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Archive for December, 2011

Prostate Cancer Hormonal Therapy Cuts Deaths, Report Says

According to a new review of men with aggressive prostate cancer, hormone-targeted therapy cuts the overall risk of death. It also does not increase the chances of men dying from cardiovascular disease, which some researchers suggested might be the case.

Dr. Paul Nguyen, lead author of the study from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital inBostonsaid; “I think that these results should be very reassuring for the majority of patient’s who are thinking of androgen deprivation therapy for their prostate cancer.”  The study consisted of 2,500 men that were treated with androgen deprivation therapy for three months or more, and 2,300 that were not. During the follow-up period, 38% of men undergoing hormone-targeted therapy died compared to the higher death rate of 44% of men who did not undergo hormone therapy. When the researchers looked specifically at the deaths caused by prostate cancer, they noted that 14% of men on hormone therapy died from prostate cancer, compared to 22% that were not. There was no extra risk of cardiovascular death from the hormones. “Our study does not leave ADT off the hook in terms of causing things like increased insulin resistance and diabetes. There could very well still be some adverse cardiovascular consequences that don’t lead to death.” Nguyen stated.

This study was on patients with intermediate to high-risk prostate cancer. CPC recommends for patient’s to always consult with their physicians regarding all treatment options.

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Well-Done Red Meat May Increase Risk for Aggressive Prostate Cancer

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco offer further evidence of a link between aggressive prostate cancer and meat consumption, and suggest it is driven largely by consumption of grilled or barbecued red meat, especially when it is well-done.

The researchers embarked on the study because although established, the link between meat consumption and prostate cancer was not clear. They questioned whether inconsistency reflects an effect whereby different types of tumors are linked to different types of meat preparation, due to different cancer-causing compounds, or carcinogens.

The study consisted of 470 men with aggressive prostate cancer and 512 matched controls that did not have prostate cancer between 2001 and 2004. Each participant completed a questionnaire that enabled the researchers to access not only their meat intake for the past 12 months, but also the type a meat and how the meat was prepared.

The researchers found that:

  • The higher consumption of any ground beef or processed meats was positively linked with aggressive prostate cancer, with ground beef showing the strongest association.
  • Men who ate high levels of well or very well cooked ground beef had twice the odds of developing aggressive prostate cancer compared to the men who ate none. Low consumption raised the odds to 1.5.
  • In contrast, no such link was found between consumption of rare or medium cooked ground beef and aggressive prostate cancer.
  • Looking at the potential carcinogens by cooking meat at high temperatures, they detected an increased risk of aggressive cancer.

CPC recommends annual prostate screening which includes PSA (prostate specific antigen) and digital rectal exam (DRE). Talk to your doctor about maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.

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How to Treat Male Menopause

As men age, their total serum testosterone level decreases during the third decade of life and gradually declines by 0.4-2.6. By the age of 60, 20% of the general population is termed testosterone deficient. Many physicians are reluctant to prescribe testosterone therapy, as they have been educated in the past that elevated testosterone levels can cause metastatic prostate cancer.

This data came from researches by the name of Huggins and Hodges. Their study analyzed men that previously had prostate cancer and were treated with brachytherapy, radical prostatectomy or radiation therapy. The men who received testosterone therapy had low-grade prostate cancer without evidence of metastatic disease. Eight out of the nine studies that they reviewed did not show a significant recurrence of the disease with the presence of testosterone therapy; however they did find a positive impact on treating symptoms of androgen deprivation.

If you feel that you are a candidate for testosterone therapy, discuss with your physician the various treatment options. If you do undergo therapy, remember to get your annual digital rectal exam, as well as PSA (prostate specific antigen) to monitor change.

CPC recommends patients always ask their physicians for all treatment options and to also have annual prostate screenings which includes PSA (prostate specific antigen) and a DRE (digital rectal exam).

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