One of the wonderful things about medical treatment today is that we can survive many, many illnesses that, decades ago, would have killed us.
Cancer is one of those illnesses. Just ask Bill: He was diagnosed with both bladder and prostate cancer in his 70s, and although he survived the treatment, he was left with numerous other problems, from urinary incontinence to erectile dysfunction.
“I lost my manhood,” says Bill. “And I leaked terribly.” So, in 2010, Bill was referred to urologist Edward Karpman, M.D., medical director of the Men’s Health Program at El Camino Hospital Los Gatos.
Dr. Karpman went through all of Bill’s complex medical history and gave him some promising news: He could help Bill get back to a normal life through two medical procedures.
“I got a penile implant and a strap [The AdVance Male Sling System] for restricting fluid,” explains Bill. The procedure was a huge success.
“I am back to ballroom dancing,” says Bill, who cuts a rug with the ladies several times a week at the Santa Clara Senior Center and venues hosted by groups such as the Moose Club, Elks Club and American Legion. When asked how he felt about the treatment, Bill says happily, “I don’t have any problems anymore.”
Since having his surgery in May 2010, Bill has tried to reach out to his male friends and encourage them to see a physician if they need one. “I run into a lot of guys my age, but the problem is they don’t dare say anything,” even if they do have concerns about erectile dysfunction or incontinence. “I think some are at the age where they’ve just lost interest.”
But Bill hopes that, if he speaks out about his own successful outcome, then perhaps other men will seek help as well. So in the next year, Bill plans to be talking more and more frequently about the importance of seeking treatment--whether you’re 50 or 80--because we should all be enjoying life to its fullest, no matter our age.