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Monthly Archives: September 2016

New trial results encourage patients to weigh long-term impact of treatment options with their doctors

(Published on ScienceDaily – September 15, 2016)

In light of the findings from the Prostate Testing for Cancer and Treatment (ProtecT) trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) would like to congratulate the authors and investigators for conceiving and completing a difficult clinical trial to randomize care for 2,664 men who volunteered to be a part of this study. Their paper emphasizes the importance of joint decision making between prostate cancer patients and their physicians when weighing treatment options for early stage disease. Findings from the ProtecT trial can help patients understand the full range of approaches to manage their disease, including the risks and benefits of active monitoring versus early treatment with radiation therapy (RT) or surgery.

Ten-year findings from the trial indicate that for men with early stage prostate cancer, there is no difference in mortality rates following active monitoring, surgery or RT, and moreover, that cancer-specific deaths at ten years following diagnosis averaged only one percent for all men enrolled in the trial.

Growth of the cancer outside of the prostate did vary between monitoring and treatment groups. Rates of both regional spread and distant metastases were significantly higher for men who were monitored rather than treated for their early stage disease. Progression did not vary, however, between the surgery and RT groups, although patients in the trial reported different side effects with each modality.

“These findings underscore the essential role of dialogue in treatment selection,” said ASTRO President David C. Beyer, MD, FASTRO. “Men with prostate cancer are all different, and the relative costs and benefits associated with the multiple options to treat it can vary substantially between individuals. The best treatment decisions for prostate cancer, or any cancer, take into consideration the specifics of each individual patient’s disease, expectations and preferences. These options can be confusing, and patients should always make these decisions after consultation with a radiation oncologist and urologist”

ASTRO, the American Urological Association (AUA) and the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) are currently developing updated guidelines for the management of clinically localized prostate cancer. The recommendations, which update a 2007 collaborative guideline issued by the societies, are scheduled for publication in mid-2017.


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

By | September 20th, 2016|Dr. Michael Lazar, News, Prostate Cancer|0 Comments

Understanding Prostate Cancer; Know Your Cancer Risk Factors

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in America, affecting 1 in 7 men. But who is most at risk of getting prostate cancer and why?

There are several major factors that influence risk, and some of them unfortunately cannot be changed.

Age: The older you are, the more likely you are to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Although only 1 in 10,000 men under age 40 will be diagnosed, the rate shoots up to 1 in 38 for ages 40 to 59, and 1 in 14 for ages 60 to 69.

In fact, more than 65% of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65. The average age at diagnosis of prostate cancer in the United States is 69 years. After that age, the chance of developing prostate cancer becomes more common than any other cancer in men or women.

Race: African American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer compared with Caucasian men and are nearly 2.5 times as likely to die from the disease. Conversely, Asian men who live in Asia have the lowest risk.

Read the full story here …

High-intensity focused ultrasound or HIFU has many proven advantages over traditional treatment modalities for prostate disease. For more information about HIFU treatment or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553 or visit our website: www.californiahifu.com

By | September 13th, 2016|Dr. Michael Lazar, News|0 Comments

California HIFU and Dr. Michael Lazar Offers a Look at September’s Prostate Cancer Awareness Efforts

For this month’s awareness campaign Urologist and Prostate cancer expert Dr. Michael Lazar provides an overview of prostate cancer screening options, helping to empower men to make smart choices.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month giving light to a very important health topic among men and their families. Second only to skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the USA and the second most common cause of cancer related death, lung cancer taking the number one spot. Currently it is estimated that one man in seven will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.

How Prostate Cancer differs from other cancers

Most prostate cancers tend to grow slowly, and don’t cause overt health problems for many men who have received a diagnosis. In certain situations, prostate cancer can be managed conservatively, especially in elderly men.

“Of course, prostate cancer is a serious health issue,” says Dr. Lazar. “But contrary to what you might think, the vast majority of prostate cancer patients do not die from the disease.” According to the American Cancer Society more than 2.9 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer are still alive today.

Who is at risk?

The highest risk groups for prostate cancer are men over the age of 50, African-American men, and men who have a father, brother or son who has had prostate cancer. The benefits of screening for prostate cancer is a hotly debated issue, and a most likely a decision made best on an individual basis. But for those who are concerned about prostate cancer and anyone in the high-risk group, the more obvious option may be to get screened early and at regular intervals.

To screen or not to screen

There are two schools of thought when it comes to screening for prostate cancer and no golden rule for men to follow coming from the experts. Those who advocate regular screening believe that finding and treating prostate cancer early offers a better chance of a cure, while the other school of thought recommends against regular screening because most prostate cancers grow very slowly and the side effects of over-treatment can be too onerous for an otherwise healthy man to bear.

While the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Blood Test remains an important tool in the diagnostic process, men over 40 should discuss screening with their physicians to determine if it is right for them. As early treatment options continue to improve, for some men knowing early may give them an opportunity to make a well-informed choice that they might not have otherwise.

Prostate Cancer Therapy Options

There are many treatment options available today including;

  • active surveillance
  • radiation therapy
  • surgery to remove the cancerous gland
  • freezing (cryotherapy)
  • hormonal therapy for very elderly patients
  • high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)

All of these treatment options can be effective under the right circumstances, and many of them have side effects that most men would prefer to avoid, if possible. The last option, HIFU is perhaps one of the most exciting non-invasive prostate cancer treatment options today – with few to zero side effects in many cases. The key to success is early detection, and swift treatment.

High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)

HIFU is a FDA approved precise and targeted therapy that reduces the risk of complications caused by surgery and radiation. HIFU uses ultrasound energy, or sound waves, to heat and destroy specifically targeted areas of tissue. During HIFU, the sound waves pass through healthy tissue without causing damage. At the focal point of the sound waves (like a magnifying glass focusing the rays of the sun to burn a leaf), the tissue temperature is raised to 90 degrees Celsius, destroying the targeted tissue.

Dr. Lazar, a Santa Rosa urologist and prostate cancer expert, is a recognized leader in the use of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for prostate cancer. He has been successfully treating patients with HIFU since 2007.

“HIFU may not be appropriate in every situation, but it is most effective for men who have early stage, localized prostate cancer that has not spread or metastasized outside the prostate,” says Dr. Lazar.

About Dr. Lazar and California HIFU

Dr. Michael Lazar is the only Northern California physician recognized as a leader in the use of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for prostate cancer. He has been successfully treating patients with HIFU since 2007. Dr. Lazar formed California HIFU in order to offer minimally invasive prostate cancer treatment to men with the Sonablate.

For more information about HIFU treatment which is now available in San Francisco, or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553. Visit us online to learn more.

By | September 1st, 2016|News|0 Comments