Harvard Health Blog

Read posts from experts at Harvard Health Publishing covering a variety of health topics and perspectives on medical news.


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.

Busy surgeons have better results

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

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

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

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.

Blood test may indicate whether cancer has spread

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

Drug combo may fight prostate cancer

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

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

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

Urine test accurately diagnoses prostate cancer

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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”?

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

How to tell when localized cancer is advancing

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

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

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