More can be seen from prostate cancer expert, Dr. Samadi, who is also part of
the Fox News Team.

Prostate
Cancer Treatment Options Compared: Robotic Surgery vs. Watchful Waiting

Robotic
Surgery on Good Day New York

Related Links:

http://www.smart-surgery.com/

http://www.roboticoncology-it.com/

http://www.roboticoncology-il.com/

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things said while drunk were thought of while sober

In my opinion patients have a better feel for what to expect in terms of impotence and incontinence with surgery than with radiation. You better believe that the urologists out there are telling there patients about the possibility of complications, this is innate to all surgeries. Patients understand that surgery means anesthesia, risk of bleeding, and other complications. They understand that removing the prostate will “mess with stuff down there.” So the below article is a good one , dealing only with surgery and making the point that maybe it’s about be optimistic…I was that way myself.

My beef is with the radiation folks and particularly the Proton folks. I am okay with radiation, I recommend it all the time. These books that tout radiation or Proton beam as if there will be no complications is disingenuous. I believe that if the surgery patient is overly optimistic about the potential or lack of complications, the radiation patient is very overly optimistic. From the get go they feel that because there is no cutting and that the prostate is not removed that the chance of issues is either very small or non-existent.

You will have to just believe me on this. Yes I have seen complications from surgery, but I have seen them from radiation. In regards to radiation the patient is almost always surprised that they have persistent burning to void, worsening erectile function, a change in bowel habits and etc. This is not being critical of a treatment, as I say in my book….”choose your poison.” Another thing patients tend to blame the doctor for surgical problems, but the radiation (not a person) for the radiation problems.

Now you proton advocates…be careful. Yes it is more focused to the prostate with less surrounding tissue damage. However, the prostatic urethra runs right through the middle of the prostate so it will receive radiation just like conventional radiation. So you will not be off the hook for voiding symptoms particularly if you have antecedent obstructive voiding symptoms before treatment. How do I know this possibility? I have a patient who has to catheterize himself to empty his bladder three times a day since having Proton therapy two years ago. He is  very happy and feels he was very smart and cutting edge, he had the proton.

Whichever treatment you choose read the informed consent. Radiation patients read very well the potential for complications. They are out there, just like surgery, they do occur and if you doing radiation because you’ll be off the hook for voiding or erectile problems, you’d better think again.

Oh yea. Then there’s cure…why is it the Proton therapy programs only treat the mild to mod grades of prostate cancer? If it is so great why not treat all comers? Hey…I don’t know. I am just asking. You proton advocates please opine.

Men Have Overly Optimistic Expectations About Recovery from Prostate Cancer Surgery, Study Finds

ScienceDaily (Aug. 8, 2011) — Nearly half of men undergoing surgery for prostate cancer expect better recovery from the side effects of the surgery than they actually attain one year after the operation, a University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center study finds.


In addition, prior to surgery, a small proportion of men had expected to have better urinary continence and sexual functions a year after the surgery than they had before it — the exact opposite of what typically happens.

“This is a belief that does not reflect preoperative counseling which, on the contrary, alerts men to urinary and sexual problems after surgery,” says study author Daniela Wittmann, M.S.W, sexual health coordinator at the U-M prostate cancer survivorship program.

The study, published in the August issue of the Journal of Urology, surveyed 152 men undergoing radical prostatectomy, an operation to remove the prostate. All of the men filled out questionnaires before surgery, after receiving preoperative counseling. The questions asked the men about their expectations of urinary, bowel, hormonal and sexual function a year after the surgery.

The study showed that for the most part, men’s expectations of hormonal and bowel function matched what happened one year after surgery. But, when it came to urinary incontinence only 36 percent of the men’s expectations corresponded to what happened one year post-surgery.

In addition, only 40 percent of men found what they expected for sexual function to be true one year post-surgery.

Also, 46 percent of the men found worse than expected outcomes in urinary incontinence and 44 percent of men found worse than expected outcomes in sexual function one year after surgery.

“When we provide preoperative education, we can only inform men in terms of overall statistics. We can’t predict for the individual,” explains Wittmann. “This may mean that, if in doubt, people tend toward being hopeful and optimistic, perhaps overly optimistic.”

The researchers suggest that it is important to provide men with tools for urinary and sexual recovery after surgery and with support that will lead to the best possible outcome.

Patients who undergo surgery for prostate cancer at U-M participate in the prostate cancer survivorship program. The program includes partners as well. It is designed to provide men with excellent surgical care along with tailored, couples-oriented support both before and after surgery to help ease recovery from the side-effects of surgery.

“Although preoperative education is very important and should be explicit about the general expectations regarding outcomes, we also need to help men and their partners with the recovery process after surgery in order to help them regain their intimate lives,” says Wittmann.

Additional authors are Chang He, M.S.; Michael Coelho, B.S.; Brent Hollenbeck, M.D., M.S.; James E. Montie, M.D.; and David P. Wood Jr., M.D., all from U-M.

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what you do now...betters what is done....shakespeare

Tubby Smith says he had prostate cancer, now cancer free

6:56 AM, May 12, 2011  |

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota coach Tubby Smith says he’s “feeling great” and free of prostate cancer after dealing with the disease for the past year.

The university issued a statement from Smith on Wednesday. The 59-year-old had not previously revealed his condition.

Smith says he had surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., on April 21 to contain and remove the cancer. He says a routine physical and subsequent biopsy last spring showed an early stage of prostate cancer.

Smith says he’s thankful to his doctors at the clinic and that he “can’t wait” for next season.

Smith’s fourth year with the Gophers was his most disappointing, stopping his streak of 17 straight 20-win seasons.

Smith released a statement Wednesday:

“Amid speculation I want to make it aware that I did in fact undergo a procedure on April 21 at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. During my regular physical last spring it was discovered that my prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels were high. A biopsy was done and it was discovered that I had early stages of prostate cancer. I am happy to say that the cancer was contained and removed and I am now cancer free and feeling great.

“I want to thank Dr. Gettman and Dr. Litin at the Mayo Clinic for everything they have done for me. I am a proponent of regular prostate examines and hope that men, especially African-American men, continue to have regular checkups. Again, I am feeling great and can’t wait for the upcoming season.”

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