William See, MD, is the chair of urology at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin and has 30 years of experience as a prostate surgeon. U.S. News & World Report ranked Dr. See among the top 50 urologists in the nation. He has served as a principal investigator for multi-institution clinical research trials, working in cooperation with the National Cancer Institute.
So, the guy knows his stuff. And since we're nearing the end of Movember I asked him a few questions. In general as it relates to prostate cancer, several new chemotherapy drugs have been approved in the past few years, as well as new approaches with radiation therapy, molecular markers and active surveillance. Interestingly, one of the newest areas of research is the development of a vaccine for prostate cancer.
In addition, developments with robotic and minimally invasive surgeries offer new treatment options resulting in shorter hospital stays, less blood loss and less post-operative pain.
All in all, thanks to things like Movember, we’ve increased awareness about the importance of prostate cancer screening which is critical in making a difference in the outlook for men with prostate cancer.
OnMilwaukee.com: How common is prostate cancer?
Dr. William See: Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. About one man in seven will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Nearly 30,000 men die each year. Simply being a man puts you at risk, and the risk goes up as you get older.
OMC: How serious is prostate cancer?
WS: Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men. Only lung cancer kills more men than prostate cancer. The good news is that if it’s found early, prostate cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer.
OMC: How is prostate cancer detected?
WS: The first step involves two simple screening tests that take about 10 minutes, both done in a doctor’s office. One is a physical exam of the prostate gland, and the other is a blood test, called a PSA test. Information from these two exams helps determine if further testing is needed.
OMC: When should men be tested for prostate cancer?
WS: The National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommends the following
- All men ages 45 – 49: Talk with your doctor about a baseline screening.
- Men ages 50 – 70: Talk with your doctor about testing every one to two years.
- Men older than 70: Talk with your doctor about risks and benefits of continued screening.
- Men who are African American or have a family history of prostate cancer should talk with their doctor about screening starting as early as 40.
OMC: What should men do if they discover they have prostate cancer?
WS: Men should understand that many treatments are available. Seeking a second opinion can be valuable, including an opinion from physicians at an academic medical center which offer the most advanced treatments as well as access to clinical trials.
A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.
He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.
Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.
He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.
He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.