Seeds of Hope 
 Michael A. Dorso, M.D.
Photo by © E. Buie and A. Vallone
A Physician's Personal Triumph
Over Prostate Cancer

By: Michael A. Dorso, M.D.

Jerry Lewis ...
Sean Connery ...
Frank Zappa ...
Rudolph Giuliani ...
Charleton Heston ...
Robert Goulet ...
Ed Asner ...
Sidney Poitier ...
Senator Bob Dole ...
General Norman Schwarzkopff ...
David Brinkley ...
Bishop Desmond Tutu ...
Dr. Linus Pauling ...
Jesse Helms ...
Pierre Elliott Trudeau . . .
Richard Petty ...
Johnny Unitas ...
Arnold Palmer ...
Bobby Riggs ...
Joe Torre ...
Charles de Gaulle ...
Francois Mitterand ...
King Hussein ...
Moshe Arens ...
 Prostate Cancer Ribbon

Dr. Michael A. Dorso has joined the distinguished ranks of men combating Prostate Cancer. Seeds of Hope: A Physician's Personal Triumph over Prostate Cancer is the engaging story of the formidable challenges and the hard-won victories for one man and his family in their fight against cancer.

With intelligence, warmth, passion and humor, Dr. Dorso shares sound medical perspectives, poignant personal experiences and a valuable reservoir of knowledge and wisdom for anyone whose life has been touched by Prostate Cancer.

Seeds of Hope comes with the highest recommendation:

  • Excellent resource
  • Inspiring story
  • Hopeful message

 Prostate Cancer Ribbon For every name we recognize on this list, there are hundreds of thousands of husbands, fathers, sons, brothers, friends and loved ones tackling the same fears, decisions and implications of Prostate Cancer.

Dr. Dorso is clearly an accomplished physician. Also important here is the fact that he is an ordinary man whose spirit has grown in the face of the same ominous threat you, too, know well. We invite you to meet Michael Dorso, to learn from him and to be transformed by your own "seeds of hope" — no matter what their form — as you take pro-active physical, mental and spiritual steps in dealing with Prostate Cancer.

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About the B O O K:

Seeds of Hope . . .

At fifty-four years of age, Dr. Dorso discovers he has prostate cancer. Suddenly Michael Dorso, M.D. becomes Michael Dorso, PATIENT!

Seeds of Hope is the story of this physician's personal transformation as he searches for the most promising cure for his cancer. It is also the story of one man's struggle to find meaning in a potentially life-threatening illness.

Writing to educate and encourage men combating this disease, Dr. Dorso skillfully describes the hurdles of biopsy, testing, diagnosis, treatment options, sexual impotence. He carefully diagrams the workings of such technological marvels as Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Bone Scans, which can do so much to detect illness, target treatment and preserve quality of life. In non-technical terms, he outlines a man's options for defeating the beast in his loins. Our author describes the choices he made, and tells why. He guides readers "through the dragon's belly" of physical threats, medical odds, emotional costs and spiritual rewards.

With candor and honesty Dr. Dorso portrays his own changing mental state through the course of his illness and recovery: disbelief, panic, anger, grief, acceptance, resolve. He gradually moved from denial to action, but not without the caliber of struggle characteristic of a real fighter. He found strength in sharing his illness with widening circles of family, friends and associates. He also found an amazing reserve of internal strength, as he redefined the boundaries of the battlefield to include his spirit and his life as a whole man — and not just a physical body under attack from a treacherous adversary. In redefining those boundaries, he understood that he could defeat his enemy.

As only a professional insider could do, Dr. Dorso navigates through the medical world, driven as a prostate cancer patient with his own critical needs. He faces the reality that physicians do not agree on a cure for prostate cancer. In "one of those rare flashes of clarity," he realizes: "Perhaps there is no best therapy!" With that realization he is freed to follow his instincts — the dictates of his own heart. He rejects surgery and elects radiation therapy.

Dr. Dorso describes in detail the state-of-the-art radiation therapy as performed in Seattle, where physicians implant radioactive seeds directly into the prostate gland. He finds new promise in his "seeds of hope." The procedure involves physicians using a needle to uniformly implant a hundred tiny, radioactive seeds into the cancer. As the seeds decay, they literally burn out the malignancy. Cure rates are approaching 95% for early cancer. This revolutionary technique offers a viable alternative to surgery. While there are many books on the market about cancer, including a surfeit about prostate cancer, there are only a few describing this new therapy which is exploding on the scene. Readers have the opportunity to experience this revolutionary therapy through the eyes of a sensitive physician. Keeping technical information to a minimum, the author demystifies these procedures and offers some margin of comfort for patients facing them.

While Dr. Dorso skillfully describes the medical procedure of implanting radioactive "seeds" with all its implications, he is even more masterful as he himself plants seeds of hope for men and their families contending with the physical assaults and emotional insults of prostate cancer. He says the hard things that must be said about this cancer. Knowing what it is to be rendered impotent, he poignantly examines marital love and sexuality. Dr. Dorso reflects back on his year of therapy and two years of recovery, to realize how his attitudes have changed. His relationships to his wife, friends, work and God have been profoundly altered — healed. A gifted story-teller and a wise man, Michael reflects on where he planted his own hope and how he continues to harvest what has been cultivated in his life since.

Dr. Dorso ends with advice for men facing prostate cancer — especially in dealing with their loved ones. Admittedly, the diagnosis of cancer will transform anyone's life, but that transformation does not have to be for the worse. He offers resources for more information, and concludes with a reassuring personal story for his readers. He challenges all of us to "treat" even difficult illness as an opportunity for spiritual growth.

In Dr. Dorso's search for a cure, he found cutting edge technology.
In his search for answers, he found deeper meaning in life.

Seeds of Hope: A Physician's Personal Triumph Over Prostate Cancer carries a message of hope. After a few evenings of easy reading, readers will come away from this book strengthened and more confident in their ability to make informed decisions. Families will find a new appreciation of their loved ones' concerns. Certainly anyone whose life has been touched by prostate cancer should read this story of courage and the resilience of the human spirit.


  • Chapter 1 . . . . Cancer! Me?
  • Chapter 2 . . . . Pappy Yokum had a prostrate gland.
  • Chapter 3 . . . . Let's start at the beginning
  • Chapter 4 . . . . What's a nice guy like you doing in stirrups?
  • Chapter 5 . . . . A stitch in time will not save mine.
  • Chapter 6 . . . . Baby buggies everywhere
  • Chapter 7 . . . . Perhaps there is no best therapy?
  • Chapter 8 . . . . But first we have to do a few studies.
  • Chapter 9 . . . . Have you considered radiation therapy?
  • Chapter 10 . . . It's OK to cry.
  • Chapter 11 . . . Chemical castration
  • Chapter 12 . . . Dr. Blasko, I presume?
  • Chapter 13 . . . Take that, you SOB's!
  • Chapter 14 . . . Seeds of hope
  • Chapter 15 . . . The road to recovery
  • Chapter 16 . . . Through the dragon's belly
  • Chapter 17 . . . A time to heal

  • Appendix . . . .
  • Resources for men with prostate cancer
    and the men and women who love them
  • Full Circle: Recommended Reading
  • Cyber Resources
  • Questions to ask your doctor  

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Readers' Comments:

"...I would strongly recommend SEEDS OF HOPE by Michael Dorso MD. This is one of the best books on PCa in general and seeding in particular that my husband and I have read—and we've read a bunch of them. It's informative, funny, inspirational...."

"...We really owe many thanks to you. You were one of the first people to respond to our inquiry about PCa alternatives, and your book had tremendous impact on me and my partner. Since then, my partner had SI in Seattle with Dr. Blasko. We could not be happier with the outcome to date. We felt as if our lives were being snatched away from us—and now we feel like we have snatched them back. A million thanks to you for pointing the way toward an alternative to surgery."
—Sue Diciple, Portland, OR

"I read Dr. Dorso's book a few months ago and found it informative and interesting reading. For those of us who have sometimes been frustrated with the process of being a patient, I had to laugh when Michael, who is a doctor, found out what it was like to be on the other side of the examining table! He has a great sense of humor."
—Mary Lou

"I agree. I had to smile too when he was plowing through prostate cancer medical literature, trying to figure it out and getting frustrated at the contradicutory opinions. I didn't feel 'so stupid' any more."

"Dr. Dorso: I just wanted you to know that when I was diagnosed with PCa in August 2,000, I ordered and read your book. I found it clear, direct, honest, and very, very helpful. Thank you so very much for sharing your experiences. I know there are lots of people who benfited from reading your book, but you never hear from them. If it weren't for e-mail...I probably wouldn't have been able to contact you, either. But cyberspace is wonderful—and I have the opportunity to let yo know how much I benefited from what you wrote. Again, thank you..."
—Roger Taylor, Pittsburgh, PA

"... Thanks for going public with this very private battle. It helps all of us cope a little better."

About the A U T H O R:

         The Author
  Michael A. Dorso, M.D.

Michael A. Dorso, M.D.

Dr. Michael Dorso earned his Bachelor's degree in physics at the University of Florida before beginning medical studies at the University of Miami. He earned his Doctor of Medicine in 1969, and began a ten year career as a flight surgeon in the USAF. His military career included a tour of duty with The Strategic Air Command, as Chief of Flight Medicine at Plattsburg AFB. He served in Saudi Arabia as an advisor to the Royal Saudi Air Force, before finishing his distinguished career at Edwards AFB as Director of Aerospace Medicine.

He continued his career in Aerospace Medicine as a civilian, at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center. There he participated in flight testing the Space Shuttle for three years.

In 1979 Dr. Dorso returned to his first love, Emergency Medicine. Presently residing in northern California with his wife and children, he serves as an emergency physician in a busy community hospital.

Early in his career, Dr. Dorso grasped the importance of a positive attitude in healing. His daily interactions with all manner of patients brought him to a carefully reasoned philosophy of life and its illnesses — illnesses which ultimately effect us all. He saw how important it was for a patient to assume responsibility for his own therapy. He realized that patients with a spiritual concept of life fared better. He began planning a book advocating those philosophical principles.

Dr. Dorso was diagnosed with prostate cancer, on a routine physical exam, three years ago. That diagnosis was a life altering event. In his search for information and perspective, he saw a desperate need for an informative, personal book about prostate cancer. His book, Seeds of Hope: A Physician's Personal Triumph Over Prostate Cancer, addresses that need. This book tells the engaging tale of Dr. Dorso's own illness, in the context of his philosophy. It is written for men with prostate cancer, and the families who love them.

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About Prostate Cancer (PCa):

  • An estimated two million American men are alive today, and know they have prostate cancer. It is projected that 189,000 men will be diagnosed with the disease in 2002. (Cancer Facts And Figures)
  • Every living American man has over a 15% chance of developing prostate cancer in his lifetime. The odds are one in seven.
  • The American Cancer Society is reporting dropping rates of new prostate cancer, and declining mortality rates! (2.5% fewer deaths annually since 1992) We must be doing something right!
  • "Seventy-nine percent of all prostate cancers are discovered in the local and regional stages. The five year relative survival rate for patients whose tumors are diagnosed at these stages is 100%. Over the past twenty years, the (five year) survival rate for all stages combined has increased from 67% to 96%. Relative ten year survival is 75%. (Cancer Facts And Figures)
  • Prostate cancer accounts for 29% of men's cancer; it accounts for only 11% of their cancer related deaths. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths among men. It is twice as common as the runner-up, lung cancer's 14%, but lung cancer is the major killer causing 31% of cancer related deaths. The figures are similar for women's breast cancer vs. lung cancer.
  • An estimated 30,200 men will die in 2002 from prostate cancer.
  • Not enough can be said for screening, early detection and strategic treatment.

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Up-dated March 24, 2002