BackTable / Urology / Podcast / Episode #76
Prostate Cancer: The Patient's Perspective
with Marc McGuire and Patrick Scheffler
In this episode of BackTable Urology, Dr. Aditya Bagrodia interviews Marc McGuire and Patrick Scheffler about their personal experiences with prostate cancer, from diagnosis to remission.
BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2023, January 23). Ep. 76 – Prostate Cancer: The Patient's Perspective [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.backtable.com
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Marc McGuire is a prostate cancer patient that shared his experience on the BackTable Urology Podcast.
Patrick Scheffler is a prostate cancer patient that shared his experience on the BackTable Urology Podcast.
Dr. Aditya Bagrodia
Dr. Aditya Bagrodia is an associate professor of urology and genitourinary oncology team leader at UC San Diego Health in California and adjunct professor of urology at UT Southwestern.
First, Marc and Patrick share how they were initially screened for prostate cancer using PSA levels. When both of their labs showed elevated PSA levels, they were surprised because they had no symptoms of cancer. Then, they share how they felt while awaiting consultation with a urologist after their lab results. Both of them tried to educate themselves about PSA levels and prostate health and spoke to different medical professionals in the meantime. Although Dr. Bagrodia notes that many men hold back abnormal PSA results from their families because of uncertainty or stigma, both men agreed that their families were their biggest support system during this time.
Then, Marc and Patrick discuss receiving the results of the prostate biopsy. Both men emphasize the importance of having a positive attitude and being proactive about making treatment plan decisions. Marc encourages patients and their families to have a list of questions ready for the urologist in order to stay organized. Dr. Bagrodia adds that he sends resources to patients before meeting with them, so they can educate themselves before he has the first discussion about their diagnosis. He also emphasizes the importance of vetting educational materials before sending them out.
Next, the men reflect on how they chose a treatment option for their prostate cancer. Both of them decided to enroll in clinical trials and also underwent nerve-sparing prostatectomies. They both agree that different specialties have different opinions on how their cancer should be treated, so multidisciplinary teams at tumor boards often come up with the best approach to present to patients. Marc emphasizes that patients should be proactive and not push decision-making onto their physicians. Patrick also discusses how he mentally prepared himself for the side effects (i.e. urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction) after his prostatectomy.
Additionally, Patrick and Marc explain how they felt when receiving various follow up PSA draws and scans after surgery. Dr. Bagrodia notes that follow up measures may cause patients lots of anxiety as well. Marc and Patrick both emphasize the importance of a positive attitude during the post-operative period. Lastly, they discuss germline testing for familial conditions and agree that it provides more knowledge and preparation for their children, who may benefit from earlier screenings and treatments.
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