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

Biopsy Alternative On the Horizon?

Researchers at Washington State University are exploring a noninvasive device that analyzes blood and urine to help diagnose prostate cancer and assess extent of disease progression. The device is like a filter that isolates markers of prostate cancer from blood and urine. It uses a mat of tiny glass springs that contain biomarkers that attract exosomes; fatty droplets of proteins and RNA that prostate cancer tumors release into body fluids (like blood and urine) and contain useful genetic information. It is still in the early research phase, but it would be a welcome alternative to biopsy, which can be a very uncomfortable procedure for men. March 28, 2017.

Antidepressants to Prevent Spread of Prostate Cancer?

An antidepressant called clorgyline may block an enzyme called MAOA that helps prostate cancer cells spread to the bone, according to a new animal (mouse) study (Wu et al) that was published in Cancer Cell. While clorgyline is no longer used by doctors, researchers will begin studying other antidepressants that have a similar mechanism of action. March 20, 2017.

More Reasons to Eat Your Broccoli

The green veggie may be good for preventing prostate cancer, according to findings from researchers from Oregon State University, which were published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. Specifically the compound sulforaphane from broccoli may provide insights on how prostate cancer develops and progresses. The compound appears to affect long, non-coding ribonucleic acids (RNAs), which possibly help “trigger” malignant prostate cancer cells. This may signal the start of more researchers exploring dietary avenues to help prevent or treat the disease. March 17, 2017.

Good News: Metastatic Prostate Cancer Deaths Declining

Fewer men are dying from metastatic prostate cancer, according to a poster that was presented at the 2017 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium held in Orlando, Florida. Researchers looked at data from 6,874 men with prostate cancer from the Danish Prostate Cancer Registry, which were divided into 3 groups based on the year they were diagnosed (1995-2000, 2001-2005, and 2006-2011). Mortality related to prostate cancer decreased by about 10% between the 1995-2000 and 2001-2005 groups. New and advanced treatment options may be the reason. February 21, 2017.

Study: Survival Benefit of Hormone Therapy Plus Radiation

Men with recurrent prostate cancer following surgery should combine hormone therapy with radiation treatment, according to results of a new Cedars-Sinai study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that followed 761 men with prostate cancer over a period of 12 years. The group of men who only had radiation therapy had a 13.4% incidence of death while the incidence of death was 5.4% for men who had combined radiation and hormone therapy. Combined therapy may also help lower the chance of cancer spreading (23% incidence of metastasis for radiation alone vs 14.5% for radiation and hormone treatment). This study confirms other studies that have shown that combination therapy is more effective than radiation alone for recurrent prostate cancer. February 7, 2017.

It's Movember!

Men everywhere are invited to grow their mo (mustache or moustache outside the US) to save a bro. The charity raises funds to support men's health and to stop men from dying too young. Simply grow and groom your mustache. Mo Sistas can also support the Mo and their men. Visit the charity website to learn more.

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Study: Hormone Treatment And Risk of Dementia

Men who undergo androgen depravation therapy (ADT) may be at increased risk for dementia, according to a new retrospective study (Nead et al) published online in JAMA Oncology. Researchers look at the records of 9,272 men with prostate cancer. They found that after 5 years, 7.9% of men who received ADT had an increased risk of developing dementia vs 3.5% in men who did not have ADT. While some media outlets portray these results as definitive, we would feel more comfortable if similar results were confirmed in more robust randomized clinical trials. But these results are definitely something to discuss with your healthcare provider prior to starting ADT treatment. October 18, 2016.

Stop Giving Men the Finger?

Authors of a study (Ciu et al) published in Current Medical Research and Opinion suggest that digital rectal exam (DRE) screening may add little benefit. Researchers found that only an additional 2% of men who had normal PSA levels had abnormal DREs when analyzing data from 5,064 men from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Screening Trial. Only 99 of those men who had normal PSA levels were diagnosed with clinically significant prostate cancer (CSPC). When looking at men who had both abnormal PSA and DRE, 20% were diagnosed with CSPC. It should be noted that the PLCO has been criticized for several factors, including low numbers of African-American men and lack of (or inconsistent) biopsies. September 30, 2016.

Early Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer Continues to Fall

In 2012, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued a final guideline recommending that men should not be routinely screened for prostate cancer. As a result, the number of men who are being diagnosed in the US with early prostate cancer declined by 19% in 2012 and fell another 6% in 2013, according to a HealthDay News report. We predict that this trend will continue until our government comes to its senses and the pendulum swings back again. September 27, 2016.

Study: Similar Survival Rates At 10 Years With or Without Treatment

Men with localized prostate cancer may be just as likely to survive without treatment after 10 years as men who opt for surgery or radiation, according to a new UK study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (Hamdy et al). The study followed 545 men with prostate cancer who had active monitoring, 533 men who had radical prostatectomy, and 545 who had radiation (median age was 62 years). The majority of men (77%) had a Gleason sore of 6. Researchers found that death due to prostate cancer at 10 years was low (about 1%) regardless of the type of treatment. September 23, 2016.

Study: Hormone Therapy May Not Be As Effective for African American Men

African American (AA) men with prostate cancer had an increased likelihood of dying after receiving androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for an average of 4 months than non-AA men, according to a new study (Konstantin et al), as reported by Brigham and Women’s Hospital that was published in the August 4 issue of Cancer. First, this was a retrospective study that analyzed the medical records of 7,252 men with low or favorable-intermediate risk of prostate cancer (20% of those men had ADT prior to brachytherapy). A lot of factors can come into play in a retrospective study. But it is noteworthy to report that the AA men had a 77% higher risk of death. Randomized clinical trials are needed to confirm these results. August 9, 2016.

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Study: Men With Metastatic Prostate Cancer Might Consider Genetic Testing

Researchers have linked inherited mutations in DNA-repair genes (such as BRCA2) with a greater risk of lethal prostate cancer. But men with localized prostate cancer (cancer that is confined to the prostate gland) usually do not undergo routine genetic testing because the incidence of having DNA-repair gene mutations is low (1.2% to 1.8% for BRCA2 alone). In a recent study (Pritchard et al), however, researchers found that these DNA-repair gene mutations were present in 12% of 82 men with metastatic cancer, prompting the suggestion that “it may be of interest” to routinely examine all men with metastatic prostate cancer for genetic testing. But the researchers admit there were multiple limitations with this study, which appeared online first last week in the New England Journal of Medicine. July 12, 2016.

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Turn Up the Heat Against Prostate Cancer

Focal laser ablation is a new type of treatment for prostate cancer that involves the application of heat, using a laser, to destroy cancerous tissue inside a tumor (guided by magnetic resonance imaging). While it has not yet been approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, early Phase I study results are promising with no reported serious adverse effects or changes in urinary or sexual function six months after the procedure, according to results published in the Journal of Urology (Natarajan et al), as reported by UCLA Health. This was a very small study of 8 men and much larger studies will need to be conducted to verify both the safety and efficacy of this new approach before it becomes widely available. June 21, 2016.

Study: Watch Your Waistline, Men

Every inch on a man’s waist counts with prostate cancer, according to a new University of Oxford study (Perez-Cornago et al) that followed more than 140,000 men (mean age of 52) across 8 countries over a period of 14 years. Of the 7,000 men who developed prostate cancer, those men with a 37-inch waist had an 18% higher risk of fatal prostate cancer than men with a 33-inch waist, as reported by British media outlets, including The Telegraph and The Guardian. Adding another 4 inches (41-inch waist) increased the risk of fatal prostate cancer by 36% (compared to men with a 33-inch waist). We have reported about BMI and prostate cancer before, and this study reported increased risk when BMI was measured. High-grade prostate cancer, which is more aggressive, was also associated with being overweight. What can a man do about it? Try to maintain a weight that your doctor says is healthy for you. June 6, 2016.

Study: Patient-Physician Communication Critical to Survivor Health

While not surprising, patient-physician communication is critical for the health of prostate cancer survivors who have had their prostates surgically removed, according to a new study (Ernstmann et al) published in BJU International. At least 3 years after prostatectomy, patient-physician communication was associated with helping men cope with their disease and for improving their health-related quality of life. The authors of the study, which involved 1,772 men, suggest that a “trustful relationship” should be part of long-term follow-up care for prostate cancer patients and survivors. May 16, 2016.

Always consult a medical professional.

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