Doctor Elie Schochet is a handsome, young, successful board certified surgeon – with some important news for gay men.
“Anal cancer in South Florida is high,” Schochet warned a large crowd last week in Wilton Manors. “It’s the next calamity to affect the gay male population.”
Those dire words sent a hush through the audience, many of whom just minutes earlier had shared laughs over a chicken and platain dinner. The evening was sponsored by the Pride Center and Project Pals, a Elton John AIDS Foundation. More than 200 people attended Dr. Schochet’s presentation, titled “Happy Hiney Health.”
“I’m a straight guy about to get up and tell a room full of gay guys how to use their asses right,” Schochet remarked before his presentation. “I should have had a drink before this.”
The recently engaged doctor, who has been practicing in South Florida for five years now, delivered sobering news and statistics regarding anal cancer. Schochet said the majority of cases he has seen are stage three cancers, which if the patient is HIV positive, has only a 40 percent survival rate over a five-year span. He stressed early treatment, declared every male over the age of 50 should have a colonoscopy and also gave tips on healthy hiney play.
“You gotta respect these sphincter muscles,” he said, showing anatomy diagrams to the audience. “If it hurts, don’t do it!”
Schochet also showed x-rays of items that had been “swallowed” by the anus. It is his job, after all, to remove these foreign objects. The list included beer bottles, forks, cell phones and even a Buzz Lightyear action figure.
“Call me before attempting removal at home,” Schochet said. “I’ll come to your home.”
Ironically, Schochet said most “swallowing” cases involve heterosexual men.
“You know, the guy playing with his girlfriend’s toy while she’s out of town and gets carried away,” he said.
During the course of his two-hour presentation, Schochet advised treatment for constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoids and STDs. Citing statistics that Americans spend $1 billion a year on laxatives, Schochet said Imodium, an over the counter drug, is the best treatment for diarrhea and recommended Solesta for those fighting fecal incontinence.
Above all, the doctor stressed the importance of fiber in your diet. Saying fiber is, “the answer to everything,” Schochet suggested trying “gummy” type fiber pills if oatmeal isn’t your thing.
Hemorrhoids, the audience learned, are a universal problem. Schochet found this to be true during a disaster relief visit to Haiti where he helped earthquake victims by categorizing hemorrhoid creams sent from all across the planet.
“Everyone is born with hemorrhoids, it’s a matter of how sore they get over time,” Schochet said.John McDonald