Eleven Famous Men Who Have Had Prostate Cancer

Eleven Famous Men Who Have Had Prostate Cancer

robert-deniroMany may not know, that prostate cancer is the second most common cancer (after skin cancer) for men in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that for men one in seven will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. This amounts to approximately 220,800 new cases every year. The good news is that the disease is very treatable if found early. In many cases, the only “treatment” recommended is active surveillance, or “watchful waiting.”

Currently, almost 3 million American men count themselves as prostate cancer survivors. This includes celebs such as Robert De Niro, Harry Belafonte, and John Kerry.

 

1 – Ian McKellen

British actor Sir Ian McKellen (known to many Americans as Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and as Magneto from X-Men) revealed in 2012 that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2005 or 2006. So far, he’s been able to live healthily with the disease.

McKellen, 77, explained that his slow-growing kind of prostate cancer has not spread to other parts of his body. “Many, many men die from it, but it’s one of the cancers that is totally treatable, so I have ‘waitful watching.’ I am examined regularly, and it’s just contained, it’s not spreading. I’ve not had any treatment.”

2 – Robert De Niro (pictured)

Not even prostate cancer could slow down Academy Award winner Robert De Niro. Known for “tough guy” roles in films including Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, the actor proved he had mettle offscreen, too, when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2003 at age 60. Fortunately for him, and his family, friends, and fans, “the condition was detected at an early stage because of regular checkups, a result of his proactive personal healthcare program,” his publicist said in a statement.

Few details were released about the star’s treatment, but he went on to make a full recovery and, in 2011 at age 68, became a father for the sixth time to daughter Helen Grace Hightower, who was born via surrogate to him and his wife, Grace Hightower.

3 – Colin Powell

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who also happens to be a retired four-star general in the U.S. Army, underwent surgery to remove a cancerous prostate gland in 2003 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Since then, he has become a vocal supporter of prostate cancer awareness and has devoted his time to the Prostate Conditions Education Council, which sponsors Prostate Cancer Awareness Week every September.

On his birthday in 2011, he posted this message to fans on Facebook: “Today was my 73rd birthday, and the most valuable gift I received was all the well-wishes from so many of you. Thank you. As one of you noted, I am a prostate cancer survivor and a spokesman for prevention. Men should have regular prostate examinations … Regular exams allowed me to deal with this problem early and make a full recovery.”

4 – Roger Moore

Sir Roger Moore, a self-proclaimed hypochondriac and the longest-serving James Bond actor in history played the secret agent for 12 years. It began with 1973’s Live and Let Die and ended with 1985’s A View to a Kill. He faced one of his worst fears when he discovered he had prostate cancer in 1993. He later underwent a radical prostatectomy (removal of the prostate gland) and made a full recovery, but the experience changed him forever. Shortly after completing treatment, Moore left his third wife, Luisa Mattioli, for Kristina Tholstrup, a former neighbor who had survived a similarly life-altering bout with breast cancer a few years before.

In 2009, he wrote about the health scare and resulting fallout in his memoir, My Word Is My Bond. “I had plenty of time to think about my life and how close I had been to losing it,” he recalled. “It was not very admirable behavior, I admit, but the seeds for life change had been planted and were beginning to grow.”

Moore died of cancer at age 89 on May 23, 2017, in Switzerland.

5 – John Kerry

Secretary of State John Kerry was a U.S. senator on the presidential campaign trail when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2002 at age 59. His father died from the same type of cancer at age 85. Kerry chose to be treated with surgery. In an interview with Coping With Cancer magazine, Kerry described his post-cancer lifestyle as follows: “I push myself to exercise consistently, and my wife Teresa stays on my case and challenges my worst instincts — she makes me eat a healthy, balanced diet!”

While he’s had no recurrence of the cancer, Kerry’s athletic lifestyle has led to numerous knee surgeries, two hip replacements, a broken nose and, in May 2015, a broken leg sustained in a bicycling accident in Geneva, Switzerland.

6 – Joe Torre

Former Yankees manager Joe Torre, 76, has been an outspoken advocate for prostate cancer awareness ever since he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of the disease in 1999. “What scared me initially, in addition to my cancer, was that I didn’t have the answers I needed,” he said in a 2000 interview with the Johns Hopkins Prostate Bulletin.

“It certainly was a very difficult time emotionally. I was a mess, my blood pressure had skyrocketed — all from being scared about the cancer and what I had to do about it.” Thankfully, Torre had help by his side from his wife, Ali. “I don’t know what I would have done if Ali hadn’t been there to get me through it all. It later became very clear to me that you need a spouse or a good friend to be there for you, to keep you on level ground and to give you hope,” he said in the bulletin. “Otherwise, saddled with a cancer diagnosis, it becomes so easy to think of your cancer as some sort of a dark hole, and that there is no way out for you.”

7 – Arnold Palmer

Golf legend Arnold Palmer had 62 PGA Tour wins, his own drink (half lemonade, half iced tea), and a place in the World Golf Hall of Fame. But one of his proudest accomplishments was his triumph over prostate cancer. In the years following his 1997 diagnosis and treatment (a radical prostatectomy and radiation), Palmer used his celebrity to raise awareness of the disease among other men and to help found the Arnold Palmer Prostate Center, a nonprofit treatment destination at Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center in Rancho Mirage, California. He was adamant that all men should get screened.

Palmer died in September 2016, at age 87, of heart problems.

8 – Rudy Giuliani

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani knew the heartbreak that prostate cancer could cause even before he was diagnosed in April 2000: His father died of the disease 19 years earlier. Determined not to meet the same fate, Giuliani, now 72 and healthy, chose a multiphase treatment plan that consisted of four months of hormone therapy, implantation of radioactive pellets in his prostate (to radiate the cancer), and five weeks of almost-daily external-beam radiation with continuing hormone therapy. The plan was aggressive, but successful. It left the politician in both good health and good spirits.

9 – Harry Belafonte

Harry Belafonte, who is known as an actor, activist, and singer/songwriter can now add “survivor” to his resume after he fought and beat prostate cancer in 1996. In the years since, Belafonte, 89, has been refreshingly candid about his ordeal, even going public about his post-surgery struggles with incontinence, a common side effect that Belafonte said he conquered in less than a year with exercises (such as Kegels).

But he wasn’t always so comfortable opening up. “The prostate is something that attacks that central part of the male body that men are very preoccupied with. Somehow, any disorder there means your life is over, you can’t be a man anymore, you are now something less,” he said at a benefit for the Hoag Family Cancer Institute in Newport Beach, California, adding that he hoped to change that perception. “If you’re going to have [prostate cancer], you’re going to have it. It’s what you do about it that makes the difference — how you conduct your life.”

 

10 – Warren Buffett

In 2012, business magnate and philanthropist Warren Buffett, 86, announced to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway that he had been diagnosed with stage 1 prostate cancer after a high reading on a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, which measures the levels of the PSA enzyme in the blood. Buffett is chairman and CEO of the company and is considered by many to be the most successful investor of the 20th century.

As quoted in the Los Angeles Times, Buffett said of his cancer, “I’ve been told by my doctors that my condition is not remotely life-threatening or even debilitating in any meaningful way.” He subsequently underwent 44 days of radiation therapy, treatment that was called unnecessary by some cancer specialists. In fact, some questioned whether he should have been having PSA tests at all at his age, saying the harms of treating prostate cancer in men older than 75 outweigh the benefits. Buffett himself seemed none the worse for wear from the experience.

11 – Ben Stiller

Actor Ben Stiller had no symptoms or family history of prostate cancer when he was diagnosed with the disease in June 2014 at age 48. He revealed his diagnosis publicly in October 2016 on The Howard Stern Show.

Stiller’s cancer came to light after his doctor ordered a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test as part of a yearly physical. When Stiller’s test result came back high, his doctor ordered a follow-up test six months later. And when that test result was even higher, Stiller had several more tests and exams that confirmed he had prostate cancer. He subsequently had surgery to remove his prostate gland, and he continues to have PSA tests every six months to screen for recurrence of the cancer.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force discourages the use of routine prostate cancer testing, saying it leads to overdiagnosis — and overtreatment — of low-risk prostate cancers.

But, said Stiller in an essay he published, “Taking the PSA test saved my life.” Today, at age 50, Stiller is cancer-free.

If you think you have any signs of prostate cancer, then you probably need a quality urologist. Pick up the phone and call Z Urology, with offices in South Florida. Call today!

We provide state-of-the-art urologic care in the South Florida area with a focus on both male and female urology. Our practice specializes in all urologic procedures, specifically, minimally invasive methods. Our three locations to choose from are located in Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs and Pompano Beach.

We at “Z” specialize in bladder issues, erectile dysfunction (ED), prostate issues, urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction, stone disease, BPH, male infertility, pyeloplasty, Peyronie’s disease, and ureteral reimplantation.

Ten Famous People Diagnosed With Kidney Stones

Ten Famous People Diagnosed With Kidney Stones

billy-joelNow even though it is hardly that serious, everyone knows that kidney stones can be incredibly painful. Even the famous people on this list with kidney stones can attest to that.

Kidney stones are hard deposits of various materials, such as minerals and salts, that form in the kidneys and are usually passed without any permanent damage. Most of the celebs listed passed their kidney stones without much trouble but endured excruciating experiences nonetheless. Those on the list opened up about their medical issue in honest interviews where they made it very clear just how uncomfortable a kidney stone can be.

While many people can successfully pass kidney stones with some medication and plenty of water, hospitalization or even surgery is sometimes required. Complications like this can be inconvenient, as stars often have lots of obligations and busy schedules, but there are plenty of treatments for kidney stones that can minimize pain. Here is a list of celebs who have told that they kidney stones.

1 – Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner discovered she had kidney stones during a full-body scan at HealthView Center for Preventive Medicine in 2000.

2 – Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock reportedly developed kidney stones following a pacemaker procedure in 1974. He also suffered from colitis at that time.

3 – William Shatner

In 2005, William Shatner was rushed to the hospital due to a backache that turned out to be caused by kidney stones. The following year, he sold his kidney stone to an online casino to raise money for Habitat for Humanity.

Speaking of his decision, the actor said, “This takes organ donors to a new height, to a new low, maybe. How much is a piece of me worth?”

4 – Billy Joel (Pictured)

Billy Joel discussed a recent bout with kidney stones in a 1990 interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, noting how the event was somewhat exaggerated by the press.

“And of course the papers had me collapsing at JFK Airport,” he said, “I didn’t collapse at JFK. I’ve had kidney stones before this. I just called the doctor, and I said, ‘Should I go to Europe?’ He said, ‘No, come in. Let’s take care of it.’ So I went into the hospital.”

5 – Kiefer Sutherland

Kiefer Sutherland suffered a kidney stone in 2003 and claimed it was an incredibly painful experience. He stated, in an interview, “I’ve broken every bone in my body, but I’ve never experienced pain like this.”

6 – Gene Simmons

In 2009, Gene Simmons raised $15,000 for charity by selling his kidney stone on eBay.

7 – Tim Burton

In 2011, Tim Burton missed the British Independent Film Awards because he was suffering from kidney stones. His then partner Helena Bonham Carter let the crowd at the event know why Burton was absent.

8 – Burt Reynolds

In 1984, Burt Reynolds reportedly missed the opening of his Florida restaurant Burt and Jack’s because kidney stone pain caused him to pass out. He reportedly had a high fever at the time as well.

9 – Lyndon B. Johnson

In 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson showed members of the press an incision that he received during a recent gall bladder surgery and kidney stone removal procedure.

10 – Rob Schneider

In a 2003 interview, Rob Schneider explained that heavy drinking and long hours on Saturday Night Live caused him to have a variety of health problems, including kidney stones.

“I became a very heavy drinker,” he said, “After four years on the show, I was a wreck. I was sitting in a hospital after throat surgery. I’d had a kidney stone removed, and I got a broken ankle from running to work in the snow.”

 

If you think you might be suffering from kidney stones, then you probably need a quality urologist. Pick up the phone and call Z Urology, with offices in South Florida. Call today!

We provide state-of-the-art urologic care in the South Florida area with a focus on both male and female urology. Our practice specializes in all urologic procedures, specifically, minimally invasive methods. Our three locations to choose from are located in Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs and Pompano Beach.

We at “Z” specialize in bladder issues, erectile dysfunction (ED), prostate issues, urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction, stone disease, BPH, male infertility, pyeloplasty, Peyronie’s disease, and ureteral reimplantation.

New Treatment Eases the Passage of Kidney Stones

New Treatment Eases the Passage of Kidney Stones

kidney-stonesMore than half a million Americans every year visit the emergency room for problems related to kidney stones. In most cases, the stones eventually pass out of the body on their own, but the process can be excruciatingly painful.

Researchers at MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital have devised a potential treatment that could make passing kidney stones faster and less painful. They have identified a combination of two drugs that relax the walls of the ureter (the tube that connects the kidneys to the bladder) and can be delivered directly to the ureter with a catheter-like instrument.

Relaxing the ureter could help stones move through the tube more easily, the researchers say.

This kind of treatment could also make it easier and less painful to insert stents into the ureter, which is sometimes done after a kidney stone is passed, to prevent the tube from becoming blocked or collapsing.

 

How Does One Get Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are made from hard crystals that accumulate in the kidneys when there is too much solid waste in the urine and not enough liquid to wash it out. It is estimated that about one in 10 people will have a kidney stone at some point in their lives.

While some larger stones require surgery, the usual treatment plan is simply to wait for the stones to pass, which takes an average of 10 days. Patients are given painkillers as well as an oral medication that is meant to help relax the ureter, but studies have offered conflicting evidence on whether this drug actually helps.

“If you look at how kidney stones are treated today, it hasn’t really changed since about 1980, and there’s a pretty substantial amount of evidence that the drugs given don’t work very well,” Lee says. “The volume of how many people this could potentially help is really exciting.”

The researchers first set out to identify drugs that might work well when delivered directly to the ureter. They selected 18 drugs used to treat conditions such as high blood pressure or glaucoma and exposed them to human ureteral cells grown in a lab dish, where they could measure how much the drugs relaxed the smooth muscle cells. They hypothesized that if they delivered such drugs directly to the ureter, they could get a much bigger relaxation effect than by delivering such drugs orally, while minimizing possible harm to the rest of the body.

“We found several drugs that had the effect that we expected, and in every case we found that the concentrations required to be effective were more than would be safe if given systemically,” Cima says.

Next, the researchers used intensive computational processing to individually analyze the relaxation responses of nearly 1 billion cells after drug exposure. They identified two drugs that worked especially well, and found that they worked even better when given together. One of these is nifedipine, a calcium channel blocker used to treat high blood pressure, and the other is a type of drug known as a ROCK (rho kinase) inhibitor, which is used to treat glaucoma.

The researchers tested various doses of this combination of drugs in ureters removed from pigs, and showed that they could dramatically reduce the frequency and length of contractions of the ureter. Tests in live pigs also showed that the treatment nearly eliminated ureteral contractions.

For these experiments, the researchers delivered the drugs using a cystoscope, which is very similar to a catheter but has a small fiber optic channel that can connect to a camera or lens. They found that with this type of delivery, the drugs were not detectable in the animals’ bloodstream, suggesting that the drugs remained in the lining of the ureter and did not go elsewhere in the body, which would lessen the risk of potential side effects.

If you think you might be suffering from kidney stones, then you probably need a quality urologist. Pick up the phone and call Z Urology, with offices in South Florida. Call today!

We provide state-of-the-art urologic care in the South Florida area with a focus on both male and female urology. Our practice specializes in all urologic procedures, specifically, minimally invasive methods. Our three locations to choose from are located in Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs and Pompano Beach.

We at “Z” specialize in bladder issues, erectile dysfunction (ED), prostate issues, urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction, stone disease, BPH, male infertility, pyeloplasty, Peyronie’s disease, and ureteral reimplantation.

Erectile Dysfunction Might Increase the Odds of Irregular Heartbeat

Erectile Dysfunction Might Increase the Odds of Irregular Heartbeat

atrial-fibrillationAs if just having the erectile dysfunction wasn’t bad enough, now the news has come out that men with “ED” are more likely to be diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat, according to a new study.

Atrial fibrillation, or “AFib”, is an irregular or quivering heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke and heart failure. The condition affects up to 6.1 million people in the United States. Past research has shown a link between cardiovascular disease and erectile dysfunction, or ED. Researchers behind the new study wanted to find out how “AFib” fits into the picture.

It is well known that ED symptoms appear two to three years before one sees any cardiovascular disease symptoms, so if ED symptoms can be used as a marker for predicting future “AFib”, it may be possible to treat the patient early and hopefully stop the disease progression.

 

What Did the Study Show

The study included 1,760 older men without a history of “AFib”. After four years, 9.6% of men who reported having erectile dysfunction were diagnosed with “AFib” compared with 2.9% of men without the condition. Even after adjusting for various risk factors, including smoking, weight, diabetes and blood pressure, shockingly, men with erectile dysfunction were 66% more likely to be diagnosed with “AFib”.

The study shows a reasonably strong association. If patients have ED, physicians should investigate other cardiovascular risk factors and initiate treatment as soon as possible.

Among the study’s drawbacks, patients self-reported their erectile dysfunction and researchers don’t know if the condition was caused by vascular problems or psychological issues. The other limitation in the study is that atrial fibrillation is very difficult to detect.

“Loads and loads of my male patients have ED, and when I read the (study) I said, ‘Wow, this connection makes sense,'” said Dr. Hugh Calkins, director of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He is a co-author of the recent “AFib” guidelines update issued by the AHA, American College of Cardiology and Heart Rhythm Society.

“It’s a very original study that will undoubtedly trigger a new round of research on the topic and bring up a greater discussion of the overlap of vascular health, ED and “AFib,” said Calkins, who was not involved in the study.

Calkins said more research is needed on the connection between erectile dysfunction and asymptomatic “AFib”, where patients have no symptoms. Sometimes called “silent AFib,” the condition may be more common than previously thought.

If you think you might be suffering from erectile dysfunction, then you probably need a quality urologist. Pick up the phone and call Z Urology, with offices in South Florida. Call today!

We provide state-of-the-art urologic care in the South Florida area with a focus on both male and female urology. Our practice specializes in all urologic procedures, specifically, minimally invasive methods. Our three locations to choose from are located in Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs and Pompano Beach.

We at “Z” specialize in bladder issues, erectile dysfunction (ED), prostate issues, urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction, stone disease, BPH, male infertility, pyeloplasty, Peyronie’s disease, and ureteral reimplantation.

Orlando Urologist Faces Lawsuit Over Kidney Stone Procedures & Kickbacks

Orlando Urologist Faces Lawsuit Over Kidney Stone Procedures & Kickbacks

DOJ-sealAn unsealed federal lawsuit shows an Orlando urologist was performing kidney stone procedures that were not medically necessary and was taking millions of dollars in kickbacks from a local outpatient surgery center.

The U.S. Department of Justice is suing Dr. Patrick Hunter; the Orlando Center for Outpatient Surgery, where he performed the procedures; and an affiliated company called Surgical Care Affiliates for violation of anti-kickback laws, filing false and fraudulent claims with federal government programs including Medicare, and for violation of whistleblower protection, according to the lawsuit.

 

What are the Details of the Suit

The suit, was unsealed after three years of investigation by the government, was brought by Scott Thompson, the former director of compliance at Illinois-based Surgical Care Affiliates. They hired the staff and managed the billing at Orlando Center for Outpatient Surgery.

The U.S. Justice Department has decided to take the lead in pursuing the case on behalf of Thompson. The department will file its own lawsuit within the next 90 days and potentially narrow down the allegations.

Dr. Hunter passed away earlier this year, and it is unclear whether the Justice Department will continue the case against his estate.

The government’s involvement in the case is noteworthy because the Justice Department declines to intervene in about 80% of whistleblower lawsuits. Meanwhile, about 90% of the cases in which the government intervenes get a positive outcome, either by winning a trial or reaching a settlement.

The lawsuit’s allegations stem from procedures and activities between 2010 and 2016.

 

What Did Dr. Hunter Do

Dr. Hunter performed many procedures, according to the lawsuit. In 2012, out of more than 1,400 doctors who ordered lithotripsy nationwide, Hunter ranked on top, ordering twice as many procedures as the next highest ordering physicians, the suit claims, although it did not say how many procedure he ordered.

Meanwhile, Orlando Center for Outpatient Surgery, where Hunter was on medical staff, ranked third in the nation and first in Florida for ordering the Lithotripsy, according to the lawsuit.

Hunter was also performing a large volume of ultrasounds at his own practice, The Florida Urology Group, compared to the patient volume he was referring to other diagnostic facilities. Medicare data showed that in 2012, out of more than 1,230 urologists who ordered ultrasounds in their own office, Hunter ranked sixth.

Florida Urology Group, where Hunter had a practice, is not part of the lawsuit and is run by a different physician today. Hunter went on leave of absence at his practice starting in May 2016 and eventually retired.

 

How Much Was He Billing

Hunter billed Medicare and others each time he performed a lithotripsy procedure for an average of $2,300 per procedure, the lawsuit claims. Orlando Center for Outpatient Surgery also billed Medicare and other federal payers, including Tricare, for facility charges, which gradually rose from $6,500 to $8,000.

Although the lawsuit doesn’t specify how much money is sought in damages, the government is entitled to three times the total damages, in addition to a civil penalty that’s between $5,000 and $10,000 for each false claim.

Some urologists don’t follow the rules or the law. This is a sad case of that. Should you need a quality urologist, pick up the phone and call Z Urology, with offices in South Florida. Call today!

We provide state-of-the-art urologic care in the South Florida area with a focus on both male and female urology. Our practice specializes in all urologic procedures, specifically, minimally invasive methods. Our three locations to choose from are located in Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs and Pompano Beach.

We at “Z” specialize in bladder issues, erectile dysfunction (ED), prostate issues, urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction, stone disease, BPH, male infertility, pyeloplasty, Peyronie’s disease, and ureteral reimplantation.