International Robotic Prostatectomy Expert Dr. David B. Samadi and American Fashion Mogul Carmen Marc Valvo Campaign to Raise Awareness of Prostate and Colon Cancers Although they come from very different walks of life, Dr. David B. Samadi, the world renowned robotic prostate surgeon and Carmen Marc Valvo, one of fashion’s top designers, share a common goal: to raise awareness of two silent killers, colon and prostate cancer. Despite having survival rates of over 90%, these cancers are two of the most fatal diseases among men in the United States due to the fact that many Americans are either unaware of how deadly they are, or are too afraid or embarrassed to get tested.
“Most men believe that prostate cancer is an ‘old man’s’ disease and that they are too young to have to worry about it,” said Dr. Samadi. “Others know they should get tested, but refuse to because they are afraid to face the disease. The fact is that no man has to die from prostate cancer. However, complacency and procrastination are not effective treatments. Early detection through regular screening coupled with robotic prostate cancer treatment performed by a qualified surgeon is the most effective way for us to address the issue of prostate cancer related deaths.” Carmen Marc Valvo who was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2003, is living proof that whether you are dealing with prostate cancer or colon cancer, deciding to get screened early and regularly is the best decision one can make. He was diagnosed after a voluntary colonoscopy during which a malignant growth was found. Since it was detected in its early stages, it was still operable. Now, 8 years later, he is cancer free and able to further pursue his passion: designing trend setting women’s fashion lines for Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.
“I certainly understand why people are hesitant to be examined,” stated Valvo. “Fear and embarrassment often make people reluctant to undergo the screening process, but I can’t stress enough how important it is to be tested regularly. When it comes to combating this disease, early detection and treatment are key.”
Valvo, who has been dressing Hollywood’s most famous leading ladies for 30 years, is hoping that he can leverage his popularity with fashion conscious women across the country into making a real difference in the fight against colon cancer. All the proceeds from his latest book, Dressed to Perfection: The Art of Dressing for Your Red Carpet Moments, will be donated to various colon cancer organizations, whose goals include not only cancer research, but the provision of free colonoscopies to those in need.
Dr. Samadi feels that Mr. Valvo plays a unique role in raising awareness of both cancers: “In terms of colon cancer, women are at an equal risk as men. Through fashion, Carmen is able to use his creative platform to reach out to a very large audience, many of whom are women who not only should be educated on colon cancer but who alsoplay an integral role in the research and care of prostate cancer for the men in their families.”
Samadi went on to comment about how women impact the battle against prostate cancer as well, stating, “For many men, the fear associated with undergoing surgical treatment for their prostate cancer is tied closely to their sense of masculinity. They are afraid of being seen as ‘less of a man’ in the eyes of their partner due to the potential loss of sexual potency and urinary control. Hopefully, women who hear Mr. Valvo’s story will use it as way to encourage the men in their lives to get past this insecurity, get tested and get treated.”
Both Dr. Samadi and Carmen Marc Valvo have taken an active role in sharing their knowledge of the two diseases in the hopes that their experiences and personal stories will encourage men to conquer their fears and get tested.
Dr. Samadi, who is the Vice Chairman of Urology and the Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, has spoken at hospitals around the world about the importance of early detection and the application of his unique SMART (Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique) surgery technique. He has successfully performed this robotic surgery procedure, which focuses on preserving delicate nerve bundles around the prostate, on over 3,200 patients with positive results. Dr. Samadi’s website, www.roboticoncology.com, offers comprehensive information on prostate cancer treatment in 6 different languages.
Carmen Marc Valvo is a contributing member of the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (NCCRA), an organization that funds research for the early detection and treatment of colorectal cancer and promotes awareness of and screening for the disease which is currently the second most deadly cancer in the United States. In order to help promote national Colon Cancer Awareness Month, he has allied with Dulcolax and the Colon Cancer Alliance, whose primary objective is to increase colon cancer screening rates.
Of Valvo’s triumph and continued commitment, Dr. Samadi said, “Carmen’s story is a great one, but all too rare. For every person like him, there are countless others who do not take the initiative. The key to saving lives is through being proactive. We need to make people aware of cancer screening and its benefits, and help alleviate the fears that many have with the process. If cancer is found, it needs to be understood that treatments today can provide not only a cure, but great quality of life afterwards. Though prostate and colorectal cancers are different diseases, potential sufferers of either should follow Mr. Valvo’s example.”
Carmen Marc Valvo
Dr. David B. Samadi