Prostate Cancer Screening Controversy Continues

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The debate continues over Prostate Cancer Screening tests and the new opinion is that screening with the PSA ( prostate specific antigen) may prevent 17,000 advanced cases yearly.

The problem with screening is how to proceed going forward if cancer is detected.

Watchful waiting or invasive treatments which may cause serious side effects are often the choice.

Many times the cancer is slow growing and would never had been detected as there are often no symptoms.

Last year, an influential organization called the U.S. Services Preventive Task Force (USPSTF) recommended against prostate cancer screening altogether, saying its harms outweigh its benefits.

Recent studies on the topic have also had conflicting results, with some suggesting prostate cancer screening saves lives, and others finding no benefit.

The researchers say their new findings should be taken into consideration when creating PSA screening recommendations.

“There are trade-offs associated with the PSA test, and many factors influence the disease outcome,” said study researcher Dr. Edward Messing, chairman of urology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “And yet our data are very clear: not doing the PSA test will result in many men presenting with far more advanced prostate cancer.”

Routine PSA Tests For Men Rejected By Expert Panel

The definitive answer is in on regular PSA screening for men.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggests that the prostate-specific antigen test is not providing ample benefit and the risks of population-wide screening outweigh the benefits.

The test, which measures a protein in the blood, does not diagnose cancer. It looks for a tell-tale sign that cancer may be present. (The other commonly used technique, a DRE, or digital rectal exam, is used by doctors to feel for prostate abnormalities that have already become palpable.) A positive test usually kicks off a series of events such as a confirming biopsy, and then treatments including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and hormone deprivation.
Because the test often results in false positives, and because it can’t tell how aggressive or benign a cancer may be, doctors and patients are often in the dark about whether the tumor requires treatment. So, out of caution, most men with positive PSA tests are biopsied and, if cancer is found, treated.
“Thus,” the task force stated, “many men are being subjected to the harms of treatment of prostate cancer that will never become symptomatic. PSA-based screening for prostate cancer results in considerable overtreatment and its associated harms.”

This decision, however, is met with controversy and you should always consult with your physician.

All cases are different and mitigating circumstances come into play with the health of each individual.

Treatment For Prostate Cancer Without Side Effects?

A London study has found that that ultrasound used to destroy prostate cancer does so without side affects or residual damage to surrounding tissue.

The experimental procedure called High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (Hifu) to destroy tumours in what they called the “male lumpectomy”.

According to researchers;

None of the 41 men had incontinence, and only 10% had impotence, according to results in the journal Lancet Oncology.
Dr Hashim Ahmed of University College London Hospital said: “Our results are very encouraging.
“We’re optimistic that men diagnosed with prostate cancer may soon be able to undergo a day case surgical procedure, which can be safely repeated once or twice, to treat their condition with very few side effects.
“That could mean a significant improvement in their quality of life.”
The doctors used high resolution MRI scans of the men’s prostates to map the precise location of the tumours.

In the news recently Warren Buffet has announced that he has stage 1 prostate cancer and will undergo surgery with radiation.

An Aspirin A Day To Keep The Cancer Away

Aspirin therapy may be effective in preventing and even treating some cancers.

This is very promising news considering the high cost of medical care and the relatively inexpensive and highly accessible nature of aspirin.

There are drawbacks to using aspirin such as gastrointestinal bleeding, however these usally mild symptoms seemed to dissipate over time.

More studies need to be done, however the news is promising.

A new study finds that people who took a low-dose aspirin daily for at least three years were 25 percent less likely to develop cancer than people who didn’t take it.

Aspirin also reduced the risk of death from cancer by nearly 40 percent after five years, the researchers said.

The reduced risk of death may be due in part to a decrease in cancer’s ability to spread to other organs. In a second study, researchers found a daily dose of aspirin led to a 36 percent reduction in the risk of being diagnosed with cancer that spread to other organs.

Restricting Calories May Help Control Asthma

Calorie restriction may aid in controlling asthma and other diseases, as well.

Calorie restriction has been used for over a century to treat a variety of illnesses as well as to improve overall health and extend lifespan.

There is controversy over the efficacy of such practice, however, there are those who swear by it’s benefits.

Scientists are exploring caloric restriction as a way to treat a host of conditions — including asthma, cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and spinal cord injury — and so far, findings suggest a benefit. In addition, caloric restriction may have a role in preventing Alzheimer’s disease and cancer, said Mark Mattson, a neuroscientist at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore.

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