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A Primer on Prostate Cancer
The Empowered Patient's Guide
Second Edition

Table of Contents
Lessons in Life: Reflections on
"An Essay by Desire"
Article in Life Extension Magazine
Order the book
Selections from the book
Examples of illustrations:
Free PSA
Bone Scan
PSA Bump
Example of a form:
Biopsy Form
Example of the highly technical:


by Stephen B. Strum, MD & Donna Pogliano

Reviews of
A Primer on Prostate Cancer

"A MUST HAVE for any man (or spouse/partner) dealing with prostate cancer or anyone looking to come up to speed quickly on the overwhelming complexities over prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment. The well-researched and easily followed format makes this a resource guide for patient empowerment and informed decision making. An absolutely essential patient resource."

-- John A. Page, President and CEO, Us Too! International, Inc. Prostate Cancer Education and Support

"Since my own diagnosis and because my life since has been prostate cancer education, I have read every book that I can get my hands on. From that experience, I can say this is truly one of the most impressive reference books on prostate cancer I have never seen. It is profusely illustrated [in color] which helps immensely, for reading about prostate cancer is not easy and the Primer makes it as comfortable as possible. Even the use of a larger type takes into consideration that most men with prostate cancer are over 50, and we don't have the eyes of youth. The combination of a doctor and an active partner of a man with the disease is a new mix and it clearly works. I definitely recommend this book."

--Robert Young, prostate cancer patient, Webmaster Phoenix5

"The text itself it aimed at what I would term the "motivated reader." It is definitely not written to 8th grade level; nor is it written like a paper in a scientific journal. It is at varying levels. This is a book that should also reside on your doctor's shelf."

--Gary Ferdinand, Apex, NC, prostate cancer patient

"[The book] is so unique, in so many ways: starting with the 'How To Use This Book' and ending with the figures and tables of Appendix H, and the Index. The excellence and thoroughness of the content, the illustrations, the organization of the book, the ease of reading in understandable language--even the quality of the paper--absolutely perfect. I have told my fellow prostate cancer patients, both old and new, 'Throw away any other books you may have on prostate cancer. This is all you need.'"

--Bill Buckman, prostate cancer patient

"This is the book that I wish were available when my husband was diagnosed. Actually, I wish it had been available when his urologist was trying to decide whether or not my husband had prostate cancer. This aptly named Primer, which is beautifully illustrated, covers in great detail everything from the intricacies of diagnosis to decision making about treatment options. And it does it in such a way as to educate and empower the reader/patient without frightening him/her to death…. I would recommend this manual as THE first book to read when confronted with the prospect of prostate cancer. It is basic and thorough. Nothing is left unsaid."

--Anne R. Brusca from Columbia, MD

"I picked up your book at the Prostate Cancer Research Institute conference. It's the best one out there. You've structured the various technical levels to let the more advanced reader go as deep as he wants to, without making it too burdensome for the novice reader. That's quite an accomplishment! Great work!"

--Ben Parsons

"As a six-year prostate cancer survivor and a facilitator for our local prostate cancer support group, I have purchased 5 copies of the book for our resource library. This is an excellent book for the newly diagnosed patient and provides the information and important tools to help enable the reader to make the necessary decisions regarding treatment options. The book contains the most current and relevant information to help the patient make well informed decisions to help get the best of medical care. It is well illustrated with many easy to follow diagrams and charts. It also includes up to date websites to look for further information and help. If you, or someone you love, have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, I strongly recommend buying this book. In this book are found the nuts and bolts of what the patient needs to "steer the course of (his) illness and ensure a safe passage."

--Howard Waage from Santa Cruz, CA

"I consider this book an absolute MUST READ for any man who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and is considering which treatment option would be best for him. I was successfully treated in December 2001 and had this book been available at that time, it would have relieved a lot of anxiety and provided me with a wealth of knowledge on the subject. I have purchased this book and will study the contents in depth so that I will be able to help others when the occasion arises."

--Peter P. Voeller from Sarasota, Florida

"This book captures all of the essential information and advice needed by someone newly diagnosed with Prostate Cancer (PC). The dizzying array of PC information sources available are reduced to their essence in a straightforward, readable format. It is a comfort to the new PC victim and lays out the field in a scientifically comprehensive yet comprehend-able style. It suggests crisp, strategic options for analysis and treatment. This book will make you an informed partner with your physician and give you a feeling of renewed control as you venture along your personal trajectory to health. If you get only one reference book, make it this one."

--A reader from Boulder,CO

"This is the book I wish I had had at the start of my three year journey as a PC survivor! I've read at least a dozen other good books on PC, but this one is head and shoulders above the others. The reason: it's central theme is that treatment strategy and tactics need to be in synch with the biology of the patient's cancer and overall biology and circumstances, such as age and other health issues. It goes far beyond the current norm of providing descriptions of treatments and generalized odds of success. It does this by explaining how to assess biology before and during treatment, using: blood tests in addition to PSA like free PSA, ultrasensative PSA, PAP, VEGF, pyrilinks dpd; tissue studies like ploidy, bcl-2, and p53; and advanced imaging beyond the bone scan and often useless CT scan like the endo-rectal MRI with spectroscopy, the fusion ProstaScint scan, and the quantitative CT scan for bone density as contrasted to the commonly used DEXA scan. It explains what these tests are like, why they are important in making treatment choices, and what the numerical results mean, citing reference studies. For example, unfavorable results on some tests, such as the PAP and VEGF tests, indicate that an RP, RT or both are likely or unlikely to be successful. The book provides advice on keeping records and provides outstanding examples of forms for summarizing key results.

"This book will be of great value to doctors who are unfamiliar with developments beyond their own specialties or local capabilities, such as the epidemic nature of loss of bone density among PC patients, not just those on androgen deprivation therapy (ADT, a.k.a. hormonal therapy), use of ultrasensitve and free PSA tests, use of the fusion ProstaScint scan, and advances in intermittent ADT. It is particularly strong in the ADT area, an area covered only superficially in many other books.

"All this moves treatment to a higher level: beyond lightly informed preference supported only by overall odds and side effects based on old data, to intelligent decisions based on the patient's particular biology, then on preference.

"This book will also keep current as it references key web sites that track developments and provide advice to patients.

"I anticipate the Primer will lead to a breakthrough advance in treatment decision-making. I cannot recommend it highly enough!"

--Jim Waldenfels from Annandale, VA

"As a seven year prostate cancer survivor, I've read volumes about the subject and believe I've maintained a certain level of up-to-date knowledge. I wish I had read this book seven years ago. It is the most comprehensive, current, and easy to read books on this subject that I've ever seen. Perfect for patient or partner, newbie to Prostate Cancer Specialist. There is something here for everyone on their own level."

--A reader from Cape Coral, FL

"This is not bedside reading, BUT--if you are living with prostate cancer or are a part of someone's life who has prostate cancer--this is an excellent book regardless of how much you THINK you already know or don't know. As a loving partner and a health professional, I would highly recommend this as the FIRST book to buy when beginning the "learning" part of the cancer journey."


"As a prostate cancer survivor of 8+ years I can say that without a doubt this book contains information essential to anyone who wishes to take a active role in the management of his prostate cancer or that of a loved one. It literally could be a lifesaver. Prostate cancer is not universally well understood in the medical community and it is one of the diseases that definitely benefits from strong action on the part of the patient.

"The book contains outstanding treatments of how prostate cancer is staged, the numerous tests that can be done to determine staging, and the several treatments that are currently, or will currently, be available. It is well illustrated. Color and sidebars are used throughout to help direct attention to major points. References to other works and to web sites exist for those inclined to do further study. A glossary exists to help the reader understand the medical terms.
"What is the value of one's life? What is the value of optimizing a man's treatment? Of what value is knowledge to combat ignorance and to set a man's mind at ease? Answer: Priceless.

"Get this book!"

--alaparos from Raleigh, NC

"It's a basic education on prostate cancer, primarily, but also goes beyond just the basics, for those who want/need to know more.

"Well written, truly informative, comprehensive, and covers everything you ever wanted to know about prostate cancer but were afraid to ask!"

--Jim K. from Detroit, M

"I have received Dr. Stephen Strum's and Donna Pogliano's recently published book…. It is a good and very well illustrated compilation of many of the ideas, ideals, recommendations and information featured in Dr. Strum's Internet advice at PCRI and P2P. There is very basic information about prostate cancer as well as more advanced biochemical and medical data. For the person who has been recently diagnosed or who is just embarking on learning about his disease, as well as for physicians and nurses who are not up to date on prostate cancer tests, treatments and empowered patients, this is an excellent book. It also provides a good review of these subjects for people such as me who are on this list and trying to keep up with anything and everything related to prostate cancer--to be able to help not only my husband but anyone I know who has or may develop this disease.

In A Primer on Prostate Cancer, there are ten pages of 'Treatments on the Horizon' such as Aptosyn, Provenge, Angiostatin, Endostatin, Atrasentan, oncolytic viruses and antisense oligonucleotides. There is a good chapter on Resources, which includes PCRI, Prostate Pointers, Phoenix 5, Cooleyville, CapCure, and many others….

--Eva Montgomery from HRPC support listserv

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