4 out of 4 stars
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Prostate Cancer: Sheep or Wolf? by Murray Keith Wadsworth details the author's experience with prostate cancer. At the age of forty-seven, after making the decision to include healthy checkups as a part of his wellness plan, he tested positive for prostate cancer. The urologist's prescription of a radical prostatectomy did little to ease his concerns. Therefore, the author decided to move to England from Texas in search of answers to his condition. This search for answers led him to further questions about the state of prostate cancer healthcare, like why is prostate cancer not taken as seriously as breast cancer or colon cancer, despite the similarities in their prevalence? Could this be because prostate cancer is referred to as an "old man's disease" and death is an acceptable statistical loss of life to the system?
Questions like these led the author to carry out further research and write this book with the purpose of challenging the misconceptions about prostate cancer and helping other men avoid any errors he may have made along the way. The first part of the book that piqued my interest was the author's use of "sheep or wolf" to classify cancer's aggressiveness, using a barn and a highway as similes for lymph nodes and blood vessels respectively. This gave me a better understanding of what prostate cancer was about and what treatment procedures hoped to achieve.
Another highlight of the book was the author's use of personal stories. Readers will get to know the author's family, friends, hobbies, and fears as they follow him on his road to recovery. This could be seen as a distraction, but it was necessary for me to connect to what the author was saying and root for him as he fought for his life. The importance of good friends and participating in his hobbies, like traveling, camping, bike riding, and skiing as a source of strength and means to clear his head, were emphasized.
Furthermore, there were also comparisons between the United States' prostate cancer health care and that of several European countries, and the revelations of the ways the United States' healthcare is behind were shocking, considering that they are one of the leading countries in healthcare. I liked that the author includes this discussion in the book, as it will help healthcare providers note areas where they can improve.
In addition, readers will get to know about a lot of different tests and treatment methods used in prostate cancer, including radiotherapy, chemotherapy, high-frequency ultrasound (HIFU), and fluciclovine positron emission tomography scans. Side effects are also discussed. Murray uses more of an informative tone than a suggestive tone, as the book isn't intended as a self-help book to learn about prostate cancer therapy. It got a bit confusing at times having to understand certain medical terms, but I liked that the author tried as much as possible to explain the meaning of most medical terms used in the book, including graphs of his medical results.
With respect to editing, I didn't find a single error throughout the book. At first, I thought it was because of how engrossed I was in Murray's story, but a second read confirmed that the book was exceptionally well edited. There wasn't anything to dislike about this book, which is why rating the book 4 out of 4 is an easy decision. The book is concise, well researched, captivating, and perfectly executed. I would recommend this book to men, especially those suffering from prostate cancer. Prostate cancer caregivers can also learn a thing or two from the author's experiences.
Prostate Cancer: Sheep or Wolf?
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