Vail Health Magazine 2013 - page 47

sickness or hair loss. Androgen
deprivation therapy (ADT) can
control the disease for years,
sometimes leading to remissions
lasting 15 to 20 years.
“That’s what’s exciting about
prostate cancer now, there are
new therapies coming out,” Dr.
Urquhart says, adding that in spite
of the cons of screening, the Shaw
Regional Cancer Center gener-
ally advocates it. “We are on the
pro-screening side for mammo-
grams, starting at 40. As far as the
PSA, it’s much less clear. There has
been increasing debate on that. I
still recommend it.”
Dr. Michael Glodé recommends
any patient with a positive family
history of prostate cancer con-
sider PSA screening start at age
45 and that all other men discuss
the pros and cons of screening
with their physician or an expert
starting at age 50.
Some men who undergo PSA
tests discover high levels, are
biopsied and find the presence of
cancer, but simply decide to wait
and watch because the tumor is
low-grade and non-threatening.
Still others live under the philoso-
phy that ignorance is bliss and opt
to never be screened.
“If you talk to men in a prostate
cancer support group, none of
them feel like they shouldn’t have
been screened,” Dr. Glodé says.
“But there is a big physiological
burden of surgery, so you want to
make sure it was worth doing.”
Ultimately, it comes down to
personal choice, and talking to
your doctor about the options.
“You can download thousands
of pages of very confusing infor-
mation about prostate cancer,” Dr.
Glodé says. “This is what newly
diagnosed people usually do. After
they’ve done that, they like to talk
to somebody who has experience
treating it.”
The Expert
In his 30-plus-year medical
career, Dr. Glodé has treated
more than 3,000 cases of prostate
cancer and was Harvard-trained.
The Associate Director for Out-
reach at the University of Col-
orado Cancer Center Dr. Glodé
has led the charge on a multitude
of medical and pharmaceutical
research projects and investi-
gations on cancer treatments.
Although he is on the road to
retirement, he serves patients
at the university and at Shaw
Regional Cancer Center.
He is also a guy who has experi-
enced prostate cancer first-hand.
This in itself speaks to the
necessity of a personal decision
when facing prostate cancer,
beginning with the controversial
decision to get screened and if
so, when, what measures to take
if a biopsy turns out malignant
and how to choose and/or deal
with treatment.
“I made up my mind to be
screened until age 70,” Dr. Glodé
says of his own choices. “A couple
years ago my PSA crept up and I
got biopsied. Last year, it was up
again and I had a second biopsy.
That found a small tumor, an inter-
mediate grade.”
Dr. Glodé opted for surgery about
a year ago. Like most prostate sur-
gery patients, he was in and out of
the hospital in about 24 hours. The
recovery wasn’t particularly difficult
—within a week he was out hiking
— and he says he is doing well.
“That was my choice. That’s
how the cards fell,” he says. At the
time, it’s what felt right to him,
and he says it always needs to be a
personal choice.
“I’m always helping men make
decisions talking about their per-
sonal preferences,” he says.
Not only is he one of the most
qualified prostate specialists in
the world, but Dr. Glodé also has
access to experimental treatments
that are not yet FDA approved.
Shaw Regional Cancer Center’s
patients have access to the best
treatment in the world.
“Shaw is a state-of-the-art radia-
tion facility. My feeling is they can
deliver radiation therapy as well as
anyone in the country,” he says.
“Of all cancers, prostate cancer is defi-
nitely one of themost treatable and
slowest growing. ” ­—Dr. Michael Glodé
Photo by Cody Downard
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