Prostate Cancer


Hear about the latest on prostate cancer as we give you a collection of medical news, information and resources on prostate cancer from early detection, diagnosis, prevention, treatment and therapies …

World’s Most Comprehensive Prostate Cancer Testing Guidelines Released for Public Consultation at 2014 World Cancer Congress
Published: 03 December 2014

2014 World Cancer Congress: Melbourne Australia. Leading cancer authorities in Australia released the worlds robust set of clinical practice guidelines for maximizing the benefits and reducing the harms associated with the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test for prostate cancer; the second most common male cancer worldwide. These new draft guidelines are expected to inform international opinion and clinical practice regarding PSA Testing.

Professor Mary Gospodarowicz, President of the Union of International Cancer Control (UICC) welcomes the draft guidelines, saying: “The current PSA test is not accurate enough for population screening, yet it remains in widespread use. We need to focus on helping both patients and healthcare professionals understand the risks and benefits of this test to empower them to make more informed choices around screening. We applaud the Australian cancer authorities for taking the lead in developing the strongest set of clinical guidelines seen to date in prostate cancer; developed through a truly multisectoral approach. We expect the final recommendations of this review to clear the current confusions that exist around PSA testing.”

The new draft guidelines address risk/benefit concern; it was developed under the auspices of Cancer Council Australia’s guidelines unit with funding from Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA). The guide was released for public consultation via a globally-accessible wiki platform, the draft guidelines have been developed by a broad-based Australian Expert Advisory Panel, which included general practitioners, public health experts, urologists, pathologists, patient support groups and allied health professionals. This is the first time anywhere in the world that an expert advisory panel with all key stakeholders and varying perspectives has come together for such a systematic evidence-based review in this area of men’s health.

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Prostate Cancer Risk Reduced by Having Sex with more than 20 Women
Published: 29 October 2014

New research published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology shows that men who have sex with more than 20 women during the course of their lifetime have a 28% lower risk; and are 19% less likely to develop the most aggressive form of prostate cancer compared to those who had only one female sexual partner.

Researchers said that it is possible that having many female sexual partners results in a higher frequency of ejaculations, whose protective effect against prostate cancer has been previously observed in cohort studies. Large numbers of ejaculations may reduce the concentration of cancer-causing substances in prostatic fluid or lowering the production of intraluminal crystalloids.

But for homosexuals, they found that having more than 20 male partners doubled the risk of prostate cancer and made an aggressive cancer five times compared to those who have had only one male partner. This increased risk for homosexual men is that there is a heightened risk of picking up a sexually transmitted disease and anal intercourse produces physical trauma to the prostate.

The research found that men, who had never had sexual intercourse, were twice as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. The study found that men with prostate cancer were twice as likely to have a relative with cancer, but there is a possible link with their number of sexual partners. But the lead researcher said that, despite the results, she did not see a need for public health authorities to encourage men to have sex with as many women as possible.

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Steve Hocking gets behind Big Aussie Barbecue to support Prostate Cancer Fund Raising
Published: 26 September 2014

Champion Geelong Footballer and Cats Commercial Operation Manager, Steve Hocking gets behind “Big Aussie Barbie” to raise funds and awareness for Prostate Cancer. Steve is encouraging everyone to get trackside at Beckley Park for a night of fun, fundraising against the fight of prostate cancer and racing action.

“I’m really happy to be involved with the Big Aussie Barbie, bloke’s need to know how serious Prostate Cancer is and how easy it can be prevented by getting checked. It’s not a lot of fun but definitely worth it,” Steve explains.

Prostate Cancer is the number one diagnosed cancer in Australian men. The chance of developing it increases with age. If detected early, prostate cancer has one of the highest survival rates after diagnosis.
The Big Aussie Barbie helps to raise awareness for prostate cancer.

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Tomato-rich Diet Reduces Prostate Cancer Risk
Published: 26 August 2014

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide. A recent study has revealed that eating a tomato-rich diet could reduce prostate cancer risk by almost one fifth. Researchers from the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge and Oxford examined the diets and lifestyles of men, aged between 50 and 69 with and without the disease. They developed a prostate cancer ‘dietary index’, comprising of dietary components that have been linked to prostate cancer.

They found that men who consumed more than 10 portions of tomatoes each week – such as tomato juice and baked beans – saw an 18% reduction in risk. Men with optimal intake of the three components – selenium, calcium and foods rich in lycopene – were found to have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer.

Their findings suggest that tomatoes may be important in prostate cancer prevention. Men who ate more than 10 servings of tomato based products per week, compared to those who ate less, saw their chances of having prostate cancer development reduced by 18%. The risk reduction figure for men who ate five or more portions of fruit or vegetables, compared to those who ate less than two and a half portions, was 24%.

Even though they found tomatoes and tomato products did reduces risk, they still advise men to have a variety of fruits and vegetables in their diet to stay healthy and active and maintain an ideal weight.

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Restoring Intimacy after Prostate Cancer
Published: 31 July 2014

Prostate cancer is the most dreaded disease by men but most men diagnosed with the disease survived it. Most men treated for prostate cancer suffer a disruption in their libido or sexual function or both that may be temporary or may be long lasting. It is then imperative for couple to communicate openly to be prepared for possible side effects of the treatment. This will enable them to adjust to the physical and emotional impact on their relationship.

The most common treatments for early-stage prostate cancer are: Surgery to remove the prostate gland, radiation from an external beam, or radioactive seed implants. Surgery is most likely to cause long-lasting erectile dysfunction because nerves responsible for an erection are very close to the prostate gland. Surgery cuts the nerve and radiation damages it. Erectile dysfunction and sexual intimacy issues can be challenging to couples.

Tips for Patients and their Partners
Dr. Watter and Morris Psychological Group offer advice to couples embarking on the journey.

Address the challenges as a couple: Loss of intimacy is both the patient and the partner’s problem. Partner must accept that things may not be the same as before, both must be willing to explore new intimacy options.

Be persistent – don’t expect too much too soon, not every option will work for the couple. Erectile dysfunction solution like medication may not work when nerves have been cut.

Sexual satisfaction is possible without an erection. Orgasm is possible even without erection. Emotional and physical intimacy can be maintained even without orgasm.

Keep the lines of communication open especially during difficult time. Most men can lead long fulfilling lives after prostate cancer. As long as couples are honest about their needs, they still can have satisfying intimate relationships.

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Prostate cancer risk linked with vasectomies

Published: 16 July 2014

A new observational study suggests men who undergo a vasectomy may have an increased risk of advanced or lethal prostate cancer. For over 24 years researchers tracked nearly 50,000 men and found those who had vasectomy were about 20 percent more likely to be diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer than those do not had the procedure.

No solid associations were established on the past studies linking vasectomies with prostate cancer because of confounding factors in the research. In the new study they found that 16 men in every 1,000 developed prostate cancer. About one in four reported having had a vasectomy. The result showed the risk of advance prostate cancer increased by 20 percent on men who underwent vasectomy compared to those who hadn’t. The researchers also said that the risk of dying from prostate cancer increased by 19 percent.

According to the researchers more work must be done before any strong links can be drawn between prostate cancer risk and vasectomies. Men should talk to their doctors about regular prostate specific antigen screening as they age.

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In Metastatic Prostate Cancer, Drug Combination extends Survival by More than a Year
Published: 4 June 2014

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Eastern Co-operative Oncology Group reported that men with newly diagnosed metastatic, hormone-sensitive prostate cancer lived more than a year longer when they received a chemotherapy drug as initial treatment instead of waiting for the disease to become resistant to hormone-blockers.

Christopher J. Sweeney, M.B.B.S, of Dana-Farber’s Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology. Presented the results of the trial at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago. The new trial tested Dr. Sweeney’s hypothesis that immediately hitting the cancer with chemotherapy in addition to hormone treatment would impair the tumor cells’ ability to repair damage, delaying the development of resistance. The prolongation in survival seen in the prostate cancer patients participating in Dr. Sweeney’s study is very impressive, dramatically longer than the typical 2-6 month prolongation typically observed in successful studies of other metastatic adult solid tumors.

The men receiving docetaxel had an average of 32.7 months before the cancer progressed by worsening scan results or symptoms, compared to 19.8 months for hormone therapy alone. The addition of docetaxel not only lengthened survival but delayed disease progression as measured by an increase in prostate-specific antigen (PSA), the appearance of new metastases, or worsening symptoms. Dr. Sweeney said that this study shows that early chemotherapy increases the chances that certain patients with metastatic prostate cancer have a longer time without symptoms from cancer, and also live longer.

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The Creator of the PSA Test Publicly Claims It’s Overdone
Published: 4 June 2014

The standard PSA (prostate specific antigen) test was approved by the FDA in 1994. Millions of men are screened via blood test for the PSA antigen which is created by the prostate gland. The creator of PSA, Richard J. Ablin publicly claims that PSA test was overdone, usually leads to overdiagnosis and may harm more than it helps.
“As I’ve been trying to make clear for many years now, PSA testing can’t detect prostate cancer and, more important, it can’t distinguish between the two types of prostate cancer — the one that will kill you and the one that won’t.” said Ablin

Ablin explains that PSA test merely measures the amount of PSA. Elevated levels of PSA do not necessarily indicate prostate cancer. Because common over the counter medication like Ibuprofen, benign prostate enlargement and infections can also elevate PSA levels.

Gina Kolata of the New York Times cited two studies published in the March 2009 edition of the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine that concluded PSA screening increased mortality.

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Dogs Detect Prostate Cancer VOCs in Urine
Published: 4 June 2014

ORLANDO, FL – Specially trained dogs, German shepherds accurately detected specific prostate cancer volatile organic compounds in urine samples from patients with varying stages of disease and risk levels in a controlled study. The combined performance of the dogs trained by a dedicated research team using hundreds of urine samples over several months – resulted in 98.1% accuracy, 99.2% sensitivity, and 97.1% specificity.

Interest in tapping dog’s potential in medicine has been on the rise. Dogs have a highly sensitive olfactory system, with roughly 200 million olfactory cells in their noses, compared with about 5 million for humans. Research has shown that dogs are capable of detecting epileptic seizure onset, and breast and lung malignancies through the detection of VOCs. In 2010, a small study of 33 patients suggested that dogs could detect prostate cancer VOCs in urine; the current study, in a much larger cohort, confirms those findings.

A promising approach to cancer detection through the analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in urine is increasing and based on the findings of the current study it appears that a rigorously trained canine olfactory system can recognize prostate cancer VOCs, and thus represents a “real clinical opportunity” to reduce unnecessary biopsies and identify patients at high risk for prostate cancer.

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