Prostate Cancer Awareness month: data, prevention | The Boneyard

Prostate Cancer Awareness month: data, prevention

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Just completed participation in the November "Movember" prostate cancer awareness activities. Thought I'd pass along some relevant info to the Boneyarders as the month comes to an end.

DATA: Prostate cancer THE most prevalent cancer in males. 1 in 6 will be diagnosed. 1 in 36 will die.
Only lung cancer will kill more men. Approx 2 million men ALIVE now with diagnosed cancer. About 1/4 million cases will be diagnosed this year. Approx 35,000 will die.

PREVENTION: There seem to be some genetic predisposing factors as well as other risk factors. Nothing exactly definitive. However, on the genetic side, sons of men with prostate cancer prob more likely to be diag...........and on the "other" risk factor side, smokers prob at higher risk.

Though these preventive activities are not definitive (some conflicting studies, etc), it would seem prudent to consider: reducing fat intake, especially animal fats............increasing intake of fruti and vegetables.........drinking green tea............using soy products ......limit "spirits" to one or two per day.....maintain a healthy weight with BMI under 30..........exercise most days.

Got involved with this "Movember" activity (shaving my facial hair to elicit conversation leading to prostate discussion, etc) in support of a recently diagnosed relative. Share this with others if you wish. And, stay well.
 
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Thanx Winlots. Prostate cancer will always get my attention. I am a very, very fortunate prostate cancer survivor; Totally symptomless, PSA 14. 3, Gleason 7 at age 47 when diagnosed; Took the test purely on a whim because it was offered free of charge by the New York Daily News.

The PSA exam is a non-invasive blood test that should be taken annually. Non-invasive might be the incorrect term, but, hopefully, the understanding is clear.
 
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Thanx Winlots. Prostate cancer will always get my attention. I am a very, very fortunate prostate cancer survivor; Totally symptomless, PSA 14. 3, Gleason 7 at age 47 when diagnosed; Took the test purely on a whim because it was offered free of charge by the New York Daily News.

The PSA exam is a non-invasive blood test that should be taken annually. Non-invasive might be the incorrect term, but, hopefully, the understanding is clear.

VAU -- NICE GOING!! . VERY GLAD YOU POSTED THAT NEWS. i HAD MEANT TO ADD A COMMENT ABOUT THE POSSIBLE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING A PSA TEST, EVEN THOUGH THERE DOES SEEM TO BE VIGOROUS AND EVEN HEATED (NOW POLITICALLY-TINGED) DEBATE ABOUT THAT......RELATING EVIDENTLY TO THE NEW "HEALTH CARE INITIATIVES. BUT I LEAN TOWARD THE IMORTANCE OF THAT TEST......PLEASED THAT IT WORKED OUT SO WELL FOR YOU. STAY WELL.
 

Icebear

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Win, if you haven't heard there is now increasing skepticism about getting PSA tests. LINK It may be questionable how long insurance companies will cover it as a preventive action. Sadly, this new confusion may well cost some folks their lives if they go undiagnosed.
 
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Yes, hanks, ICE -- that was the "politically-tinged" debate (even getting into the "death panels" arena) i referenced in my response to VAU. As noted in same, I do lean toward your conclusion that lives might be lost if people forego this PSA exam. Stay well.
 
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The PSA (score) is of more importance when it changes (goes up). If you get routine blood tests, it's smart to include it, even if you're young (30's), because it gives a baseline to compare future readings. That still wouldn't prove you have cancer, but it's a good tool that MAY warn you before it worsens (many years later).

I think something like 95%+ men will (eventually) develop Prostate Cancer if they live long enough. Since it's (usually) a very slow growing cancer, it can be better to leave it (& just watch it) if it's discovered when you're quite old, because it can take 15-20 more years to kill you. :rolleyes:

One (interesting & semi-controversial? :eek: :)) thing that certain Docs & researchers have talked about in regard to Prostate vs Breast cancer... is the difference in the media & social science difference (of men vs women).

Women tend to be more social(ly interactive), so you've seen this huge public Breast Cancer awareness program arise over the past decades. It's raised TONS of money (research), and educated women to the benefits of early detection. And both have helped lower the risk of Breast cancer.

But men don't have that (social) mindset; we tend to be more stoic & independent... less confessional & public. Men tend to see disease & medicine as a personal/private thing, and (so) generally eschew that kinda (public media) thing. (the ribbons & public fundraisers, etc) Which is why there's a huge dichotomy in public awareness & research dollars between the two diseases.

Researchers have gotten so much money (in recent years) for breast cancer, it's now often wasted on duplicate or plain stupid studies & things (according to many insiders). Ironically, it would be much better (efficiently & productively) spent on other forms of cancer, since many have similar processes. So, for example, a breakthrough (discovering some new genetic or cellular mechanism) in prostate cancer, might open insights into other cancers (like Breast cancer), leading to a cure (sooner). But the money isn't going to (the un-sexy prostate or other cancer types of research & studies). The (flood of) money is being poorly allocated.
 

Icebear

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Well said, Jack.
 

MilfordHusky

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As a 5-year survivor whose father died from prostate cancer, I agree about getting tested--both PSA and DRE. Neither is fun, nor is the biopsy. As noted, the PSA has both false positives and false negatives. Additionally, the treatment can be worse than the disease. Brachytherapy (seeding) now seems to be as effective as surgical removal with fewer side affects. Pat Walsh's nerve-sparing technique at Hopkins was a breakthrough, as was surgery by DaVinci Robot. However, the premise behind cancer surgery does not seem to apply here. The standard approach is to remove the tumor (in this case, the prostate) and surrounding tissue. The problem is that all of the tissue surrounding the prostate is needed for multiple bodily functions. Surgery, brachytherapy, Radiation (including Cyberknife), cryosurgery, hormones, and watchful waiting are among the treatments. Do your research on this. If anyone wants more info, feel free to IM me. Some cases are very serious and require strong treatment; for many, particularly for men over 70 or so, watchful waiting may be best. All guys 50 and over should get checked. If you have a family history of the disease or are African American, make that 40 and over.
 
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Milford, if you have not covered all of the bases, you have, at worst, hit a standup triple. Good Job!
 
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MILFORD and VAU -- looked like an inside-the-park homer from these bleacher seats ;). Have learned to expect nothing less from Milford.

Given my professional orientation (have done alot of treatment, mostly in the mental health arena, but my post-doc fellowship and my career emphasis were in prevention) , I kept my focus on prevention rather than treatment when initiating this thread. Obviously, the additions of news on treatment options are important and fundamental enhancements to what has been posted here.

Haven't been very involved in the "new" Boneyard site. For those who want to follow up on your offer of additional info via "IM," is that avenue the same as the old "private message" (I think that's what it was called on the original Yard site)? And, how does one initiate an "IM" on this new forum??

Have had a very good feeling over the months about each of you, and I'm very pleased with your wonderful news on the health front. Here is an early "Merry Christmas" wish to each of you. Stay well.
 
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