It doesn’t matter how much or how little money you have, famous or not famous, prostate cancer is not biased – it can affect any man. More and more celebrities are being diagnosed with and treating the disease, while sadly, some succumb to it. While no man should have to die from prostate cancer, the fact that famous men are being diagnosed with prostate cancer has helped to raise awareness of the disease. As I always say, the first step in better treatment and survival rates comes through better education. In my time as a surgeon I’ve performed robotic prostatectomy surgery on a number of notable men including famed Dutch interior designerJan Des Bouvrie, world-famous Latin musician “Little Johnny” Rivero, and just yesterday, Curtis Sliwa, radio host and founder of the Guardian Angels organization.
The one thing that these men all have in common is that they want to help raise awareness; they want share their stories with the world. Through their fame and exposure they’re able to reach a large segment of people who are interested in their experiences and what they have to say.
In Curtis Sliwa’s case, as a radio host, he used his unique position to tell his story to his listeners. He described the decisions he had made in treatment options, how his plan to try a holistic approach was ineffective, and how he came to the conclusion to have robotic surgery to remove his prostate.
Because of a violent attack on Sliwa in 1992, which required many abdominal surgeries, his case was a complicated one. A typical robotic prostatectomy is completed within an hour and a half, but due to the previous abdominal surgeries, this procedure took approximately four hours. Despite the lengthy surgery, there were no complications and minimal blood loss. Mr. Sliwa’s case emphasizes that anyone can be in a tough position when it comes to treating prostate cancer;however, there are always options available to you. As I’ve mentioned before, many men feel they are not candidates for a robotic prostatectomy due to being overweight, being too old, or because they’ve received radiation therapy in the past like Jan Des Bouvrie had. Hopefully through the information I provide, and the stories told by the men I treat, we can remove these doubts from the minds of men who are looking for a better cure