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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.
Experimental therapies for prostate cancer
Androgen deprivation, whether through surgical removal of the testicles or with medication, is an effective treatment for recurring prostate cancer — at least for a while. An improved understanding of the biology of prostate cancer has led to the development of two drugs that might slow disease progression in prostate cancer patients whose disease no longer responds to androgen deprivation.
Can radiation therapy combat a rising PSA after surgery?
I had a radical prostatectomy a year ago and thought I was cured. But now my PSA is rising rapidly, a sign that the cancer is back. Might radiation therapy help?
Pomegranate juice may slow prostate cancer progression
Drinking 8 ounces of pomegranate juice a day may slow disease progression, as measured by PSA.
Avoiding complications of anti-androgens: A patient’s story
Sixty-five-year-old George Lincoln* never suspected that anything was wrong. Aside from some of the typical side effects of hormone therapy for his prostate cancer, such as fatigue, occasional hot flashes, mild weight gain, and a loss of libido, he felt okay. He didn’t have abdominal pain, nausea, jaundice, or any other symptoms that might indicate a potentially life-threatening problem.
When to test for prostate cancer: Finding a balance
A conversation with Fritz H. Schroder, M.D., the principal investigator of the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer
Testosterone supplementation after prostate cancer?
As men age, their testosterone production begins to slow. As men get into their 50s, 60s, and beyond, they may start to have signs and symptoms of low testosterone including reduced sex drive and sense of vitality, erectile dysfunction, decreased energy, lower muscle mass and bone density, and anemia. In some cases, supplemental testosterone may help. However, doctors disagree over the wisdom of prescribing testosterone to prostate cancer survivors.
Positive surgical margins following radical prostatectomy
Today, about 10% to 20% of patients who have their prostate surgically removed are told that they have positive surgical margins, meaning some cancer cells may have been left behind. In this roundtable discussion, three Harvard physicians discuss positive surgical margins what patients with positive margins should consider next.
Is health news helpful or just hype?
Knowing the basics of scientific research and statistics can help you understand what medical studies really say
In the late 1990s, word that selenium and vitamin E might lower the risk of prostate cancer was reported by newspapers and magazines, broadcast on television and radio, and announced on Web sites. Eager to prevent the disease — and convinced that vitamins and minerals couldn’t be harmful — men around the world began taking the supplements.
Prostate Health Information
Welcome! This Web site combines prostate cancer news, expert commentary, relevant clinical findings, updates on important prostate cancer research, and personal case histories to help you fully understand the important considerations in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the prostate. We hope you find it useful.
Preserving penis length after radical prostatectomy
Questioning hormone therapy as a primary cancer treatment for older men
Given the possible side effects of hormone therapy, such as bone loss, fractures, diabetes, and heart trouble, clinicians might want to think twice before prescribing hormone therapy as the primary cancer treatment for older men with early-stage disease.
What is prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN)?
No consensus exists about what type of medical follow-up is in order for this “precancerous” condition or whether to treat it. Marc B. Garnick, M.D., explains the condition and outlines your options.
Experimental drug shows promise against prostate cancer
An experimental drug may halt the production of male hormones in the body, making it a promising treatment for prostate cancer patients whose tumors have not responded to other therapies. Preliminary studies showed shrinking tumors and drops in PSA levels.
No difference between drug and placebo in treating chronic prostatitis
Many urologists prescribe alpha blockers to treat chronic prostatitis, but study shows that one such drug is ineffective in easing the condition.
Investigational vaccine aids patients with metastatic prostate cancer
A new prostate cancer vaccine may give hope to men with metastatic prostate cancer by spurring their immune systems to fight the disease, according to a presentation by Iowa researchers at the American Urological Association’s annual meeting in May 2008. Enabling a patient’s immune system to attack cancer cells can improve quality of life and extend survival.
Data show drug’s benefit in preventing prostate cancer
Despite previous controversy, researchers report that finasteride may reduce overall disease risk and decrease rate of aggressive tumors.
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