Prostate Cancer: Sheep or Wolf?: Navigating Systemic Misinformation
by Murray Keith Wadsworth
Pub Date 05 Feb 2019
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Imagine the shock while owning and running a business in England, when Texan Murray Wadsworth is in his fifties, he finds out he has progressing prostate cancer, despite a decade of screening and a healthy active lifestyle.
Then imagine that despite the reputation as a "harmless old man's disease" his long-established urologist back home in Austin recommends immediate surgery. What does he do?
Although frightened, author Murray Wadsworth says no and begins researching his options, but he is quickly perplexed by all the controversies surrounding this all too common disease. Additionally, it does not take long for him to realize his healthcare options in America are restricted by a lack of advanced investigative tools and private health insurance limitations.
Wadsworth's story does far more than describe his personal three-year quest researching and selecting diagnostic and multiple treatment methods. He also shares the findings of his patient-detective approach, supported by scientific references and his most important medical consultations. The book includes a bibliography of the best up-to-date sources the author found to help him navigate the volumes of information on his cancer.
Prostate Cancer: Sheep or Wolf? Navigating Systemic Misinformation paves the way for other men to become their own advocates and for their families and friends who want to understand what their loved one is going through. It is a guide for them to see through the American healthcare systems' misinformation that promotes fear of overtreatment and side effects, drowning out the very real risks with this disease. A system that clings to outdated practices even smaller European countries like Belgium and the Netherlands have moved far beyond.
The author steers clear of advocating any particular treatment, but considers carefully the various methodologies and conflicting medical opinions patients face in this highly readable account of his own experience with diagnosis and treatment. He recounts how PSA screening failed him and the additional shock that his biopsy missed the most threatening cancer cells. Wadsworth shares how he came to have consultations with world-renowned experts including the "godfather" of robotic surgery, and how by good fortune he met Dr. Carole Wyatt on the ski slopes in Switzerland. It was through these relationships that Wadsworth came to benefit from the latest in genomic testing, enhanced-imaging techniques and treatment options.
Prostate Cancer: Sheep or Wolf? is also the riveting story of parallel journeys: balancing evolving diagnosis and evaluations of treatment options in the US and Europe, while embarking on RV road trips through the American Rocky Mountains. After prostatectomy and radiotherapy in America failed to clear all his cancer, Wadsworth returned to Europe for world-leading imaging and highly specialized pelvic lymph node removal surgery.
Today Wadsworth balances his time between ongoing RV road trips, visits with his children and grandchildren, and at the farmhouse in France he shares with Carole. He remains hopeful that surgery in Belgium cleared all the sheep along with any wolves; all the while, the next PSA blood test is always just months away.
"A fascinating journey through the complexities of US healthcare, insurance, and prostate cancer. Where screening is discouraged and treatment options all come with unacceptable side effects. Well researched, but easy to read. As a survivor and physician, I could appreciate both sides of Murray's dilemma." --James Thomson, M.D.
"The diagnosis of prostate cancer is a frightening one. Even as a health care provider, it is difficult to keep up with the ever-changing research and recommendations for diagnosis and management of this all too common disease. Prostate Cancer: Sheep or Wolf? does a fabulous job of discussing both the mainstream and the cutting-edge options, and will be immensely helpful to many men as they investigate the alternatives." --Michael J. Hilts, M.D.
"Today, buffeted by hard marketing, hype and misleading guidance, a diagnosis of prostate cancer is one of toughest life events many men will face. Neither promoting or demonising any particular approach, this thoroughly-researched and referenced book will be a valuable resource for men, whether they are at the point of considering screening or have already received a diagnosis of prostate cancer. However, Wadsworth's engaging narrative style and use of charming illustrations makes it a delight to read." --Dr Carole Wyatt, MBBCh (UK)
"Mr. Wadsworth has written a very personal account of his ongoing battle with Prostate cancer. Although not a treatise on treatment of Prostate cancer it does contain and demonstrate several actions that I, as a Physician treating various cancers, feel are important to all patients.
First - Patients must be involved in their care decisions. Although there are Cancer treatment guidelines (such as NCCN.org), cancer treatment is not "one size fits all"! Mr. Wadsworth demonstrates this very well.
Second - Physical fitness and physical activity are important aspects of treatment. Fitness will allow better tolerance of treatment. Maintaining focus on overall health and not on the cancer will improve one's mental outlook. Again, this is well demonstrated by Mr. Wadsworth.
Third - Occupy your mind with something besides the cancer. This is demonstrated by selecting RV options, planning travels, and restoring an old boat. Again, all cancers and all cancer patients are unique but this book does provide examples of how to accept and deal with a cancer diagnosis sadly common to many men." --Jack Walzel, M.D.