September 17, 2017

In our work as cancer surgeons, we see the anxiety of our patients when they come back for their routine reviews or check ups. In Urology, prostate cancer is monitored with PSA and every time it is tested after treatment holds the potential for recurrence and the possibility of more treatment. Our patients with bladder cancers need a periodic inspection of the bladder and recurrences may necessitate more treatment and even more radical interventions. Kidney and testicular cancers are generally monitored with periodic radiological imaging and blood tests.

Cancer is a peculiar thing that doesn’t always follow predicted “rules”. Sometimes we remove cancers with a “clear margin” but on the very first set of tests such as PSA, there is still detectable disease. At other times the disease may have been quiescent for 10 or more years and suddenly there is a recurrence. Or even more unusual is how a patient may have minimal or no symptoms of any disease, and at their very first presentation they have metastatic, incurable cancer.

It is a challenge for patients, general practitioners, specialists, and researchers. How do we be proactive without becoming obsessed? How do we stay calm when the ramifications are so high? And what do we do, when there is so much that is out of control? Cancer, perceived or real, brings fear.

Firstly, take control of those things within your control. Mind and body; diet and exercise; meditation and stress management. All of these things must be looked at and optimised. In terms of cancer, find yourself the very best practitioners who are experts in their field and will advise you based on the most current research and information. Steer away from superstition, alternative ideology, and fear based information. Then make a considered decision and stick with it. Your health and your life are more important than anything else.

In Health and Wellness

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