Prostate Cancer Blog for Wives and Partners

The Prostate Cancer Blog for Wives and Partners lets you know when new information has been added to our site. Anytime a new page is created — or we feel there is something worth noting — it will be posted here.

Archive of older posts

Aspirin For Prostate Cancer (Again)

Aspirin is back in the news again. This time, researchers believe it may help cut the risk of death in men who have prostate cancer. Before you reach for the aspirin bottle, know that this was a study where researchers looked at data from 22,017 men (3,193 developed prostate cancer) who participated in Harvard University’s Physician’s Health Study over a period of 27 years. Of those men, 402 developed lethal cancer. Men who took more than 3 aspirin tablets a week were 24% less likely to die from the disease. But this was not a randomized controlled study so there may have been other factors that could influence outcomes. Due to bleeding risk, always check with your doctor before starting an aspirin regimen. January 24, 2016.

Obesity and Prostate Cancer

The association between being overweight and aggressive prostate cancer just got clearer. Researchers (Laurent et al) now know that a fatty deposit that surrounds the prostate (called periprostatic adipose tissue) may be invaded by tumor cells, which can lead to prostate cancer spreading to nearby organs. This happens more frequently in obese men due to the fact that they have more fatty deposit cells (called adipocyte cells). When these cells secrete chemokines (signaling proteins), they attract prostate cancer tumor cells. January 20, 2016.

Exercise As Treatment For Prostate Cancer?

Researchers in the United Kingdom are launching a small study (50 men) to see if exercise may be effective as a treatment for prostate cancer that has not spread (called localized prostate cancer). Twenty-five men will exercise two-and-a-half hours every week for a year with a trainer. The other 25 men will be given information about the benefits of exercise but will not be supervised. While this is not what we would consider to be a large or robust clinical trial, we’ll be eager to see the results. January 16, 2016.

New Grading System for Prostate Cancer

Choosing treatment options may be easier with a new five-tiered grading system for prostate cancer, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins, who developed it. The new system is based on data from more than 20,000 men. While the current Gleason System has 25 possible scores, with the new system, 1 is the least aggressive cancer and 5 is the most aggressive. It remains to be seen how quickly the new system will be endorsed by leading U.S. medical organizations. So far, the World Health Organization and the International Society of Urological Pathology are on board with it. January 11, 2016.

Study: Hormone Therapy and Alzheimer’s Disease Risk

Men who undergo androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer may be at greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study (Nead et al) that was published in the online edition of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Researchers looked at data from close to 17,000 men and found that men who had ADT were almost twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease as men who did not have hormone treatment. ADT for more than 12 months was also associated with a more than doubled risk. But in a study like this (called a retrospective study), there are many uncontrolled variables. The researchers admit that this study does not prove a definite link between hormone therapy and Alzheimer’s disease. But it is certainly something to discuss with your doctor. December 4, 2015.

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Study: Vigorous Exercise And Lifestyle Factors May Protect Against Lethal Prostate Cancer

Middle aged men who regularly worked up a sweat during exercise, had a body mass index (BMI) < 30, didn’t smoke for at least 10 years, and ate fatty fish and tomatoes (but stayed away from processed meat) had up to a 68 percent decreased risk of lethal prostate cancer, according to a study where combined data (from 2 studies) from more than 62,000 men ages 40 to 84 was analyzed for over 20 years. The study (Kenfield et al) was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Researchers developed a lifestyle score and one point was given for each of the previously mentioned factors. There were 576 cases of lethal prostate cancer. December 1, 2015.

Continue reading "Study: Vigorous Exercise And Lifestyle Factors May Protect Against Lethal Prostate Cancer"

Study: Vigorous Exercise And Lifestyle Factors May Protect Against Lethal Prostate Cancer

Middle aged men who regularly worked up a sweat during exercise, had a body mass index (BMI) < 30, didn’t smoke for at least 10 years, and ate fatty fish and tomatoes (but stayed away from processed meat) had up to a 68 percent decreased risk of lethal prostate cancer, according to a study where combined data (from 2 studies) from more than 62,000 men ages 40 to 84 was analyzed for over 20 years. The study (Kenfield et al) was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Researchers developed a lifestyle score and one point was given for each of the previously mentioned factors. There were 576 cases of lethal prostate cancer. December 1, 2015.

Continue reading "Study: Vigorous Exercise And Lifestyle Factors May Protect Against Lethal Prostate Cancer"

Blood Test May Predict Hormone Treatment Resistance

A new blood test may help determine whether or not men with prostate cancer may benefit from treatment with abiraterone (a type of hormone treatment), according to results of a small Italian study (Romanel et al) published in Science Translational Medicine. When researchers analyzed 274 blood samples taken from 97 men, they found mutations in a gene (androgen receptor), which predicted resistance to abiraterone. Men with these mutations were nearly 5 times less likely to have a partial response (defined as a 50% decline in prostate-specific antigen [PSA]) to treatment with abiraterone and were nearly 8 times less likely to have a full response (greater than 90% decline in PSA). While promising, larger studies are needed to confirm the reliability of the test. November 18, 2015.

FDA Approves HIFU For Prostate Cancer

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) as a treatment for prostate cancer in the U.S. This minimally invasive treatment works to protect healthy tissues while targeting prostate cancer with high intensity ultrasound energy that heats and destroys cancer cells. It has been used outside the U.S. for more than a decade. November 14, 2015.

Study: Family History Not Related to Higher Risk of Aggressive Prostate Cancer

While having a family member with prostate cancer increases a man’s risk of getting prostate cancer, it doesn’t mean he will have a higher risk of having aggressive disease, according to a study in BJU International, as reported by AFR Weekend. Swiss researchers followed nearly 5,000 men who had PSA testing every four years. Within that group, 334 men had a family history of prostate cancer (18% of these men developed the disease). In the group of men who did not have a family history, 12% developed prostate cancer. Researchers found that there was no significant difference in markers or scores among men in both groups, following radical prostatectomy. November 12, 2015.

PSA Testing Cut Rate of Metastatic Cancer By Nearly 50% in 1990s

The incidence of metastatic prostate cancer was almost cut in half with widespread PSA testing in the 1990s, according to a perspective published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The median age of diagnosis also fell by 2 years from 71.8 years to 69.8 years for advanced prostate cancer in men over 40 years of age. November 8, 2015.

Study: Supplements Provide No Value For Men Receiving Radiation Therapy

Men undergoing radiation therapy get no benefit from supplements that contain palmetto or other ingredients, including improving their prognosis or reducing radiation therapy toxicity, according to new research that was presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting. The retrospective study looked at 2,207 men who were treated with intensity-modulated radiation therapy for localized prostate cancer. Interestingly, only 10% of men were taking supplements for men’s health or prostate health. Half were taking some kind of supplement. November 5, 2015.

USPSTF Posts Draft Research Plan For Prostate Cancer Screening

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has posted its draft research plan on prostate cancer screening. You can review it and comment on it here from now through November 26, 2015. USPSTF recommends against using PSA testing as a screening method for prostate cancer. If you disagree (as we do) this is your opportunity to be heard! October 30, 2015.

Will The PSA Screening Pendulum Swing (Again)?

Back in 2011, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) proclaimed that the potential harms of PSA-based screening outweighed the benefits (such as early detection). To no-one’s surprise really, investigators (Barocas et al) are now reporting in the Journal of Urology that there was an overall 28% decrease in incident diagnoses of prostate cancer in the year after the USPSTF recommendation. Diagnoses of low, intermediate, and high-risk prostate cancers all decreased significantly while new diagnoses of non-localized prostate cancer remained unchanged. In simple terms, this study is clear proof that less PSA screening puts more men at risk for the potential harms associated with a delayed diagnosis of prostate cancer. October 27, 2015.

UK Study: More Radiation Less Often As Effective

Giving men higher doses of radiotherapy — but less often — can be as effective for treating prostate cancer, according to results of a large UK study of 3,216 men with localized prostate cancer that was presented recently at the 2015 European Cancer Congress. There were 3 groups of men: Group 1 received standard radiation (74 Gy over 37 days), Group 2 received 60 Gy over 20 days, and Group 3 received 57 Gy over 19 days. After following the men for 5 years, researchers found that the radiation provided to men in Group 2 was as effective as standard treatment, both in treating prostate cancer and for long-term side effects. Bowel and bladder problems were higher in the short-term, but there was no difference after 6 months, or over the next 5 years. October 20, 2015.

Always consult a medical professional.

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