Opher Segal
Author, Journalist, Producer

Men: Early detection of prostate cancer


Several months ago, I went to my doctor’s office for my routine annual physical which included a blood test. I am very blessed with excellent health and all the blood tests counts came back well within the normal counts as usual, except one count of the PSA. At the onset, I had no idea what PSA meant, and now I all too well know the meaning: Prostate-specific antigen. The deviation was only one point above my age group, and I did not think much of it. My thinking: how one point above the norm can be significant, when all the other counts were excellent?

A couple of days after receiving the blood test results I met with my outstanding personal physician Dr. Tamar Meszaros, internist at Cedar Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. Dr. Meszaros is a graduate of the very repeatable GeorgeTown University Hospital. Dr. Meszaros has been my personal physician for several years now. She is very attentive, great listener, very caring and very professional, she is very observant, detail oriented, very patient and always attentive and responsive. I am very fortunate and very grateful to her, she actually saved my life!

During my exam Dr. Meszaros went over the blood test results, all the scores were very good with the sole exception one, the PSA count  which deviated from the norm for my age group by a mere one point. Nevertheless, just to make certain all is fine, Dr. Meszaros recommended I seek at once a consultation with an urologist as soon as possible, and she highly recommended I meet for an assessment with Dr. Michael Ahdoot who is one of the most exceptional urologists at the Cedar Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.

I did just so, a few days later I met with Dr. Ahdoot who was very attentive and detail oriented. He went over the PSA counts with me, and recommended I have a CT scan which will provide the needed detailed data which will determine if I have prostate cancer, or not. Dr. Ahdoot scheduled the CT scan procedure at once and it took place several days later at a clinic at Cedars Sinai Hospital.

The results of the scan were made available within twenty four hours. Dr. Ahdoot called me with the results and told me the CT scan finding warrants an immediate biopsy. He scheduled the biopsy, again with Dr. Ahdoot at the helm of the surgical team, at the clinic Cedars Sinai Hospital.

I must add, the waiting period between consultations and procedures were scary as well as nerve wracking for me. However, the Cedar Sinai Hospital team headed by Dr. Ahdoot moved very quickly forward which made the ‘process’ more ‘palatable’.

The biopsy took place a few days later at Cedars Sinai Hospital and I went home thereafter, waiting anxiously for the finding which arrived in the evening by a personal phone call by Dr. Ahdoot who informed me, that I have a very early stage of a potentially very aggressive prostate cancer, and preventive action is required right now. Given the hour, I was already in bed, Dr. Ahdoot provided me with the possible preventative procedures, radiation to commence at once, or, a most advanced innovative robotic surgery which is available in perhaps twenty hospitals in the world. I provided almost an immediate response, and opted for the surgery, removing the prostate altogether. The cancer did not spread and was isolated in a small area of the prostate. Very early detection and treatment is key!  Therefore, in my case, removing the prostate could potentially be an end game for the cancer and no medications will be required. I met with Dr. Ahdoot at his clinic with my love, and partner in life my beloved Barbara who was with me faithfully, supportively, and most of all lovingly, every single step of the way throughout this real life altering frightening experience.

This life altering event proved to me who is really in my corner to include friends and family. One finds out who are really and truly your real friends are, and who are not. Very stark, yet, very real, and eye opening experience, to say the very least. An actual wakeup call in real time. As for me, I had many, many very incredible experiences of massive support by many with my Barbara being at the very top of the list. I also had some unexpected core disappointments by ‘some’ people I thought were my true close friends, yet they proved otherwise. I am much more resilient and realistic now…! Knowledge is power indeed which could give one a much improved perspective on life! The element of time is so very precious!

Moving forward, the operation took place at Cedars Sinai Hospital about ten days after the biopsy. The waiting was a very difficult period, the uncertain future, thoughts about mortality, and the very real reality knocking at my door. The surgery day arrived, and my beloved Barbara took me to Cedars Sinai Hospital for my four hour robotic procedure team led by the most capable top surgeon Dr. Michael Ahdoot.

The surgery took place a few months ago, yet, at this juncture it seems to have taken place a year ago! I was admitted to the hospital, sedated, and a bit later taken to the surgery room. I woke up in the recovery room, and shortly thereafter I was placed in the hospital room for the next thirty six hours, and then released. During my stay in the hospital my Barbara was at my side. Also, my very best and dearest friend since high school, Steve, came to the hospital and stayed with me, at my bedside, for several unforgettable hours.

In my particular case, the recovery time was lightning fast, the surgery was very, very successful! I am eternally very grateful to my Barbara, and the Cedars Sinai team, Dr. Tamar Meszaros and Dr. Michael Ahdoot being at the very top of my incredible most capable lifesaving team!

Men, early detection is key to saving your life! ALL men should demand a PSA test each and every year during your physical. The PSA test can save life…in this case yours…! Do not put off, do not be embarrassed asking for it, do not delay, get the precious PSA test done as soon as you can!

About the Author
Writer: Over 2,000 publications. Author: "Treasure to the Dead Sea Scrolls" Producer and host: "Kaleidoscope", Prime Time slot, 20 years+ Time / Warner Cable System. Akiva Award winner. Co-Produced television series, "Treasures of the Jewish World', aired for 8 years, on TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) and much more. For additional information kindly get in touch with me.