Prostate Health Archive

Articles

New study won’t end debate on PSA test for prostate cancer

A large study from Europe does little to resolve the controversy over whether men should have a simple blood test to look for hidden prostate cancer. In the study, the number of deaths over the course of the 11-year study were the same in men tested for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and in men who didn’t have the test. Because prostate cancer usually grows very slowly, detecting it in an older man generally isn’t helpful. Some men live with the side effects of treatment—notably impotence and incontinence—for a cancer that would have had no effect on the length or quality of their lives. This study and others suggest that we rethink the widespread use of PSA testing, especially the yearly screening that is common in the United States.

For some prostate cancers, waiting beats treatment

Many prostate cancers grow very slowly and never escape the prostate. They cause no symptoms, and never threaten health or life. Yet almost 90% of men told they have prostate cancer opt for immediate treatment with surgery or radiation therapy—which often cause trouble getting or keeping an erection and an assortment of urinary problems. Yesterday, a panel of experts convened by the National Institutes of Health recommended that many men with localized, low-risk prostate cancer be closely monitored, and that treatment be delayed until there was evidence that the disease was progressing.

Denosumab delays bone metastases in prostate cancer trial

Most men with advanced prostate cancer are at high risk for developing bone metastases, the process by which cancer spreads to and weakens the bones. A serious health and financial concern, bone metastases can lead to fractures, spinal cord compression, pain and a need for radiation therapy or bone surgery. These complications are referred to […]

Vitamin E may indeed increase the risk of prostate cancer

It was once thought that taking vitamin E could reduce the risk of prostate cancer. However, recent research suggests this is not the case. Back in 2008 one large study, known as the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT), showed that not only did vitamin E fail to decrease the risk of prostate […]

Harvard experts weigh in on PSA test debate

For the first time, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that healthy men avoid getting regular prostate cancer screening tests.  The new recommendation, which conflicts with existing recommendations from the American Urological Association, has sparked controversy among experts and confusion among patients. Harvard’s Ann MacDonald, Editor of the Annual Report on Prostate Diseases, offers […]

New prostate cancer screening recommendation generates controversy and confusion

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is expected soon to release an updated statement on PSA (prostate-specific antigen) testing for men, recommending for the first time that healthy men avoid getting regular PSA tests. This is big news, as the PSA test is one of the most common prostate cancer screening tests around.

Saw palmetto fails to relieve BPH symptoms in new Harvard study

A new study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association finds that saw palmetto, a fruit extract commonly taken to treat urinary tract symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate (technically termed benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH), is no more effective in relieving symptoms than placebo, even at high doses. The federally funded study […]

Vitamin E doesn’t offer protection against prostate cancer

Although a recent article on healthy aging in the Washington Post suggested that taking vitamin E can help men prevent prostate and other cancers, that isn’t what the evidence shows.

Hospitals mislead patients about robotic surgery

Johns Hopkins researchers found that 40% of hospital Web sites promote robot-assisted surgery, even though little evidence shows it’s better than conventional methods.

Smoking may increase risk of prostate cancer recurrence

The findings were presented at the American Urological Association annual meeting in May 2011.

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