Dr. Michael Lazar of California HIFU, Urologist and Prostate Cancer expert reflects on the latest American Cancer Society statics

The results from the American Cancer Society’s newest report on cancer rates is good news for everyone and particularly good news for prostate cancer patients: incidents of cancer is down as is the likelihood of prostate cancer patients dying from the diagnosis.

According to the report the cancer death rate has dropped from its peak of 215.1 in 1991 to 161.2 in 2014 (per 100K population), the most recent year for which data was available to analyze. Overall the decline in cancer is linked with decreases in smoking and advances in early detection and treatment. The four major cancer drops are:

  • lung (- 43% between 1990 and 2014 among males and -17% between 2002 and 2014 among females)
  • breast (-38% from 1989 to 2014)
  • prostate (-51% from 1993 to 2014)
  • colorectal (-51% from 1976 to 2014)

“This is really exciting news for anyone who specializes in prostate cancer,” says Michael Lazar, M.D. “And its particularly good news for our patients. When a man is diagnosed with cancer, whether it’s prostate cancer or some other cancer – the news is always difficult to accept. With the number of people being diagnosed with prostate cancer dropping steadily along with the expected death rates, patients are now more empowered to be optimistic about their treatment options.”

According to the American Cancer Society, the decline in new cancer rates for men can be attributed to the recent drop in prostate cancer diagnoses. This has to do with the fact that routine screening with the PSA blood test is no longer recommended out of concerns for over-diagnosis and treatment of positive results that are best left untreated. Therefore, fewer cases of prostate cancer are now being detected. But this does not need to lessen the importance of getting screened for prostate cancer when symptoms are apparent.

“Although this is really good news, men who are concerned about prostate cancer, and anyone in the high-risk group still needs to be to screened early and at regular intervals,” says Dr. Lazar. “Once cancer has advanced beyond the prostate gland, available treatment options become more radical.”

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.

About Prostate Cancer

Most prostate cancers tend to grow slowly, and don’t cause obvious health problems for men who have received a diagnosis. In certain situations, prostate cancer can be managed conservatively, especially in elderly men. But one treatment that stands out among more invasive options for prostate cancer is High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) and it is most effective for men who have been diagnose and are in the early stages of the disease. Therefore, this is one technology that requires vigilance at the early stages when HIFU would be most effective for prostate cancer eradication.

“For patients with prostate cancer, HIFU treatment is most effective in the early stages,” explains Dr. Lazar. “When the cancer is localized to the prostate treatment by HIFU is extremely effective. Unlike other treatments, this procedure preserves healthy tissue and nerves, so urine flow and erectile function is maintained in a high percent of cases, as compared to radical surgery or radiation.”

The oncological results for HIFU is comparable to more traditional prostate cancer treatments including radical surgery or radiation. But the side effects for HIFU patients have proven to be much less debilitating than more radical procedures.

About Dr. Lazar

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 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.