Archive for June, 2016

The Prostate Gland

1. It keeps sperm healthy

Located just below the bladder, the prostate is a walnut-sized gland found only in men. The urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis, runs through it. Its main role is to produce prostatic fluid to provide nutrients for sperm.

2. STIs can cause prostate infection

Prostatitis, inflammation or infection of the prostate, mainly affects men under 40 and can develop from a urinary tract infection. Symptoms can include pain when urinating and ejaculating and pelvic pain. The cause can be anything from bacteria to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as gonorrhoea or chlamydia. It can be treated with antibiotics.

3. Prostatitis may link to cancer

Evidence suggests men who have had prostatitis may be more at risk of developing prostate cancer. The inflammation, especially combined with a lack of vitamin D, may encourage the cancer to develop.

4. Vitamin D is good for prostate health

Good genital hygiene and condoms can help prevent urinary tract infections and prostatitis. There is also increasing evidence that vitamin D promotes resistance to infections.

5. The prostate can enlarge with age

At least 60 per cent of men over 60 have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or an enlarged prostate. Symptoms include difficulty urinating and needing the toilet often. If symptoms are mild, no treatment is needed, but in severe cases, medication to shrink the gland or surgery can improve quality of life.

6. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men

One in nine men develops prostate cancer, about 20,000 are diagnosed annually in Australia and 3300 die from it. Almost two-thirds of those diagnosed are older than 65. Men of Afro-Caribbean descent have an increased risk, as do those who have a close relative with the disease. Having an STI at a young age can also be a risk factor. According to the American Cancer Society, about 238,590 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2013, and about 29,720 will die from it.

7. Genes can play a part in prostate cancer

Up to 10 per cent of prostate cancer cases have an inherited component. For example, the BRCA2 gene, which can cause breast cancer in women, is also associated with prostate cancer.

8. Prostate cancer can be symptomless

Although some men have lower back or hip pain, prostate cancer may have few or no signs in the early stages. A PSA blood test checks whether levels of prostate-specific antigen, a chemical made by the gland, are raised, which may indicate cancer. In advanced prostate cancer the sufferer may experience bone, pelvic or back pain, weight loss and blood in the urine or semen.

9. Diagnosis of prostate cancer is improving

A new test, PCA3, measures a protein only produced by cancer cells and is about 80 per cent accurate. A definite diagnosis can be made with a biopsy.

10. Prostate cancer is often slow-growing

The challenge is to find out whether the cancer is aggressive or slow-growing as treatment can cause serious side effects, including incontinence and impotence. Most cancers are slow-growing. Post mortems show that 80 per cent of men aged 80 have cancer cells in the prostate that may have been present for 20 to 25 years and they have died of other causes.

11. Treatment for prostate cancer varies

Doctors decide on treatment based on a man’s age, how aggressive the cancer appears, PSA test results and the man’s attitude. Out of every 100 men diagnosed, about two-thirds have aggressive treatment. The other third opt for monitoring through regular blood tests, biopsies and digital rectal examinations.

12. There are often no side effects from prostate cancer treatment

Treatment can include removing the prostate, radiotherapy, freezing or heat treatment to destroy the gland. There is little difference in survival rates between treatments, although freezing and heating are quite new. Due to better techniques, serious side effects from treatment are less common.

13. Tomatoes are good for the prostate

Several studies show that men who eat foods containing lycopene, found in tomatoes and tomato-based foods, have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer. Getting enough exercise also appears to reduce the risk. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, maintain a healthy weight and don’t smoke.

Information provided by body+soul.,6971

American Cancer Society


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Prostate Cancer’s Impact on Couples: How to deal with both the physical and emotional effects

Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago comments on excerpt from Yes You Can: Dr. Barb’s Recipe for Lifelong Intimacy, posted January 19, 2016 by Barb DePree, M.D

Dr. Barb DePree shares that “prostate cancer is often called the ‘couples disease’ because of its broad-reaching effects in the bedroom – and elsewhere.”  Apart from worry about the cancer itself, potential side effects from surgery or other prostate cancer treatments can affect a man’s sexual function and emotional wellbeing.  DePree recommends education, exploration and experimentation as steps for couples needing a new beginning to sex after prostate cancer.

However, initial communication is essential for understanding the stress that prostate cancer may cause both patient and partner.  By learning together about prostate cancer and discovering ways to maintain sexual intimacy, couples can keep an emotional connection and help a man maintain his sense of masculinity despite physical changes.   Dr. DePree acknowledges the challenges faced by spouses adjusting to not only her partner’s health but also her own age-related health changes and family demands.

At Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago (PCFC), we invite spouses, partners and caregivers to benefit from our Patient Support Group.  The opportunity for both partners to learn firsthand about prostate cancer treatment options and research can help couples cope with the seeming deluge of information after a prostate cancer diagnosis while gaining insight from other patients and couples.  Visit for Patient Support Group details & schedule, and to learn other ways the non-profit PCFC educates patients and the public on prostate cancer.

Also, PCFC works hand-in-hand with Chicago Prostate Cancer Center (CPCC) on research to advance best practices in brachytherapy, the least disruptive option for many men seeking to remain productive during prostate cancer treatment.  Multiple research institutions, comparing prostate cancer treatments, demonstrate outcomes with single-day seed implant therapy are consistent with equal-to-better cancer eradication and fewer urinary, bowel, and erectile side effects common to external beam radiation—requiring as many as 9 weeks of daily outpatient sessions, or with prostatectomy—-a major surgery necessitating inpatient hospitalization and typical 3-6 week recovery.  More information on CPCC is available at

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The Grainger Foundation Supports Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago

Market Manager Joe Schneider and Team Leader Jason Astudillo share The Grainger Foundation’s generous grant with Michelle Braccioforte, Director of Research and Education, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago, and Jennifer McCartney, Administrative Director, Chicago Prostate Cancer Center.

Market Manager Joe Schneider and Team Leader Jason Astudillo share The Grainger Foundation’s generous grant with Michelle Braccioforte, Director of Research and Education, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago and Jennifer McCartney, Administrative Director, Chicago Prostate Cancer Center.


Westmont, IL, December 2, 2015 – The Grainger Foundation, an independent, private foundation located in Lake Forest, Illinois, has donated $10,000 to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago.  This grant will go toward the support of programs that promote awareness, prevention, detection, and treatment options for patients, their families and medical professionals, and information for newly diagnosed patients to help make informed treatment decisions.

“These funds will be used to educate men about prostate cancer through the various PCFC programs, including our Patient Support Group, Community and Workplace Wellness Presentations, and free prostate cancer screening events, said Michelle Braccioforte, Director of Research and Education, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago.  “Each year, approximately 250,000 men nationwide are diagnosed with prostate cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.  In fact, during the last 20 years, the U.S. has seen a six-fold increase in men under the age of 60 receiving a diagnosis of aggressive, life-threatening prostate cancer.  We are grateful to The Grainger Foundation for its generosity.”

This donation was recommended by Joe Schneider, Market Manager of W.W. Grainger, Inc.’s, Downers Grove location.  Grainger has been a part of the Downers Grove business community for more than 27 years as the leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair, and operating products.  “We are proud to recommend the programs offered by the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago,” said Schneider.  “We understand the need for greater awareness and detection of prostate cancer by men of all ages.”

The Grainger Foundation, an independent, private foundation based in Lake Forest, Illinois, was established in 1949 by William W. Grainger, founder of W.W. Grainger, Inc.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving quality of care and quality of life by funding patient support programs, clinical research, as well as professional and public education.  Its goal is to further promote public awareness, cancer prevention, detection, and treatment options to prostate cancer patients, their families, and medical professionals involved in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.  This philanthropic organization works hand-in-hand with the Chicago Prostate Cancer Center, which is the only freestanding, full-service medical facility in the world that is solely dedicated to minimally invasive prostate cancer treatments.

For further information about Grainger contact: Joe Micucci, Director of Media Relations at

For further information about Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago contact: Jennifer McCartney, Administrative Director at



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