Saturday, April 28, 2007


For a day off, it's been fairly busy. Had a series of continuing education classes today, most of which were fairly interesting. One of the topics was prostate cancer, which becomes more relevant to me as I get older. One of the good things, so to speak, about prostate cancer, is that timely treatment is very effective. On the other hand, with the surgical treatment comes a significant risk of impotency. Which in your fifties or sixties, can be a major impact. Plus other wonderful risks like chronic leakage, or the reverse, scarring of the urethra, resulting in diminished flow, lots of trips to the bathroom, or even a lifetime of nephrostomy drains. Our speaker, a radiation oncologist, addressed brachytherapy, a method that has become highly effective as computers have progressed allowing planning for physical location in relation to radiation dose to become much more precise. While all this was very interesting, the delivery method really gets your attention. Is there a man out there who hasn't had a sympathy cringe when another guy takes a baseball/golf club/ woman's shoe to the groin? Now, what do you feel when you see this going into a man's perineum? He mentioned people do have some swelling after the process......

Afterwards, you end up with a nice little collection of radioactive seeds in your prostate, that look like this on an x-ray. Reminds me of some shotgun injury films I've seen. And those little seeds are effective. So effective you're supposed to stay away from pregnant women and small children for a period of time. Really.

Just one of the many joys of living longer in the modern age.

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