“So many times, partners were left in the dark. They didn't have a clue what their partner who had prostate cancer was going through, and we felt that we could fill that void,” says Neil H. Baum, MD.
In this video, Neil H. Baum, MD, and David F. Mobley, MD, discuss the genesis of their recent book, “Prostate Cancer: Expert Advice for Helping Your Loved One.” Baum is a professor of clinical urology at Tulane University, in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Mobley is an associate professor of clinical urology at Weill Cornell Medical College in Houston, Texas.
Baum: My wife had breast cancer. And I would often accompany my wife to her breast surgeon. I remember sitting in the reception area one day, and they had several publications there in the reception area, and one of them was [about] breast cancer for men; what every man needs to know about his partner's breast cancer. So, I said, I wonder if there is anything equivalent to that for women who are partners of men with prostate cancer. So, I did some research, and I didn't find anything. I reached out to Johns Hopkins Press, because they have published a number of books, primarily by a very eminent urologist, Patrick Walsh, on prostate cancer. So. I reached out to them, sent them the book proposal. That was the genesis of the book. I teamed up with Dr. Mobley, who's been a colleague for more than 50 years, and also with a academic psychiatrist who would cover the emotional component associated with prostate cancer. So, that was how we came across the idea that there was an unfulfilled niche in the literary marketplace, and there really needed to be a book associated with educating partners, both female partners and male partners of men who have prostate cancer. So many times, partners were left in the dark. They didn't have a clue what their partner who had prostate cancer was going through, and we felt that we could fill that void. That was the origins of our work.
Mobley: There was one other little step in there too, though, Neil. When you and I drew up our proposal, and sent it to Johns Hopkins, they looked it over, they liked it right away, but they said we need you to embellish this with some of the psychological aspects of dealing with cancer. That's when you got busy and found Dr. Garret Key. He's a psychiatrist with University of Texas in Austin Medical School, and he contributed 3 or 4 chapters in the book, because cancer impacts the whole family in a psychological way, not only the victim of cancer. In a sense, the whole family is a victim of cancer, and how it impacts them from my relationship standpoint, psychologically. We didn't include that in our original proposal.
Baum: That's correct. They came back to us and said, you're missing a key element. And it was with that, that we found a psychiatrist who has experience in dealing with couples that are faced with a diagnosis of cancer. That's exactly how that came to be, and he added a terrific component to the book of which we can discuss later. And that is the emotional component, the anxiety that goes with the diagnosis, the anxiety when a man has to go get a test, how anxious and concerned he is, and how the couple is on pins and needles until that result comes back.
This transcription has been edited for clarity.