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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.


What’s the downside to a biopsy?

Published September 29, 2009

Even if my father takes antibiotics beforehand, could he develop a serious infection when he has a prostate biopsy later this year? Are there other possible complications we should be on the lookout for?

How soon can I bike after a biopsy?

Published September 29, 2009

I am an avid bicyclist, and I am having a prostate biopsy in a few weeks. How long do I need to wait after the biopsy before I can start biking again?

What if I have prostate cancer and lymphoma?

Published September 29, 2009

There’s no one correct course of action. In general, experts recommend first treating whichever condition is worse.

Am I too old to have prostate surgery?

Published September 29, 2009

A radical prostatectomy is a major operation that can lead to serious complications. If a man is older than 75, his doctor may not want to operate on him.

Do I need to use condoms after prostate surgery?

Published September 29, 2009

Yes. Even if a man doesn’t ejaculate, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can still be passed from one partner to another during sexual activity.

Experimental therapies for prostate cancer

Published September 29, 2009

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.

Stress and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

Published September 29, 2009

Some evidence suggests that stress reduction may ease symptoms of an enlarged prostate.

Can radiation therapy combat a rising PSA after surgery?

Published September 29, 2009

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?

Can hormone therapy cause muscle loss?

Published September 29, 2009

I am currently undergoing hormone therapy with leuprolide (Lupron) injections to shrink an enlarged prostate. I believe I’ve noticed some muscle loss. Is this possible?

Botox for BPH?

Published September 29, 2009

It may sound like a promising approach, but there’s a lot we don’t know about using Botox to treat an enlarged prostate.

Pomegranate juice may slow prostate cancer progression

Published September 29, 2009

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

Published June 19, 2009

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

Published June 19, 2009

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?

Published June 19, 2009

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

Published June 17, 2009

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?

Published June 17, 2009

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

Published April 22, 2009

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.

Questioning hormone therapy as a primary cancer treatment for older men

Published April 7, 2009

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)?

Published April 4, 2009

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.

Busy surgeons have better results

Published April 3, 2009

Study shows that patients have fewer complications when prostate surgery is done at a high-volume hospital by a surgeon who performs the operation regularly.

Experimental drug shows promise against prostate cancer

Published April 3, 2009

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.

Onions and garlic may ease BPH symptoms

Published April 3, 2009

Study shows that men with BPH typically eat less garlic and fewer servings of onions per week than those without BPH.

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