Deckers Scheduled for Surgery This Week
January 31, 2000
Peter J. Deckers, dean of the medical school, opened meetings with Health Center faculty and staff last week by informing listeners that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and would have surgery at the Health Center Feb. 3.
"My father died of prostate cancer at age 53," he said, "so I've been careful to be checked regularly since I was 48 or so." Deckers is 59.
The surgery scheduled is a radical prostatectomy, the surgical removal of the prostate gland.
"My personal feeling is that this is a little problem that will take a big operation," he said. "The operation is more punishment than the crime deserves," he quipped, "but it is appropriate treatment so we proceed and move forward."
Peter Albertsen, an associate professor of surgery and a urologist, will perform the surgery.
"I know the players in American urology," said Deckers, himself a surgeon, "because I trained with them at the National Institutes of Health. I am being treated here because I know that Peter Albertsen is an exceptional academic urologist and that the level of care I receive will be exemplary."
Deckers said although for this procedure he was only planning to be out "three or four days," it is likely he will be out longer. He reminded the audience that he had back surgery at the Health Center a couple of years ago. He vowed to be a more compliant patient than he was before and said he would take the time necessary to recover fully.
In his absence, medical, dental and University Medical Group administrators will report directly to President Austin, Deckers said.