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I am 87 years old, with a problem of the prostate gland. Before I met Dr. Baum, I went to the bathroom every 30-60 minutes. After Dr. Baum's treatment on my prostate, I go only 5 times per day and only 1 time at night! You turned my life around. I am so very grateful!

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Archive:

Posts for tag: prostate cancer

By now, you've probably heard that prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening is no longer recommended for healthy men under age 75. This controversial draft recommendation was issued by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). Given previous recommendations from the medical community encouraging PSA screening, many men are confused. Following are answers to some questions you may have about this recommendation -- and our advice on whether you should follow it.

Should You Have a PSA Screening Test? Here’s what Johns Hopkins recommends for patients:

By now, you’ve probably heard that prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening is no longer recommended for healthy men under age 75. This controversial draft recommendation was issued by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). Given previous recommendations from the medical community encouraging PSA screening, many men are confused. Following are answers to some questions you may have about this recommendation -- and our advice on whether you should follow it.

What is the USPSTF? The USPSTF is an independent group of 16 medical experts whose recommendations serve as guidelines for doctors throughout the country. In addition, the group’s recommendations ultimately impact what tests Medicare and private insurers will pay for.

Why did they make this recommendation? According to the USPSTF, the potential harms caused by prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening of healthy men as a means of identifying prostate cancer far outweigh its potential to save lives. The group discourages the use of any screening test for which the benefits do not outweigh the harms to the target population.

What are the potential harms of PSA screening? An elevated PSA reading can lead to an unnecessary prostate biopsy. Although biopsies often reveal signs of cancer, depending on a man’s age, 30 to 50 percent will not be harmful -- even if left untreated. 

After a positive biopsy comes the decision about what to do. Most men choose radical prostatectomy, external-beam radiation therapy or brachytherapy. But each of these treatments has the potential to cause serious problems like erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence or bowel damage. And men who choose active surveillance must live with the uncertainty of knowing that they have an untreated cancer that could start toprogress at any time.

Why does the Task Force believe PSA screening does not save lives?  The USPSTF evaluated data from five large randomized clinical trials of PSA testing, including the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer (PLCO) Trial, which reported no mortality benefit among 77,000 men who underwent PSA testing and were followed for 10 years.

Do these recommendations apply to all men? These recommendations apply to all men regardless of age, race or family history as long as they do not have symptoms of prostate cancer.

My advice. Many leading cancer and patient groups and doctors agree that there is harm with PSA screening and the treatment that follows diagnosis. But a more targeted screening approach focusing on those at greatest risk of developing prostate cancer, and active surveillance for those who don’t need immediate treatment, could shift the balance of benefit and harm toward benefit.

PSA screening is the best test available for the detection of cancer cells in the prostate. Rather than discontinuing use of the only test available to detect the disease early and treat it successfully, efforts should focus on reducing harm.

Bottom Line:  Every man should discuss the benefits and risks of PSA screening with his physician. If you choose to be screened and the result is positive, you and your doctor should discuss whether any further intervention is appropriate or necessary. 

The Wall Street Journal (1/11, Hobson) "Health Blog" reported that some 65% of men experience incontinence after undergoing surgery for prostate cancer. Some patients opt for more surgery to correct the issue. Now, however, a paper appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that a therapy, often prescribed for women, may help relieve the problem.
The behavioral intervention consisted of four visits scheduled two weeks apart,. Men received education on their pelvic floor anatomy and learned how to do the pelvic-floor-muscle exercises. They were also advised to hold their urine stream during voiding once a day for two weeks, keep a bladder diary, avoid caffeine, and to distribute their fluid throughout the day.
After eight weeks, the researchers found that the average number of incontinence episodes dropped 55 percent, for the men in the behavioral therapy group, and down 51 percent, for men who'd had biofeedback and electrical stimulation as well as behavioral therapy. The control group had a 24 percent reduction, on average, in incontinence episodes.

Perhaps tomatoes, which is a source of selenium, and Vitamin E may prevent prostate cancer. And perhaps not! What's the latest thinking on antioxidants, like vitamin E and selenium, and prostate cancer prevention?
At least in the test tube, Vitamin E, might inhibit the growth of cancer cells. A clinical study giving men 200 mcg of selenium, or 400 IU of vitamin E, a combination of both, or a placebo showed that men taking the supplements were no less likely to have prostate cancer than those taking the placebo.
Another study that included physicians taking Vitamin E and Vitamin C found that a diagnosis of prostate cancer or cancer in general was just as common among people taking vitamin E or C as it was among those taking a placebo.
Bottom Line: it appears that no single agent is likely to prevent prostate cancer. My advice is that men should not take antioxidant supplements in hopes of preventing prostate cancer.

 

For men over age 50 who are going to have a PSA test for prostate cancer, ejaculation within the past two days may artificially raise PSA levels. Men should be aware of the time of their last ejaculation and tell their doctors the last time they had an ejaculation in case results are high. Finally, while the digital rectal exam or other aspects of a prostate exam shouldn't interfere with PSA levels, I suggest that blood be drawn before the rectal exam as a precaution.

Long Ring Finger Linked to Prostate Cancer

The UK's Telegraph (7/21, Jamieson) reports that "hospital patients...whose ring finger on the right hand was significantly longer than the index finger were more likely to" develop prostate cancer "than those fingers were roughly same length," South Korean researchers found after looking at 366 men. "Blood tests showed that men whose ring fingers were much longer than their index finger, next to the thumb, had almost double the normal levels of prostate specific antigen." And, "three times as many of these men went on to be diagnosed with prostate cancer."