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Harvard Health Blog
Read the latest posts from experts at Harvard Health Publishing covering a variety of health topics and perspectives on medical news.
Hormone therapy: How long should it last?
A European study finds that mortality is higher among men who pursue hormone therapy for just six months. But the study was conducted in men with relatively large tumors, not small, early-stage tumors, the kind found most often in American men.
Midlife PSA tests may predict prostate cancer diagnosis up to 25 years later
According to a 2007 Swedish study, a PSA test done between the ages of 44 and 50 may predict whether or not a man will develop prostate cancer later in life.
Initial PSA tests can’t distinguish lethal prostate cancers
In a study of over 250 men, Swedish researchers found that neither the initial PSA level nor its rate of increase in a two-year period predicted which men had lethal versus indolent cancers.
Can nerve grafts restore erectile function?
Studies have shown that some men who have their neurovascular bundles removed during a radical prostatectomy may regain erectile function with nerve grafts. But a patient’s best bet for preserving erectile function is to find an experienced surgeon.
Treating prostatitis: Any cause for optimism?
Standard treatments for prostatitis, including antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, and alpha blockers, are often ineffective. Patients might find relief by using drugs currently in clinical trials or nontraditional therapies such as biofeedback and myofascial trigger release, a form of massage.
Prostate cancer risk in African Americans
African American men have, by far, the highest incidence of prostate cancer in the world. They are also more than twice as likely to die of the disease as white American men. No single factor — diet, obesity, socioeconomic status, or biology — accounts for the disparity, and the search for an explanation continues.
Blood calcium levels may be linked to prostate cancer death
Research finds that men with high blood calcium levels are more likely to develop fatal prostate cancer than men with lower blood calcium levels.
No “home run” for proton radiation–at least not yet
A clinical trial of proton radiation for early prostate cancer found that the treatment is safe and well-tolerated by patients, but probably no better than other, less expensive forms of radiation.
Diabetes inversely related to prostate cancer risk
Two studies conclude that men with diabetes have a lower risk of prostate cancer than nondiabetics, suggesting a potential biological link between the conditions.
Safety concerns prompt labeling change on testosterone gels
Manufacturers of testosterone gel products must add a boxed warning on the products about adverse effects.
Vitamin E-selenium-soy combo doesn’t prevent prostate cancer
Canadian researchers report in 2009 that these supplements offer no benefit in terms of prostate cancer prevention.
What is a “PSA bounce?”
I had brachytherapy to treat my prostate cancer and my PSA had dropped to 0.3 ng/ml. But six months ago, my PSA had gone up to 0.5, and now it’s up to 0.8 ng/ml. I’m worried that the cancer is back; my doctor said it could be a “PSA bounce.” What’s that?
Does frequent ejaculation help ward off prostate cancer?
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