Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Be warned on this crucial fact about PSA

"PSA testing is not worth it because it only saves 1 in 1000 men!"
Well I'm one of those 1 in a 1,000! I'm happy the other 999 escaped, but let me tell you, it feels pretty good to be alive.

A very good article from Healthline, who I have every respect for, BUT even they miss out this crucial fact, and one that saved my life.........
It's not how high your PSA is that gives the biggest clue as to you possibly having Prostate Cancer. It's the change of growth over time. Example: If you go to the doctor and have a PSA test resulting in a 1.9, that's within normal limits. If you have a test a year later which is 4.5, so is that.
BUT ALARM BELLS SHOULD RING! Your PSA has doubled in just a year! As mine had! You need to see a specialist and fast!

Now if your PSA had been 12.5 and the following year 12.7, both outside the limits, your probably OK.

So read this, BUT remember the above.
They look like glowing jade necklaces of such unearthly brilliance they could be a Ming emperor’s. But if Dr. Gerardo Fernandez is right, the green fluorescent images of prostate cells could be even more valuable, at least to the thousands of men every year who unnecessarily undergo aggressive treatment for prostate cancer.
That’s because the glimmering images promise to show which prostate cancers are destined to remain harmless for the rest of a man’s life, and thus might spare many patients treatment that can cause impotence and incontinence.
There’s now no reliable way to tell a lethal prostate cancer from one that’s so slow-growing it can safely be left alone: the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test can’t, and neither can looking at the cancer cells under a microscope. But researchers are developing genetic tests, imaging tests, and algorithms like those in face-recognition software in an effort to reduce the 1 million US men a year who have prostate biopsies and, even more important, reduce the thousands who get treatment they don’t need.
“The field is on fire,” said Dr. Laurence Klotz, of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto, whose research has shown that many men diagnosed with prostate cancer can safely choose active surveillance — monitoring to make sure their cancer isn’t spreading — rather than treatment. “There are a whole slew of blood and urine tests already available or on the way that can take a guy whose PSA is mildly elevated and tell him he doesn’t need a biopsy. How much could we drive down overdiagnosis? A lot.”
But both sides agree on two things. First, too many men with an elevated PSA have a biopsy that turns up no cancer. That’s a biopsy — usually done by inserting a thin, 12-gauge needle through the rectum, which can cause infection and other harmful consequences — that could have been avoided. Second, too many men are needlessly treated for a cancer.
“This has been a long and chronic problem, in that we have very imperfect tools for cancer detection,” said Dr. Clare Tempany, a prostate cancer specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “Ever since PSA came into disrepute, everyone woke up and said, we have to be smarter about this.”
Already a number of beyond-PSA tools let more and more men opt out of biopsy after an elevated PSA reading, which many physicians consider 4 or higher. One-quarter to one-third of men with a PSA of 4 to 10 who have a biopsy will turn out to have cancer, and most of those are harmless.
For instance, a blood test called the Prostate Health Index measures several forms of PSA, not the one kind measured by the standard PSA test; it reduces unnecessary biopsies by about 36 percent, but it misses 2.5 percent of dangerous prostate cancers. The 4K Score, also based on a blood test, “is better than PSA at picking up aggressive cancers,” said urological surgeon Dr. David Penson of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. It can reduce unnecessary biopsies by as much as 60 percent, but misses nearly 5 percent of serious cancers.
That has spurred researchers around the world to try to do better, with many labs developing advanced imaging as a way to reduce unnecessary prostate biopsies following an elevated PSA. One, called multiparametric MRI, can reveal the size and density of a prostate cancer, and how well-connected it is to the blood supply. Multiparametric MRI reduced unnecessary biopsies by 70 percent, Dutch researchers reported at a European urology meeting in March, but was as good as biopsy at not missing aggressive cancers.


Next week’s annual meeting of the American Urological Association will feature dozens of studies on advanced MRI. Although many confirm the results of the Dutch study, others are less encouraging. One, for instance, finds that advanced MRI missed the main cancer in 63 percent of cases. But other studies have found fewer misses and either larger or smaller reductions in unnecessary biopsies, leaving many physicians unsure whether to trust it.
“To do an MRI [rather than a biopsy] on the first pass” after an elevated PSA “is an area of active investigation,” Dr. Anthony D’Amico of Brigham and Women’s said diplomatically.
Physicians are therefore eagerly awaiting results from a large clinical trial of MRI called PRECISE. Led by Klotz and launched last year, it aims to test whether MRI is good enough at detecting dangerous cancers, and distinguishing them from harmless ones, to reduce the need for biopsies. From early data, Klotz estimates that it could “allow 250,000 men per year in the US and Canada to avoid unnecessary biopsies and the associated complications including hospitalization, without compromising our ability to identify clinically significant cancers.”
Besides being far from perfect, however, multiparametric MRI costs $1,000 to $2,000. That has made researchers investigate other kinds of imaging that, they hope, will be more precise and possibly cheaper. “There are promising indications that PET and other imaging might do better,” said D’Amico.
PET scans that detect prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA), a protein that is prevalent on prostate cancer cells but rare in healthy ones, has shown promise in predicting whether the cancer will spread; a prostate cancer that stays in that gland is almost never dangerous, let alone fatal. Studies are underway to identify which radioactive “markers” will best let PET scans detect PMSA.
“The issue is how precise the scans can be, but the hope is that aggressive cancer cells will take up the markers more than indolent cancer cells,” said Dr. Jeffrey Karnes, a prostate cancer specialist at the Mayo Clinic.
No genetic tests on the market have been shown to identify which men with a high PSA can skip biopsy, but one that Dr. Brian Helfand of NorthShore University HealthSystem and his colleagues are developing — based on more than 100 DNA variants — is showing promise. It seems to pick out the one-third of patients who are most likely to have aggressive prostate cancer, meaning other men can opt out of biopsy.
One 64-year-old patient had a PSA of 4.6, considered the low end of elevated and one that leads many physicians to recommend biopsy, but a genetic risk score 40 percent below the average, Helfand said: “Other urologists he saw were advocating a repeat biopsy, but I recommended we hold off,” which the man did.
At the AUA meeting, European researchers will describe a combination of six biomarkers — proteins in the blood — that reduced unneeded prostate biopsies in men with PSAs of 2 to 10. Of 474 men in the study, 141 of 236 negative biopsies could have been avoided, the researchers will report, which is “significantly more accurate than [PSA] alone in determining the absence of prostate cancer.” The biomarker approach could halve the number of unnecessary prostate biopsies, they estimate.
The second problem both sides in the PSA wars want to solve is that too many men, after a biopsy suggests a dangerous prostate cancer, undergo treatment that they actually didn’t need (because the cancer was in fact harmless). Today’s system of analyzing biopsies can’t reliably tell threatening cancers from harmless ones.

Gleason scale
Gleason scores, developed in the 1960s, classify prostate cells by their appearance.

Called the Gleason score, it is a 2-to-10 grading system developed in the 1960s based on a pathologist’s eyeballing the stained, biopsied cells. Those that are regularly shaped and not too packed are unlikely to be a significant cancer, and are graded 3 or lower. Those that are irregularly shaped, angular, elongated, and tightly packed are more likely to be a significant cancer. “A 3 has zero ability to metastasize and is not life-threatening, ever,” Klotz said. “But a 4 is aggressive.”
The challenge comes when a man has mostly 3 but some 4, which produces a score called 3 + 4. These are the men most likely to undergo surgery or radiation or both for a cancer that would never have harmed them.
One hope is that genetic tests can tell dangerous prostate cancers from harmless ones. At least three already in use test for the presence — in ground-up slurries of biopsied cells — of genes linked to aggressive, metastatic cancer.
They “can show if a patient in this gray zone [a score of 3 + 4] has a biologically less aggressive cancer than other men with that,” said urologist Dr. Stacy Loeb of NYU Langone Medical Center. “What to do with 3 + 4 is the most controversial call, so a genomic test can be a tiebreaker.” In a study she will present at the urology meeting, one of the tests, called Decipher, could change minds — assuring a man who was leaning toward treatment that he would be fine with active surveillance, and vice versa — about one-fifth of the time.
But the genetic tests are pricey, around $3,000 or $4,000, and not necessarily covered by insurance. More problematic, they do not give a yes/no answer to whether cancer cells are harmless. Instead, they indicate whether a man has a very low, low, intermediate, or high risk of harboring an aggressive, metastatic cancer.
“The problem is, genetic tests don’t necessarily shift the risk much,” said Mayo’s Karnes. “A man might have a 30 percent risk of an aggressive cancer, before a genetic test, and the test might shift that to 35 percent. What you want is a test that tells you the risk is more like 0 percent or 100 percent.”
Even short of perfection, however, genetic tests are offering men reassurance that they can choose active surveillance rather than treatment. Duane Foulkes, 70, recently sold the manufacturing business he founded near Madison, Wis., when, in late 2015, his PSA test came back over 5. It rose to above 9 three months later, and he had a biopsy at Mayo. His Gleason score of 6 “concerned me at first,” Foulkes said.
But a genetic test indicated that he had at most “a slow-growing, non-aggressive type of cancer,” Foulkes said, giving him confidence to choose active surveillance.
Fernandez’s jade necklaces might do even better. They are prostate cells whose telltale molecules have been tagged with a fluorescent marker that shows up in images of prostate cells taken under a robotic microscope. In the diagnostic system called Precise MD, Fernandez and his colleagues at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York have identified five molecules, including proteins produced by malignant cells but not healthy ones, that promise to tell harmful prostate cancer cells from benign ones.
The researchers started with about 10,000 features, Fernandez said, and then “used artificial intelligence [AI] to whittle that down to the 30 best.” To those 30 they added a couple dozen features that show up on imaging and 5 to 10 variables such as a man’s PSA level and age. “Then the AI goes through thousands of permutations and combinations to put together those that best predict the outcome,” he said, and the resulting algorithm calculates the likelihood of a harmful cancer.
Although Precise MD is still being tested, early results suggest it is significantly better at predicting aggressive cancer than Gleason scores. If more extensive testing confirms that, “we’ll be able to tell men, you’re a good candidate for active surveillance or not,” Fernandez said. “This can really alter the course of treatment.”
Contact the Author

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Milk and prostate cancer

Does consuming milk increase the risk getting prostate cancer?


A great article from Healthline...


Research has shown that men who consume a lot of milk are more 
likely to develop prostate cancer than men who don’t eat calcium-heavy 
diets. An older study published in 1998 found evidence that men who 
drank more than two glasses of milk a day were at higher risk of advanced 
prostate cancer than men who did not consume that much milk. Whole milk
seems to cause the highest increase in risk, although studies have also found
a greater risk associated with low-fat milk.
Researchers have suggested the strong associations between milk 
intake and prostate cancer could be due to milk’s fat, calcium, and 
hormone levels. Other theories suggest the link could be caused by: 
  • the negative impact high-calcium foods have on vitamin D balance
  • the increase in serum insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) concentrations caused by dairy
  • the effect of dairy on testosterone levels 
Scientists have also looked at the impact of dairy on prostate cancer progression. According to a 2012 study, men with prostate cancer who drank whole milk had a greater risk of lethal prostate cancer. The researchers, though, did not find this association to be true of other dairy or milk products.
A newer study from 2016 looked at the impact of milk and dairy products on health and determined that the evidence of a correlation between prostate cancer and milk is inconclusive. More research is needed to confirm this relationship, but if you’re already at risk for prostate cancer, talk to your doctor about whether you may benefit from skipping milk.

Other dairy products 

Studies on high calcium intake and prostate cancer seems to focus mostly on milk, but other dairy products have also been seen to increase risk. Those foods include ice cream and hard cheese, like American and cheddar cheeses. Research is scarce on how yogurt, cream, butter, and other dairy-based products affect prostate cancer risk.

What are other risk factors for prostate cancer?

There are five common risks factors for prostate cancer:
  • age
  • race and ethnicity
  • geography
  • family history
  • genetic changes


A man’s risk of getting prostate cancer rises after age 50, with about 6 in 10 cases found in men over 65 years old.

Race and ethnicity

Prostate cancer happens more often in African-American and Afro-Caribbean men than men of other races. According to the American Cancer Society, black men are also more than twice as likely to die from prostate cancer than white men. Prostate cancer rates are lower in Asian and Hispanic men. Scientists don’t have a clear answer for these ethic and racial differences.


The highest rates of prostate cancer are seen in North America, northwestern Europe, Australia, and the Caribbean. The disease is less common in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. Although the reasons are unclear, the American Cancer Society theorizes the gap in rates may exist due to differences in lifestyle and diet, and more intensive cancer screening.

Prostate cancer mortality rates around the world

Although incidence of prostate cancer is lower in Central and South America than in other areas, mortality rates are higher in those parts of the world than in other low-incidence countries. 

Family history

Though most men who have prostate cancer do not have a family history of the disease, there may be an inherited or genetic factor for why prostate cancer runs in some families. Having a close relative, like a brother or father, with prostate cancer increases your risk for also developing the disease. 

Gene changes

Prostate cancer can be caused by certain changes to DNA structure. These gene mutations can be hereditary or happen during a person’s lifetime. Lynch syndrome, as well as changes to the BRCA2 gene, can increase the risk of prostate cancer in men. 

Additional factors

Some other factors have been loosely tied to an increase in prostate cancer risk:
  • red-meat heavy diets
  • obesity
  • smoking
  • exposure to chemicals
  • prostate inflammation
  • vasectomy

What’s the outlook?

Many studies have found a link between milk and prostate cancer rates, so if you can, it may be best to avoid milk or cut down on your intake. Studies are inconclusive, however, and more research is needed to better understand the link.
Survival rates for early-stage prostate cancer are high. According to the latest data available from American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate for prostate cancer (relative to men without the disease) in the local or regional stage is 100 percent. The 5-year relative survival rate for advanced stage 4 cancer is only 28 percent, however. That’s why routine screenings are so important to treating prostate cancer. The earlier you’re able to catch the disease, the sooner you’re able to get treatment and go into remission. 

Are there ways to reduce risk for prostate cancer?

You can’t eliminate your risk of getting prostate cancer, but you can lower it:
  • Change your diet. Add lots of fruits and vegetables to your daily meal plan.
  • Get active and stay fit. Go for walks, workout often, and maintain a healthy weight. 
  • Screen regularly. Regular prostate screenings are important for prevention and early detection. By testing for the disease before you have symptoms, your doctor is more likely to catch prostate cancer in its early stages.
You may also consider eliminating dairy from your diet. Here are some dairy alternatives that you can incorporate into your diet if you want to cut down on your dairy intake:
  • Try rice, oat, soy, coconut, or almond milk to replace cow’s milk.
  • Try vegan cheese, yeast flakes, or crumbled tofu to replace dairy-based cheeses.
  • Choose soy-based yogurts and ice cream instead of products with cow’s milk.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Advanced prostate cancer, more personalized treatment.

Blood test may help create personalised treatments for advanced prostate cancer

A simple blood test could help doctors devise personalised treatments for men with advanced prostate cancer.

The new test, which costs less than £50, can predict which patients are likely to respond to new targeted drugs, and who might be better served by alternative therapies.
It looks for multiple copies of a gene for the androgen receptor, a hormone-sensitive molecule that helps many prostate cancers to grow.
Men with multiple copies of the gene were found to respond much less well to the drugs abiraterone and enzalutamide, both used to treat advanced prostate cancer.
The drugs are given to men whose cancer is no longer responding to traditional hormone therapy and has started to spread.
Lead researcher Dr Gerhardt Attard, from the Centre for Evolution and Cancer at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said: " Abiraterone and enzalutamide are excellent treatments for advanced prostate cancer and some men can take these drugs for years without seeing a return of their cancer.
"But in other men, these drugs do not work well and the disease rapidly returns. Currently, there is no approved test to help doctors choose whether these are the best treatments for an individual.
"We have developed a robust test that can be used in the clinic to pick out which men with advanced prostate cancer are likely to respond to abiraterone and enzalutamide, and which men might need alternative treatments.
"Our method costs less than £50, is quick to provide results, and can be implemented in hospital laboratories across the NHS. We are now looking to assess our test in prospective clinical trials and would hope it can become part of standard patient care."
For the study, published in the journal Annals of Oncology, scientists took blood samples from patients taking part in three different clinical trials.
In the primary trial of 171 patients, men found to have multiple copies of the androgen receptor gene were four times more likely to die than those who had a negative test result.
Men with multiple copies of the gene from a second group of 94 patients responded to abiraterone and enzalutamide for an eight-fold shorter time than those with only one or two copies.
The androgen receptor was already known to play an important role in cancers becoming resistant to the two drugs.
Dr Iain Frame, director of research at Prostate Cancer UK, which part-funded the study, said: " To stop prostate cancer from being a killer, we need to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment.
"This test could be a significant step towards that and we'll be watching its development very closely."
Dr Emma Smith, from Cancer Research UK, which also contributed funding, said: " If further studies confirm this test is reliable, it could also help doctors choose better options for men whose prostate cancer is unlikely to respond to standard treatments."
Each year around 41,000 men in the UK are diagnosed with prostate cancer and 11,000 die from the disease.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Help to Detect Metastasis Risk

Assay Shown to Help Detect Prostate Cancer Patients at Risk of Metastasis
An assay may help to determine those prostate cancer patients at risk of metastasis, a study reports. It works by  identifying a molecular subgroup of primary prostate cancer to detect patients who might have metastatic recurrence following radical prostatectomy.
“An unbiased discovery approach was used to identify a molecular subtype of primary prostate cancer that demonstrated metastatic biology,” Richard Kennedy, vice president and medical director of Almac Group Diagnostics, which developed the assay, said in a news release.
“This approach has created a very robust assay with excellent performance, independent of clinical factors such as Gleason and CAPRA,” added Kennedy, who is also a professor of Medical Oncology at Queen’s University Belfast. “We believe it will play a significant role in aiding clinicians to select the most appropriate therapy regimen for their patients.”
While prognosis for localized prostate cancer patients following radical prostatectomy is very good, evidence has shown that up to 25 percent of patients — dependent upon disease stage and use of population-based PSA screening — will develop metastatic disease within 15 years.
The researchers used a molecular assay to identify a subgroup of prostate cancers with metastatic potential. Patients whose cancer was included in this subgroup had a high risk of recurrence following radical prostatectomy.
They performed an independent assay validation using 322 radical prostatectomy samples. They found that patients who scored positive in the metastatic assay had 62 percent higher risk of having their cancer return after surgery, and a 3.2-fold increased risk of developing metastatic disease.
Next, the researchers tested the potential their assay (called Prostate Cancer Metastatic Assay used in combination with the Cancer of the Prostate Risk Assessment post surgical (CAPRA-S). CAPRA-S is a prognostic model that uses PSA at presentation, age, Gleason score, cancer stage, invasion of the seminal vesicle, lymph node invasion, and surgical margins to predict recurrence, metastasis, and cancer-specific survival after radical prostatectomy.
The combination was superior in identifying patients at an increased risk of biochemical and metastatic recurrence, when compared to either model alone.
“The publication of this manuscript … represents a significant milestone in the assay’s development and with two additional manuscripts being prepared for submission,” said professor Paul Harkin, president and managing director, Almac Diagnostics.
Daniela Semedo (Prostate News) April 2017

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

2017: My alcohol-free year

April 18th today, 108th day without a drug that I'd become accustomed to since the age of 12.

I was a regular drinker, never a drunk, just a guy who liked an occasional beer or glass of wine. But I had been curious for years as to what would happen if I just didn't drink alcohol anymore. What would it do to my mental/physical state? I knew it would save me money, but that wasn't the driver. I wanted to feel how a non-drinker felt.

To be fair, when I turned 65, I started to look at guys older than me who'd been caning the booze for years, and I didn't want to end up like that. My Grandad made it to 99 so I wanted to enjoy the next 34 years!

So how's it going? What difference has it made?

After a few weeks, I felt as though I was emerging from a cloud, a mental haze that I'd been stuck in for decades. But now, after months, I'm beginning to ask myself... Where am I in that cloud? 
Am I near the outer edge yet, or does it carry on getting better and better? Am I yet at the point where I can feel what it's like to be a non-drinker? I really don't know!

My weight loss seemed to have stabilised, lost about a stone and a half, which I'm pleased with.

I dream a lot more, and they're a lot clearer, luckily no nightmares, just pleasant and weird stuff!

My memory recall has improved for sure, and I find learning new stuff a lot easier.

Probably the best bit, I don't think about it as often, the habit has worn off, and yes, it was a 'habit', developed over years.

I sleep so deeply now that I find waking up much harder, but once I'm there, the day feels great.

Will I ever drink alcohol again? Still not sure on that one! I'll finish this year off, and then at least I'll know what it's like to be a 'non-drinker', and if that's a place I want to stay.

If you're thinking of giving up alcohol, for a month, a year or maybe for good, here's a great support site 

But first read, because until you truly want to give up, it will not be possible. 

Monday, 17 April 2017

PSA making a comeback? It should have never been downplayed!

David Mullen is a textbook case of a potentially life-saving medical test done badly.
Barely a blip of ill-health interrupted Mr Mullen's first 62 years before his GP suggested he start having yearly PSA tests, the blood test that measures levels of the prostate-specific antigen, an early warning marker for prostate cancer.
His PSA was low (3ng/mL) so he carried on having the yearly test. He didn't ask and he wasn't told his results until a cardiologist called him "with great alarm", Mr Mullen said. His PSA had shot up to 14.7ng/mL.
"I was stunned," Mr Mullen said. "It was such a rapid increase over only three or four years."
A biopsy confirmed he had prostate cancer and he underwent a radical prostatectomy.
"In less than a month I went from virtually no knowledge of prostate cancer to having the operation," Mr Mullen said.
More than two decades after the breakthrough test was first introduced it is universally acknowledged that PSA screening for prostate cancer has led to soaring rates of over-diagnosis, unnecessary biopsies, harmful over-treatment.
An estimated 20-40 per cent of the slow-growing cancers were detected in patients who would have likely died with the cancer rather than from it.
For every 1000 men aged 55-65 who had annual PSA tests, 87 would have a false positive result after an invasive biopsy, and 28 would experience side-effects including impotence and incontinence. Just two men will be saved from death as a result of screening.
But the blistering furore over the controversial test has pushed the pendulum too far in the other direction, US urologist Professor Stacy Loeb warned Sydney doctors last week.
Ignoring test results or abandoning screening altogether was a dangerous error that risked younger men developing aggressive prostate cancer and death, Professor Stacy Loeb said.
US projections suggested abandoning PSA screening would lead to twice the rate of metastatic prostate cancers and a 13-20 per cent rise in preventable prostate cancer deaths by 2025.
"We definitely made mistakes with PSA testing in the past, but we have made massive gains at every step of screening and treatment to preserve the benefits and reduce harms," she said.
Prostate cancer has a 95 per cent survival rate, but it was still the second biggest cancer killer among Australian men.
"You only have a small window for cure. When it's closed, it's closed for good," Professor Loeb said.
Professor Loeb
Her warning came days before the US Preventive Service Task Force wound back its watershed 2012 guidelines that recommended against PSA screening.
New draft guidelines now recommend doctors inform men aged 55-69 of the potential benefits and harms of PSA screening, and the decision should be an individual one.
The proposed guidelines were informed by new research showing small net reductions in mortality risk and metastatic disease linked ot screening.
The significant shift brings the US largely in line with Australian guidelines, which suggest men between 50 and 69 should be offered the opportunity to discuss the harms and benefits of PSA testing.
The Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand welcomed the draft guidelines, having long argued the old recommendations were flawed and harmful.
Prostate cancer surgeon at the Sydney Adventist Hospital and Professor of Surgery at the University of Sydney, Henry Woo said the new guidelines remedied the erroneous "one size fits all" approach to testing.
"We know PSA isn't a perfect test ... but the previous guidelines were a classic example of 'throwing the baby out with the bathwater'," Professor Woo said.
PSA should be used as a risk assessment tool, not a fast-track to surgery, he said.
When PSA screening was first introduced it was applied indiscriminately with little regard for an individual's risk profile, Professor Loeb said.
But testing for additional prostate cancer markers through blood, urine and tissue samples, and understanding patient risk profiles was helping doctors better identify which patients would likely benefit from treatment and who could forego it, she said.
MRI can reduce the number of men over-diagnosed with prostate cancer and improve the precision of biopsy to detect aggressive cancers, recent research suggests.
"Our precision in patient selection is getting better and better. We consider not only PSA, but the size of the prostate, are there nodules, family history of prostate cancer but and also other cancers" including the BRCA gene, Professor Loeb said.
There had also been an encouraging uptake of the watch-and-wait approach.
"A few years ago all our conference sessions were about surgical technique. Now there are multiple sessions on active surveillance, how to monitor patients and what kind of support they need around living with cancer," Professor Loeb said.
Associate Professor David Smith at the Cancer Council Australia said Australian doctors had been rigorously pursuing active surveillance for low-risk prostate cancer.
"Being told you've got cancer and not treating it is counter-intuitive for many people. It contradicts what we know about a lot of cancers, but for prostate cancer it can be a very rational treatment approach," Professor Smith said.
"It often comes down to patient choice. Screening men who are well-informed and who need it is what our challenge is," he said.
President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Bastian Seidel said doctors needed to move away from applying a blanket approach to screening and instead have a discussion with men about their individual risk.
"This is not about 'to screen or not to screen', but rather identifying the men most at risk," he said.

Sydney Morning Herald, Kate Aubusson, April 15th 2017.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Broccoli - Prostate Cancer

So you hated broccoli as a child, it tasted disgusting? You vowed never to eat it again? You'd be surprised as an adult, how different the taste off many things are, and broccoli is certainly one of them. Andre, Paul, start munching my friends, we need all the help we can get!
Eating broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables can lower a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer, thanks to a phenotype linked to the highly enriched levels of sulforaphane in these vegetables.
Now, scientists at Oregon State University (OSU) suggest that sulforaphane exerts its effects by targeting damaging levels of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). Their study, “Long noncoding RNAs and sulforaphane: a target for chemoprevention and suppression of prostate cancer,” appeared in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
The team analyzed the whole RNA content of normal human prostate epithelial cells and prostate cancer cells, both when treated with sulforaphane or with an innocuous substance, in this case dimethylsulfoxide. It found that sulforaphane changed the expression of about 100 lncRNAS and normalized the levels of some lncRNAs whose expression was altered in cancer cells.
“It’s obviously of interest that this dietary compound, found at some of its highest levels in broccoli, can affect lncRNAs,” Emily Ho, the study’s principal investigator, said in a press release. “This could open the door to a whole range of new dietary strategies, foods or drugs that might play a role in cancer suppression or therapeutic control.”
Ho directs OSU’s Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health, and is also a professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences.
The levels of one particular lncRNA. LINC01116 — whose expression is increased in several cancers — dropped after sulforaphane treatment.
“We showed that treatment with sulforaphane could normalize the levels of this lncRNA,” said Laura Beaver, the study’s lead author and a research associate in the Linus Pauling Institute and College of Public Health and Human Sciences. “This may relate to more than just cancer prevention. It would be of significant value if we could develop methods to greatly slow the progress of cancer, help keep it from becoming invasive.”
Researchers showed that LINC01116 promotes prostate cancer, since decreasing LINC01116 expression decreased proliferation of cancer cells.
Even more importantly, they showed that eating more broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables lowered the risk of developing prostate cancer.
“Taken together, this literature and our own study begin to paint a picture of the important and previously unappreciated role of lncRNAs in the body’s response to diet,” researchers concluded. “These discoveries illustrate that lncRNAs can play important roles in cancer development and may be useful targets for cancer prevention, detection and treatment.”

Thursday, 2 February 2017

150,000 and climbing...

As we pass this amazing milestone, I'd like to thank everyone who drops in from time to time, especially those who are still looking for a reason to sue me. It's a pleasure blogging to such a worldwide audience, and wherever you are, I wish you good health and happiness always. If you're worried about prostate cancer and want help in finding answers, always free feel to contact me. If I can't answer your question, I will always direct you to someone who can. 

Best wishes, Daniel

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Nottingham scientists create prostate cancer cells...

Examples of developed prostate cancer cell line spheres with differing levels of EMT

A group of Nottingham scientists have created prostate cancer cells as they move closer to working out how they spread.

A team at Nottingham Trent University has been able to generate a panel of the cells which spontaneously undergo a process thought to be involved in the spread of the disease.
The team got the cells from a prostate cancer tumour cell line and noticed the cells took on certain features which meant they could move to other tissues.
Metastasis, when cells invade somewhere else such as the bone or brain, causes the majority of prostate cancer-related deaths.
Dr David Boocock, a scientist at the John van Geest Centre cancer research, said: “Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer in Europe and 90 per cent of cancer-related deaths are due to disease which is resistant to therapy and has spread to other parts of the body.
“Cancer cells acquire the capacity to move from the primary tumour to other sites by activating biological processes which allow them to survive the journey and establish themselves in their new ‘home.’
“It is clear that understanding these processes is crucial if we are to reduce the number of prostate cancer-related deaths.”
The work is expected to provide vital insight into the biology and spread of aggressive prostate cancers.
It is also hoped it will help improve the management, treatment and survival of patients with therapy-resistant disease.
Director of the centre Professor Graham Pockley said: “This work provides a novel and important platform for future studies that will help us to predict prostate cancer metastasis and better understand cancer progression.
“As such, it could also be crucial in providing valuable insight into potential new therapies and approaches for the treatment and management of prostate cancer.”
The work is reported in Nature Publishing Group journal Scientific Reports.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

PSA testing for all men over 50 is essential

Today I had the PSA test I should have had in November 2016. I didn't want to risk that it might be bad and spoil our Christmas holiday to India; but there was another reason. For the past 6 years, I've had the test every May and November (6 monthly). 
I wanted to switch to annual testing, so it made sense that as from this year, I would have a good Christmas, and then go for my PSA in January; just the once in 2017. 
To my relief, again the result was 'zero'. Now I can forget this for another year, and leave behind all the stress of the 6 monthly PSA test.
I'm happy to hear that my brother Paul is still in the clear, though 4 years behind me, this is a good indication of his future chances. My other brother Andre is having regular PSA tests, and is now just before the age that both Paul and I developed cancer. So far, all indications are that he's still not in danger, and long may that last.
Regular PSA testing for all men over the age of 50 is the best chance you have of avoiding advanced prostate cancer. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise.

Monday, 26 December 2016

2017 - One Year No Beer

Or my alternative group, for those who want to become OYNB pirates, because you find larger groups too impersonal...

Never heard of it? Click on the links above.

I joined in 2016 knowing that I should cut my alcohol intake drastically if I wanted a healthy future. I started with the '90 day challenge' last summer, but could I go 90 days without alcohol? I hadn't done that since the age of 12! I could have gone with 30 days, but after listening to others, that didn't prove a lot. After 60 days, I was told that I could now feel like what it was like to be normal, a non-drinker, and it was very good. 
I stopped the challenge at 60 days thinking I'd changed my life, but far from it. It's just a big long, greasy pole sliding way back to where you started; into the 'alco-haze'!

Was I an alcoholic? I guess the 60 days without alcohol proved to me that I wasn't, but I did have a bad habit that was going to eventually take me down. The first 2 weeks weren't easy, it was breaking a habit that I'd had all my life, a habit that's constantly reinforced as 'good' by not only advertising, but almost every film you'll ever watch. A bit like smoking, which used to be used to portray sexiness, yet now is seen as repellent by most people.

The co-founders of 'One Year No Beer' (OYNB) are Andy and Ruari. Andy's a lovely guy, very approachable and very much involved day to day in support. Ruari's heart is in it, but he's more of a 'Jack Russel', and will chew yer legs off if you come up with something original before he does. There's a little bit more about them below, and if you decide to go for it, I suggest you pick up this book first as a 'must have'. Without help, you are unlikely to make this journey, so hold out your hand, there's some amazing people out there.

IF I make it through this year without alcohol, will I ever drink again? I just don't know.
I mix daily in Bangkok with people who have never drank alcohol, and they seem to live life with more happiness than I've ever seen in a 'drunk'!

Introducing Andy and Ruari...

The Professional Footballers Association are supporting former player Andy Ramage and co-founder Ruari Fairbairns with the One Year No Beer Challenge, which encourages people to give up alcohol for a year.

One Year No Beer (OYNB) is a 30, 90 or 365 day challenge that has been designed to support the community every day with daily updates, challenges, strategies and tactics to ensure people succeed through all the temptations. 
In 2015, 2+ million people in the UK signed up for Dry January. And in 2016 that figure is set to be dwarfed, but what happens in February? The drinks industry come out of hiding and start the annual carousel of why alcohol needs to be linked to every single activity us humans do. 
OYNB Co-Founders Ruari Fairbairns and Andy Ramage have set out to change this and are finding thousands of people flocking to them who are exhausted with the £800m advertising annual advertising spend just in the UK (IAS).
Ruari and former player Andy both work in the city and found that all aspects of their lives were being negatively affected by alcohol in every facet of their lives. They were not alcoholics but wanted something more out of life. And as they started talking to friends they discovered that there were hundreds like them in their own networks who also wanted to stop.
So finding that everything finished on 31st January they set up One Year, No Beer (ONYB), a 30, 90 & 365 day challenge to support anyone from all walks of life to give up alcohol and focus on healthy alternative habits.
What was a sober chat in a pub turned into a movement and in only 2 weeks they have over 5,000 twitter followers and have just passed 2,000 subscribers to their 90 day challenge. 
“Everyone loves a challenge and OneYearNoBeer is exactly that. No stigma, no labels. If someone can do 30 days, they can do 90 and at this point they can easily take on the year. These challenges will change their relationship with alcohol forever.” Andy Ramage 
PFA Director of Corporate Social Responsibility John Hudson said: “The PFA extend its support to this excellent challenge which I'm sure will have a positive, healthy and in many cases long-term impact on those who take part.”

For more information abut the challenge:
To visit our website, click here.
To see our Instagram page, click here
To view our Facebook page, click here
Follow us on Twitter here
For more information contact: