Dr. Andrew L. Siegel on the importance of discussing prostate cancer survivorship


"I find writing kind of relaxing. I like it like I like sitting down and reading for an hour," says Andrew L. Siegel, MD.

In this video, Andrew L. Siegel, MD, author of the book “Prostate Cancer 20/20: A Practical Guide to Understanding Management Options for Patients and Their Families,” discusses his love of writing and importance of emphasizing prostate cancer survivorship. Siegel is a urologist in Maywood, New Jersey.


What was the process like for writing the second edition of your book "Prostate Cancer 20/20"?

I'm kind of a high-energy person. I'm an early bird; I wake up way earlier than I would like to, and I'm very productive early in the morning. I do the same on weekends. I've just enjoyed writing over the years. I've written a bunch of other books on male and female pelvic health and healthy eating and longevity. And for I guess over 10 years now I've done a weekly blog, a patient educational thing, which I enjoy doing, and I've gotten great feedback from a lot of my patients who really appreciate these. I find writing kind of relaxing. I like it like I like sitting down and reading for an hour. It gives me pleasure, let's put it that way. And I just carve out the time. The second edition was a lot of work. I started it in December, and it took about a solid 6 months of really putting in a significant amount of hours.

Could you talk about the importance of discussing prostate cancer survivorship?

It's so important because the survivorship for prostate cancer is pretty excellent. So one day, the man emerges, his prostate cancer is cured, but many of them are left with some some element of urinary incontinence, although it's gotten so much better now with improved robotic techniques, etc. Sexual dysfunction remains a major potential issue. Each of those in turn needed to be addressed. After radical prostatectomy, many men just have minor stress incontinence, but some men have incontinence during sexual stimulation, incontinence during ejaculation. A lot of these things don't get mentioned very readily. I felt that they all needed to be addressed. So I tried to, in those parts of the book, just review all the potential options, starting with simple behavioral techniques and going on to the surgical management of both urinary side effects and sexual side effects respectively. Also, [I place] a big emphasis on pelvic floor. I think that gets short shrift [and is] also very neglected. A lot of times, after the fact, a man comes in with some incontinence and he's sent for physical therapy. I believe that it should be initiated prior to surgery. I believe in the concept, instead of rehabilitation, of prehabilitation, which is very important—have men become competent in doing these particular exercises at a time when they're fully intact, before they're operated on. It's a setup for smooth sailing afterwards.

This transcription was edited for clarity.

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