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Dr. Joe Salisz

Urologist - United States

At the age of 52, after 20 years as a practicing urologist, Dr. Joe Salisz found himself on the other side of the of doctor/patient relationship.

When a routine blood test during his annual physical indicated a possible problem with Joe's prostate, a subsequent biopsy revealed extensive high-grade prostate cancer with the likelihood of bladder involvement. True to his surgical roots, Joe wasted no time in seeking a surgical cure. Within a week, the man who had spent his professional life performing urologic surgery was now the patient, having his entire bladder and prostate removed. This active and seemingly healthy urologist left the hospital several days later with a urostomy. He also took with him a new respect for and understanding of stoma care and people living with an ostomy.

"I have more empathy for my patients. I'm not quite the surgical salesman of my past."

Today, Joe has returned to an amazing and even more appreciated active life. “There’s nothing I can’t do because of my ostomy. I ski black diamond trails, go zip-lining, run 5k races, hunt bear on horseback, and somehow manage to keep up with my wife and four kids.”

In addition, Joe designed a stoma cover made of a fabric that is impregnated with odor-adsorbing carbon and an antibacterial that is available worldwide.

Joe has also returned to a full-time urologic practice. “I have more empathy toward my patients,” he says. “I’m not quite the ‘surgical salesman’ of my past, but instead offering all options.”

“The irony of a urologist contracting prostate cancer that ultimately required bladder removal has led to a life change, but not to a death sentence. With the support of my wife, friends, partners and staff, I’m healthy, happy and delivering better medicine.”

“The irony of a urologist contracting prostate cancer that ultimately required bladder removal has led to a life change, but not to a death sentence.”

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