Billionaire investor Warren Buffet was diagnosed with prostate cancer this year. The 81 year old chairman and CEO ofBerkshireinvestors, was diagnosed with stage 1 prostate cancer. Warren Buffett’s decision to undergo radiation therapy for Stage 1 prostate cancer has refocused attention on a debate of screening and treating older men for a disease that most often kill them.
“Generally, in a person over 80 years old, you’d be very hesitant to treat a prostate cancer unless it’s clearly life-threatening,” said Dr. Peter Scardino, chairman of the surgery department atMemorialSloan-KetteringCancerCenterinNew York. “Doctors caution men that at that age, prostate cancer is very common. Most of the time it’s not dangerous to their life or their health. It’s unusual, in our experience, to treat someone over 80, although I’ve done it.” No doctor wants to second guess Buffet’s decision, especially without at least two key pieces of information that he didn’t disclose when he announced his diagnosis last Tuesday: PSA and his Gleason score. This could help determine how aggressive the tumor is.
“Although stage 1 prostate cancer, by definition, hasn’t spread beyond the prostate gland, you could still have stage 1 and have an aggressive tumor,” said Dr. Patrick Walsh, a urology professor at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions inBaltimore. While acknowledging the he didn’t have the important details of Buffett’s case, Dr. Walsh suggested that “the fact that he is waiting three months to begin radiation suggests to me that he might be going to receive neoadjuvant hormonal therapy and that is consistent with more aggressive disease.”
CPC neither aggress nor disagrees with the prostate cancer specialists, it is mainly the patients decision if they would like treatment. We do encourage men who have atleast a 10 year life expectancy to consider treatment. Mr. Buffett could have an excellent quality of life and live for another 15-20 years.