Prostate Cancer Screening and Treatments

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Topics include: Understanding and Treatment

In this Patient Power program on sponsored by Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Dr. William Catalona joins Andrew to discuss prostate cancer screening and treatments. Dr. Catalona is known for being the first person to show that a blood test to measure levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is the most accurate method for detecting prostate cancer and for having helped developed the "free" PSA test to improve the accuracy of prostate cancer screening. He has also been recognized for his success in nerve-sparing surgery in prostatectomies which has made him one of the most requested surgeons in the country.

Conor, Dr. Catalona’s patient, shares his story of being diagnosed after a worrisome PSA test at a routine check-up. He talks about his decision to have a prostatectomy and his worries about sexual function and incontinence. You’ll hear how Conor is doing 3 months after surgery and why he is so optimistic about the future.

Dr. Catalona also explains the significance of the PSA test, what the numbers mean, at what age men should begin screening and he stresses the importance of early detection. He also discusses the latest approaches to prostate cancer treatment, including brachytherapy, proton beam radiation therapy, cryoablation, thermotherapy and prostatectomy. You’ll learn why Dr. Catalona is so hopeful about the future of prostate cancer treatment.

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Andrew Schorr:

Good evening and thank you for joining us so much on Patient Power on HealthNet on This is where we are every two weeks connecting you with leading Northwestern experts and discussing significant health concerns that may affect you or someone you care about. And wherever you may be with, whether it's in the Chicago area, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, wherever you may be or around the world, I'm very excited today because we're going to connect you with one of the leading experts on prostate cancer in the world, and you'll understand so much more about prostate cancer screening and treatment. And you'll also meet some gentlemen who have been very positively affected by smart healthcare choices.

Now, this is a significant discussion for men. Every year over 232,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, and about 30,000 men die. But, of course, if detected early prostate cancer is often treatable. But one in six men is at a lifetime risk of prostate cancer. So we're going to learn a lot more about it. We're going to discuss this test you hear about, the PSA, prostate specific antigen test. We're going to learn about the various approaches, nerve sparing, radical prostatectomy to preserve your continence and your sexual function. And we're going to learn all of this from a man who's been really at the foundation of so much of this, Dr. William Catalona, who is from Northwestern Memorial Hospital and also the Feinberg School of Medicine.

We're going to meet him in a minute, but I want to always start our programs by helping you understand how this affects people like you and me. Now, I'm 56. I think about this a lot. My dad, Max, died at 92. He was still practicing law at that time. But it was from complications of prostate cancer. And he'd gone through different surgeries and hormone shots and things like that. So is that something I'm at higher risk for because my a dad was affected by prostate cancer? That's a question we'll answer. And a lot of research is going on to find out not only who will develop prostate cancer but will your prostate cancer be of the more aggressive kind that needs intervention and intervention earlier.

So let's go to Naperville, Ohio. Conor Cunneen joins us. Conor, you were 52 years old back in January, now you're 53, and your PSA came up a little worrisome, didn't it?


It did, Andrew. Just a correction. It's Naperville, Illinois. I'm just west of Chicago.

Andrew Schorr:

Oh, right. Excuse me.

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Page last updated on January 12, 2014