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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.


No difference between drug and placebo in treating chronic prostatitis

Published April 3, 2009

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

Published April 3, 2009

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

Published April 3, 2009

Despite previous controversy, researchers report that finasteride may reduce overall disease risk and decrease rate of aggressive tumors.

Blood test may indicate whether cancer has spread

Published April 3, 2009

Research shows that checking for a protein called endoglin might determine the extent of prostate cancer.

Drug combo may fight prostate cancer

Published April 3, 2009

Research shows that combining the anti-inflammatory drug celecoxib (Celebrex) and the cholesterol-lowering statin drug atorvastatin (Lipitor) halted the progression of prostate tumors in mice. Investigators are now planning to test the combo in prostate cancer patients.

Breast cancer genes pose threat to prostate health, too

Published April 3, 2009

Research shows that men who carry the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are at higher risk of developing prostate cancer than men without the genes.

Gene combination raises prostate cancer risk

Published April 3, 2009

A Swedish study finds that the combination of five genetic variations increases the risk of developing prostate cancer.

Urine test accurately diagnoses prostate cancer

Published April 3, 2009

Researchers report that an experimental urine test can better distinguish between prostate cancer and benign conditions than both PSA and PCA3 testing.

Testosterone supplements of little benefit in older men

Published April 3, 2009

Research has shown that testosterone levels decline as men age. In theory, taking testosterone supplements should counter that natural process. But a Dutch study concluded that they few benefits.

Focal therapy for prostate cancer?

Published April 3, 2009

Two teams of researchers suggest that focal therapy may be a promising treatment option for men with cancer confined to the prostate. However, more research is needed to determine its long-term effectiveness.

Calcium and prostate cancer risk

Published April 3, 2009

Physicians and researchers have long believed that consuming high amounts of calcium and dairy products increases the risk of prostate cancer, although study results have been inconsistent. Two recent studies make clear that the jury is still out.

Obesity may affect PSA levels, delay cancer diagnosis

Published April 3, 2009

Obese men tend to have lower PSA concentrations than men with healthier weights. As a result, fewer obese men undergo biopsies, potentially leaving prostate cancer undetected.

Hormone therapy for prostate cancer puts heart at risk

Published April 3, 2009

A study by Boston researchers found that hormone therapy may increase risk of death from heart disease, especially among patients who have had prostate surgery.

Lycopene and tomatoes: No shield against prostate cancer

Published April 3, 2009

Studies reveal that lycopene, a nutrient found in tomatoes, does not seem to reduce prostate cancer risk.

Are BPH and LUTS “inexorable consequences of aging”?

Published April 3, 2009

Historically, the answer has been yes, but mounting evidence suggests that lifestyle factors may influence risk.

How to tell when localized cancer is advancing

Published April 3, 2009

A British study finds that repeat biopsies may play an important role in active surveillance for untreated, localized prostate cancer.

Anxiety drives some treatment decisions

Published April 3, 2009

Anxiety, not clinical symptoms and disease progression, may sway patients toward treatment.

Biomarker predicts the development of hormone refractory disease

Published April 3, 2009

Blood and tissue levels of chromogranin A (CgA) may be early indication that prostate cancer that won’t respond for long to hormone therapy.

BPH drug cleared of causing aggressive tumors

Published April 3, 2009

Study finds that finasteride may actually lower the overall risk of prostate cancer and aid in the detection of aggressive tumors. An earlier study had implicated finasteride in the development of these deadlier tumors.

Erectile dysfunction drug also may ease BPH symptoms

Published April 3, 2009

More research is needed, but taking tadalafil (Cialis) could be helpful for men with BPH.

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