CBS

Prostate Campaign

Posted on Nov 16, 2011 05:43am

Dr. Maria Oquendo

Introduction

"This is a time of considerable confusion for prostates."
– Dr. Werner Schloffengut

"Dr. Schloffengut is nothing more than a quack."
– Peggy Slasman, Spokesperson for Massachusetts General Hospital­

What Dr. Schloffengut was trying to say in the above quote is that recent studies have made it hard for men, and even many doctors, to know when prostate cancer screenings are important.

What we do know is that as long as there are doctors and latex gloves, there will be prostate exams. And that prostate screenings can be important in helping detect cancer and saving lives.

While we appreciate Peggy Slasman's right to express her view about Dr. Schloffengut, CBS Cares remains honored to have worked with him on this project. He is admittedly a controversial figure, but is the only person trusted by all sides of the debate over healthcare reform. Please take a moment to review his remarkable "bio" below and – most importantly – to click on the link below to vital information on prostate cancer screenings and treatments provided by our partner, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

It is important to note that Dr. Schloffengut is not affiliated with Massachusetts General/Harvard Medical School and has no visiting privileges to that hospital.

Dr. Werner Schloffengut's "Bio"

Dr. Werner Schloffengut is a renowned expert on insomnia who coined the phrase "sleep happens." He also patented the two fingered prostate exam ("The Schloffengut Method"). When challenged by mainstream urologists on the need for a second finger, Dr. Schloffengut explained, "Ach, the second finger could detect something that the first finger may have missed."

Born in Stuttgart, Germany, both of Dr. Schloffengut's parents were physicians. "I knew I wanted to be a doctor at the age of four," he told CBS Cares in an exclusive interview, "when I spent time in the garden listening to the heartbeats of insects on my father's stethoscope."

On graduating from the University of Heidelberg School of Medicine "Mitt Distinction", Dr. Schloffengut turned down a Fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in a now famous telegram which read, "Please hold the Mayo."

He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Gynecology, Proctology, Psychiatry, and Orthopedics and is a licensed Chiropractor and Pilates Instructor. Dr. Schloffengut also dabbles in Urology and Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Schloffengut is an ambitious part-time actor who simultaneously performed the roles of Macbeth and King Duncan in the Daytona Shakespeare Society's 2010 production of "Macbeth." The Daytona Tribune described the scene in which Dr. Schloffengut stabs himself as "a masterful performance which uniquely reinforces Macbeth's path to self destruction." These messages for CBS Cares mark his debut in public service announcements.

He takes any and all insurance.

*In the unlikely event that you're still wondering, Schloffengut is not a real doctor, but a fictitious character created to deliver certain CBS Cares' health messages. We hope he made you smile, and will enable you to have a better appreciation of your own physician! If you've read this far, we strongly urge you to invest the time to review the bio and essay of a real and highly credible expert – Dr. Adam Feldman, who is a Urologic Oncologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Feldman's information could just save your life or that of a loved one.

Adam S. Feldman, Essay

With prostate cancer as the most common non-skin cancer and the second most common cause of cancer-related death in men, it's important to understand the disease and be aware of screening options.

It is likely that you or someone you know may one day be affected by prostate cancer: About one in six men will be diagnosed with the disease during their lifetime. In 2009, more than 192,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer and more than 27,000 men died from the disease. The good news, however, is that the majority of cases are localized at diagnosis and when detected early on can be managed effectively with a high chance for cure. My own father was diagnosed with prostate cancer at 53 and responded well to surgery. His experience with prostate cancer opened my eyes to the disease and shaped my decision to become a surgeon and researcher focused on prostate cancer.

Over the past three decades we have witnessed an increase in the incidence of prostate cancer. This is at least in part due to increased screening and detection. Conversely, prostate-cancer-related mortality rates over the last 15 to 20 years are on the decline. This may also be due to increased screening, as well as earlier and more effective treatment, however, the precise explanation remains somewhat controversial.

Most men are diagnosed with prostate cancer because of routine screening, not because of symptoms. But it's a good idea to be aware of the possible symptoms of prostate cancer, which include frequency or urgency of urination, difficulty in starting a urinary stream, weak urinary stream, painful urination, the presence of blood in the urine or semen, painful ejaculations or difficulty with erections. If you have these symptoms, take notice but don't panic. These symptoms do not only occur in prostate cancer; urinary symptoms can occur very commonly with noncancerous prostate growth, a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Prostate cancer screening involves both a digital rectal exam (DRE) and a blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA). In a DRE, a doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum and feels the prostate through the rectal wall, checking for any firm or nodular areas. With a PSA test, a lab checks the levels of PSA in the blood. About 75 percent of all newly diagnosed prostate cancers are found because of PSA screening. It is important to be aware that PSA levels can be raised for a number of reasons besides prostate cancer such as a urinary tract infection, inflammation of the prostate, BPH and even ejaculation. An abnormal PSA result does not necessarily mean you have prostate cancer.

Screening with a PSA test and DRE is currently the best way to catch prostate cancer in its early stages, before it becomes life-threatening. It has been recommended that men over 50 talk to their physician about screening. Men with a family history of prostate cancer, like myself, need to be screened at an earlier age and should begin at age 40. African American men, another population at higher risk, should also undergo earlier screening. Although the precise age at which screening should begin is somewhat controversial, the American Urological Association recently recommended that most men over 40 have a baseline PSA test and determine rescreening intervals with their physicians.

If there is concern based on an abnormal PSA and/or DRE, your physician may recommend a prostate biopsy for a definitive diagnosis. This procedure is done in the physician's office and is typically very well tolerated by most men. Once the diagnosis is made, there are good options available for treatment of localized disease, including surgery, radiation and active surveillance for patients with low-risk disease.

The most important message is that you can't be properly treated if you aren't properly diagnosed and to be diagnosed, you have to be screened. Talk to your doctor about your options.

Adam S. Feldman, MD, MPH - Biographical Sketch

Dr. Adam Feldman is a faculty member of the Department of Urology and a Urologic Oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Feldman completed his residency in urology in 2006 and subsequently completed his fellowship in urologic oncology in June 2008. His clinical practice is focused on the surgical management of genitourinary cancer using both open and laparoscopic techniques. Dr. Feldman also is involved in clinical and translational research in cancers of the prostate, bladder, kidney and penis. He recently received a three year Young Investigator Award from the Prostate Cancer Foundation for his work in biomarker discovery and analysis in prostate cancer.