Prostate cancer testing: has the bubble burst?

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Two new studies are bursting the bubble about the value of screening men for prostate cancer.
from www.shutterstock.com

Simon Chapman, University of Sydney

In 2010, I wrote a free book on prostate cancer testing with two colleagues, Alex Barratt (an epidemiologist) and Martin Stockler (a clinical oncologist), Let sleeping dogs lie? What men should know before getting tested for prostate cancer. It has been downloaded just short of 38,000 times, the highest of any item in Sydney University’s open access repository.

Clearly, there is understandably immense concern about prostate cancer. In 2014, 3,102 Australian men died from the disease, making it the second leading cause of cancer death in males after lung cancer (4,947 deaths). Read more …

Brett Montgomery, University of Western Australia

Three prime ministers and nearly three years ago, “first bloke” Tim Mathieson caused a brouhaha with his advice on prostate cancer screening:

We can get a blood test for it, but the digital examination is the only true way to get a correct reading on your prostate, so make sure you go and do that, and perhaps look for a small Asian female doctor is probably the best way.

It was the “small Asian female” part of this statement that attracted criticism, but what of the rest of his advice?

kocakayaali/Shutterstock

It correctly identifies the two common ways GPs screen for prostate cancer: a blood test (for a protein called prostate-specific antigen, or PSA) and the digital rectal examination, in which a doctor feels the prostate gland by inserting a gloved finger (“digit”) into a man’s rectum.

But rectal examination is less accurate than the PSA blood test, missing more cancer and causing more false alarm. Read more …

Penile Vibration Therapy is now available in many countries.  For more details on advances in erectile technology see here.

 

Have you any experience with such therapies? We could love to hear from you.

Information on some prostate cancer treatments is readily available, but for 2015 there is new book on ten treatments that your doctor may not have told you about.  Right up to date, it is written by a prostate cancer patient who searched four continents to find a cure.  In 2013 the writer underwent Proton Beam Therapy in South Korea.

Written by a layman for laymen, it nevertheless comes with recommendations from specialists and is highly rated on Amazon. This book has been three times the best seller in the urology category.

As well as the authors own story and analysis of treatments, the latest diagnostic tests are discussed, as well as lots of questions you can ask your doctor.

Did your doctor tell you about these prostate cancer treatments?

Are PSA tests not worth the risk in checking for prostate cancer?  is it worth getting a psa test or not? Until recently this was a no brainer. Every man over the age of 50 was strongly encouraged to get a psa test in case there was a high psa count or there was a rapid increase in psa. Recently there has been a change in thinking now that the numbers have been crunched.

Read more …

Why do doctors keep silent about their own prostate cancer testing decisions?

By Simon Chapman, University of Sydney

DoctorsAcross 38 years in tobacco control, I have been asked countless times in media interviews if I ever smoked. It’s often an early question. I always unhesitatingly explain that I did: I stopped in my mid 20s. The tone of the interview immediately relaxes because the sub-text of the question is about authenticity. If this person has never smoked, what would he really know about quitting? If I chose to stammer something about it being private or “not the point here”, most would become preoccupied with my evasiveness. Fudging and equivocal replies tend to suggest disingenuousness or lack of personal conviction aboutthe information being given. Read more …

Barry is thankful for Prostate Cancer Survival. Here is his story:

It began for mPsalm 91v2e with going for a routine blood test about a year ago. This showed my PSA level to be somewhat high at 13.6. I was advised to have a biopsy, the results of which showed that of the nine samples taken three had cancer growths. The Gleason score was 8 out of 10, which is somewhat aggressive. This was quite a shock to my wife and me. Read more …

Four reasons I won’t have a prostate cancer blood test

By Ian Haines, Monash University

psa blood test or notCancer Council Australia and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia yesterday released new draft guidelines to help GPs counsel men who ask about prostate cancer tests. They advise GPs to explain the pros and cons of testing and, if the man wants to proceed, to give him a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test every two years between the ages of 50 to 69. Read more …

Confused Man on Prostate Cancer FactsProstate cancer facts are not so hard to talk about.  At least, not for the doctor or urologist explaining it to you. For us lesser mortals, it is one thing to vaguely understand it in theory but it is quite something else when it is possible to see a well crafted visual guide of the prostate cancer facts. See here.

This is highly recommended viewing for those who just want to know more as well as for those who know they have prostate cancer and want to understand prostate cancer facts better.

Brought to you by aboutprostates.com

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free flow life after turp surgery1.30am. and I’m up in the  chill of  winter’s  wee small hours.  My route is well worn, a pathway  from the bedroom to the toilet,  where I  peed  just a couple of  hours ago.    And then, back  to the warmth of my bed. Read more …