PAUL MONIZ: People that have recently been diagnosed, some of them more prominent, have broken down some of the walls about prostate cancer. People are talking about it. But there's still a tremendous sense of fear among men, and also reluctance to get tested and get treated. How do you address some of those fears? In closing, what do you want to tell our audience about the importance of facing up to the possibility that they could have something?
ROBERT SALANT, MD: In my practice, I think the biggest obstacle to finding prostate cancers early is the natural reluctance of men to avoid a rectal examination. It is an examination that men dread more than virtually anything else. However, it is relatively innocuous. It is done with a gloved, lubricated finger. It is a little uncomfortable, but not terribly painful. And the potential benefits far outweigh minimal risks. So in my mind, when I see a patient in my practice, I stress this point to the max. I've had only one or two patients in the course of 12 years who have absolutely refused rectal examination.
PAUL MONIZ: That's a fairly good record, considering the number of patients you see.
ROBERT SALANT, MD: Absolutely. I can tell you that we have found a lot of early-stage prostate cancers because of this.
PAUL MONIZ: Doctor Shasha, your closing comments in terms of what is prostate cancer, and what you want to get out there to patients?
DANIEL SHASHA, MD: I think the important points have been made. One of them is screening. The second one is, what screening can really do for people, and that is to improve their chance of being cured. At the same time that we've developed better diagnostic methods with PSA, we have also turned around and have much improved the surgical techniques and the radiation techniques that had been available.
Together, these have translated into our improved ability to positively impact our patients, and to avoid side effects, which as recently as five or ten years ago were much more common than they are today.
PAUL MONIZ: All right. Some very good information. I appreciate it. Doctor Daniel Shasha, I appreciate your time. And Doctor Robert Salant, as well.
I'm Paul Moniz, thanks for joining us.