|John Han-Chih Chang, MD|
|University of Pennsylvania Health System|
| Last Modified: November 1, 2001
Mr. Belshin was diagnosed with benign prostatic hyperplasia; he was treated and cured of it. Suffering from this condition made him aware of just how many men deal with prostate problems, ranging from personal friends to many famous people such as Bob Dole and retired general Norman Schwartzkopf. He also noticed that not only do many men suffer from these afflictions, but many men die from them. These are needless deaths, as most prostate problems are treatable. This inspired Mr. Belshin to write this book. As he puts it: "If this book helps you to understand the problems you may be experiencing from an enlarged or cancerous prostate gland and assists you in making the right choices to defeat this problem, then the time spent in its preparation was well worth it."
The author begins by defining and describing the prostate gland, using a diagram to help. He describes symptoms and warning signs to look for, while explaining that prostate cancer often has no symptoms, and hence can go undetected. He recommends that men should begin annual screening at the age of 40, an idea backed by the American Cancer Society. Several diagnostic techniques are described, such as the digital rectal exam (DRE), urine testing, prostate-specific antigen test (PSA), ultrasound, etc. He does an excellent job describing when and why they are performed, and also how (what to expect).
The book then goes on to describe the different prostate conditions, beginning with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatitis. It discusses what to do if you have BPH: it explains when to wait and watch for symptoms, describes different kinds of surgery, and nonsurgical treatments (balloon dilation, ultrasound, drugs, stents,etc.).
The other prostate condition discussed is prostate cancer. Potential risk factors are mentioned, such as genetics, location, race and lifestyle. Like its discussion of BPH, it discusses what to do if you have prostate cancer: it explains when to wait and watch for symptoms, describes different kinds of surgery, and nonsurgical treatments (radiation therapy, brachytherapy, hormone therapy, etc.).
This book then goes on to describe how one's lifestyle can affect one's health, and hence the odds of developing prostate problems. A person's diet, amount of exercise, and vitamin intake can all help to reduce chances of health problems. Hence, this book is helpful not only to men suffering from prostate problems, but to any man interested in learning how to avoid them.
This is a very well written and informative book. The author encourages the reader to be informed and involved, by encouraging the reader to research their options thoroughly. He describes the surgeries in detail, so the reader knows what to expect. He also includes many direct quotes from many notable physicians and experts. The author manages to address a serious issue in an easy-to-read, sometimes humorous style (he mentions that he had considered titling this book To Pee or Not To Pee). OncoLink highly recommends The Complete Prostate Book: Every Man's Guide.