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prostate cancer prevention

It’s Men’s Health Month – Is prostate cancer prevention possible?

Urologist and prostate cancer specialist Dr. Michael Lazar talks about prevention and options for maintaining health after a cancer diagnosis.

Do these things: • Maintain a healthy weight • Get some exercise • Choose a healthy low-fat diet • Eat more fruits and veggies • Take Omega 3 supplements • Add selenium rich foods to the dietJune is Men’s Health Month and the focus is on prostate cancer. Second only to skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the U.S. and the third most common cause of cancer related death today; lung cancer remains in the number one spot. Currently it is estimated that one man in seven will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Those at highest risk are men who have a family history of prostate cancer and black men, who are more than twice as likely to die from the disease as any other group.

Although experts will say that there’s no sure way to prevent prostate cancer, there are measures a man can take to increase the odds of staying healthy. “While there are no guarantees, when you follow the research it’s easy to conclude that there appear to be simple measures we can take to stack the odds in our favor,” explains Dr. Lazar. “As with most any health condition, prostate cancer may have less of a chance of occurring in men who proactively pursue an healthy lifestyle.”

Preventing Prostate Cancer

Literally dozens of studies are conducted every year on various cancer groups and increasingly those focusing on prostate cancer point to the same results. Men who want to stay healthy and avoid prostate cancer (as well as most other types of cancer) are more likely to achieve their goal if they:

Do these things:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Get some exercise
  • Choose a healthy low-fat diet
  • Eat more fruits and veggies
  • Take Omega 3 supplements
  • Add selenium rich foods to the diet

Avoid these things:

  • Smoking
  • Animal fat
  • Dairy
  • Red and processed meats
  • Sugar

When Your Luck Runs Out

Even when a person adheres to a healthy lifestyle, things can still go wrong. But the good news with a prostate cancer diagnosis is that the vast majority of cancers tend to grow slowly, and therefore don’t cause obvious health problems. It all depends on the type of cancer that is found in the prostate; while many grow slower, some are more aggressive.

Seeking treatment at the right time is imperative for the best the outcome in some scenarios. Annual screenings for men (particularly those over 50) is one of the ways to have control over potential treatment options – as newer treatments need to be pursued at the earliest stages.

Prostate Cancer Therapy Options

There are a number of treatment options that can be effective under the right circumstances, and many of them have side effects that most men would prefer to avoid, whenever possible.

The last option on this list; HIFU – is perhaps one of the most exciting non-invasive prostate cancer treatment options available today – with few to zero side effects in most cases. The key to success is early detection, and swift treatment.

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

 

 

 

By | June 26th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Doctors believe it’s important to discuss pros and cons of prostate cancer screening with patients

A new study finds that while a blood test that helps to screen for prostate cancer remains common, only 30 percent of men in a large national survey reported having a balanced discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of the screening with their doctor. Moreover, having such a discussion of both pros and cons has become less likely since the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued a recommendation against performing prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing in 2012.

“That only about a third of patients reported having a discussion of advantages and disadvantages is an alarming statistic,” said study lead author Dr. George Turini III, clinical instructor in medical science at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and a urologist with the Southcoast Physician Group.

Co-author Dr. Joseph Renzulli, associate professor of surgery and a urologist at the Minimally Invasive Urology Institute at Miriam Hospital, added, “The concept of ‘shared decision making’ for prostate cancer screening is not occurring in the community.”

For example, in 2014 out of a sample of 111,241 men who responded to the national Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey, 29.5 percent reported discussing both advantages and disadvantages, 33.9 percent discussed neither, 35.7 percent reported discussing only advantages of PSA, and 0.8 percent reported discussing only disadvantages. In data from 2012, before the task force made its recommendation against the test, out of 105,812 men who responded to the survey, 30.1 percent discussed both, 30.5 percent discussed neither, 38.5 percent discussed only advantages, and 0.8 percent discussed only disadvantages.

Meanwhile, 63.0 percent of the men in 2012 had PSA tests, as did 62.4 percent of the men in 2014, according to the study published online in the journal Urology. In each year thousands of men had the test without having a discussion of how it could either benefit them, for instance via early detection of cancer, or lead to unnecessary adversity, such as a side effects from biopsy or unneeded treatment. They either got no information or only one side of the story.

In addition, the researchers found, men who have low incomes, did not finish high school, lack insurance, or are Hispanic were significantly less likely than men overall to report hearing about the pros and cons of screening via the PSA test, the study found.

“The most vulnerable men are getting less counseling,” said co-author Annie Gjelsvik, assistant professor of epidemiology in the Brown University School of Public Health.

A controversial topic

The PSA test reveals blood levels of a protein naturally secreted by the prostate. Levels could become elevated for a number of reasons including the normal enlargement of the prostate as men age, Turini said. But cancer could also elevate them.

When the task force in 2012 discouraged PSA testing, Turini said, it was because there are risks to what follows from screening. If cancer is suspected, it can only be confirmed with a biopsy and that could cause problems such as infection, bleeding or discomfort.

Beyond those concerns, if prostate cancer is confirmed, the risks inherent in treatment options such as surgery, radiation or hormonal alteration, can be “truly life altering,” he said.

“In some cases, a low volume of less aggressive prostate cancer may not necessitate treatment, but even in those cases where a ‘treatment’ is not performed in favor of active surveillance, the emotional distress of a cancer diagnosis shouldn’t be underestimated,” Turini said.

But whenever a cancer does present a threat to health, there are also clear advantages to catching it early. Therefore many urologists still believe that doctors and their patients should weigh these pros and cons of screening. For that reason, the authors wrote, the American Urologic Association and the American Cancer Society advocate thorough discussion and decision-making between doctors and patients.

The study authors sought to understand the state of those discussions and how the task force recommendation may have changed them. Gjelsvik noted that it’s important to measure and track the full spectrum of effects of public health actions, such as the new national recommendations.

The findings could be explained by factors independent of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation, the authors acknowledged, but they concluded the paper with this concern: “We believe our findings may be indicative of a shift in practice patterns away from detailed pre-screening discussions among health care providers who have implemented the [USPSTF] recommendation into their care giving. Long-term evaluation of this trend is necessary, particularly to ensure that men who are given an order for a PSA test receive the absolutely necessary counseling required to allow them to appreciate the important consequences associated with the decision to pursue screening.”

Amid all the findings of concern, including the overall trend and disparities of income, education, insurance and ethnicity, the researchers did find one bright spot: Black men, who are known to be at higher risk for prostate cancer incidence and death, were more likely to report having discussed advantages and disadvantages than men on average.

Turini said the study suggests that urologists may be able to do more to help their primary care physician colleagues have balanced and informative conversations with their patients. Primary care physicians are increasingly pressed for time with each patient and it can seem easy to order an additional test if blood is going to be drawn for other purposes anyway, Turini said. But the moment when a PSA test comes back with an elevated reading is not the ideal moment to only begin the conversation of what that could mean.

“It’s our job in the urology community to make it as easy as possible for the primary care physicians and other general practitioners to comfortably disseminate as complete and balanced information as possible,” he said.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Brown University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. George A Turini, Annie Gjelsvik, Joseph F Renzulli. The State of Pre-Screening Discussions About PSA Testing Following Implementation of the 2012 USPSTF Task Force Statement. Urology, 2017; DOI: 10.1016/j.urology.2016.12.069

Read this article on science daily: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170328132148.htm.

By | April 24th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

New discovery may lead to blood test predicting and preventing prostate cancer spread

University of Adelaide researchers have uncovered a new pathway which regulates the spread of prostate cancer around the body.

Published in the journal Cancer Research, the discovery has potential to lead to the development of a blood test that could predict whether cancer will spread from the prostate tumour to other parts of the body. The research also reveals potential new targets for drugs that may inhibit the spread of cancer.

“Prostate cancers only kill men after they have spread or ‘metastasised’ from the prostate,” says project leader Dr Luke Selth, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide’s Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories and a member of the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health.

“The identification of markers that accurately predict, at an early stage, prostate tumours that are likely to metastasise could guide the urgency and aggressiveness of treatment — and this could save lives.”

The international research team — led by the University of Adelaide and including members from the University of Michigan, Vancouver Prostate Centre, the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins University — showed that a specific microRNA (a type of molecule involved in regulating the level and activity of genes) called miR-194 promotes cancer metastasis by inhibiting a key protein called SOCS2. SOCS2 can suppress the spread of cancer cells.

“In previous work, we had found that a high level of miR-194 in a patient’s blood was associated with rapid relapse of prostate cancer following surgical removal of the tumour,” says Dr Selth. “This new work explains why miR-194 is associated with a poor outcome, and in the process reveals a completely novel pathway regulating prostate cancer metastasis.

“Importantly, measuring miR-194 in a patient’s blood at the time of diagnosis could become a test for the likelihood of metastasis. Patients with high levels of miR-194 in their blood could receive more aggressive treatment to reduce the chance of the cancer spreading to other parts of the body.” Dr Selth’s team is currently testing this idea using larger patient groups to validate their findings.

Dr Selth says miR-194 also represents a potential therapeutic target. “There are currently no drugs that effectively inhibit the spread of prostate cancer,” he says. “We propose that inhibiting miR-194 could reduce rates of metastasis in patients with aggressive disease, but the development of a drug to achieve this goal is still a long way off.”

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Adelaide. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Rajdeep Das, Phillip A Gregory, Rayzel C Fernandes, Iza Denis, Qingqing Wang, Scott L Townley, Shuang G. Zhao, Adrienne Hanson, Marie A Pickering, Heather K Armstrong, Noor A Lokman, Esmaeil Ebrahimie, Elai Davicioni, Robert B. Jenkins, R. Jeffrey Karnes, Ashley E. Ross, Robert B Den, Eric A. Klein, Kim N. Chi, Hayley S Ramshaw, Elizabeth D Williams, Amina Zoubedi, Gregory J Goodall, Felix Y. Feng, Lisa M. Butler, Wayne D Tilley, Luke A Selth. MicroRNA-194 promotes prostate cancer metastasis by inhibiting SOCS2. Cancer Research, 2016; canres.2529.2016 DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-2529

Read this article on ScienceDaily:

University of Adelaide. “Predicting and preventing prostate cancer spread.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 January 2017. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170125091702.htm.
By | February 21st, 2017|HIFU, News, Prostate Cancer|0 Comments

Obesity and a high-fat diet promote prostate cancer progression

Metabolites from a fatty diet join forces with the cancer-driving gene MYC to reprogram prostate cancer cells to grow faster, finds new study. This discovery solidifies a direct link between obesity and lethal prostate cancer.

your-questions-answeredAt the 2016 Annual American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Conference, Giorgia Zadra, PhD, of the Harvard: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, presented results from a study that helped to clarify the relationship between obesity and prostate cancer.

The skinny? Fat increases the activity of a critical cancer-driving gene called MYC.

Cancer is a greedy disease. Tumors plunder the body’s resources – vitamins and nutrients, energy and oxygen, and vital space as tumors grow to ultimately cause lethal damage. Worst of all, cancer steals precious time away from patients and their loved ones.

It follows then, that having a high-fat diet may be like pouring fuel on the fire, by providing cancer cells with even more of the resources they need. In fact, a number of recent population studies have linked obesity and a high-fat diet with an increased risk for advanced, lethal prostate cancer, especially among African-American men. Unfortunately, the exact biological reasons behind this phenomenon have remained elusive.

Investigating this important question required the intersection of four distinct fields of study: dietary metabolism, “epigenetics” (a mechanism of gene regulation), the biology of cancer-causing genes, and public health sciences.

To develop a comprehensive understanding of how obesity and a high-fat diet promote prostate cancer progression, Zadra, who studies cancer cell metabolism, teamed up with Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) Young Investigator David P. Labbé, PhD, of the Harvard: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, who studies the regulation of gene expression in healthy and malignant cells by epigenetics.  Read the full story …

HIFU with the Sonablate® 500 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.

By | July 5th, 2016|Dr. Michael Lazar, News, Prostate Cancer|0 Comments

New Study: PSA levels in younger men might predict future risk of prostate cancer

mountain-bikers-in-brazil-1-1433086Prostate cancer screening with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) has been shown to reduce death and the spread of prostate cancer to other parts of the body, but the PSA test remains highly controversial as it frequently leads to over diagnosis and over treatment of men who may not be at risk.

Smarter screening strategies that can improve the accuracy of diagnosing lethal prostate cancer are urgently needed. Through a prospective study of US men, investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have found that measuring PSA levels in younger men (between the ages of 40 and 59) could accurately predict future risk of lethal prostate cancer later in life. Their findings suggest that screening PSA levels in men at mid-life may help identify those who are at greater risk and should be monitored more closely.

“We found a single baseline PSA-level measurement during midlife could accurately predict future risk of lethal prostate cancer,” said co-lead author Mark Preston, MD, MPH, a physician in BWH’s Division of Urology. “These data identify subgroups of men, based on their PSA levels at a given age, who could benefit from screening intervals tailored to their actual magnitude of risk.”

Read the full story here …

Dr. Michael Lazar, a Santa Rosa urologist and prostate cancer expert, 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 now offers a HIFU Program in partnership with HIFU Prostate Services, LLC (HPS). HIFU Prostate Services, LLC (HPS) is a leading provider of minimally-invasive prostate cancer treatments using High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU). HIFU prostate treatments are performed at San Francisco Surgery Center (SFSC). SFSC offers patients a state-of-the-art facility that is convenient to hotels and the airport. For more answers on HIFU visit this page ...  For more information about HIFU treatment or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553.

By | June 21st, 2016|News, Prostate Cancer, Urology|0 Comments

California HIFU and Dr. Michael Lazar Recognizes Men’s Health Month With a Look at Prostate Cancer

California HIFU and Dr. Michael Lazar are helping to recognize Men’s Health Month by providing some valuable information and resources for men on Prostate Cancer. The idea behind Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems like prostate cancer, and to encourage early detection and treatment. Dr. Lazar and his staff are proud to be early leaders in the usage of HIFU, a medical procedure that applies high-intensity focused ultrasound energy to locally heat and destroy diseased or damaged tissue with prostate cancer through ablation.

Informed Decision Making

your-questions-answeredAccording to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) it is important for men to be aware of prostate cancer risks and to make informed decisions. This happens best when a man—

  • Understands the nature and risk of prostate cancer.
  • Understands the risks of, benefits of, and alternatives to screening.
  • Participates in the decision to be screened or not at a level he desires.
  • Makes a decision consistent with his preferences and values.

The CDC as well as other federal agencies follow the prostate cancer screening recommendations set forth by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which recommends against prostate specific antigen (PSA)-based screening for men who do not have symptoms. Other organizations, like the American Urological Association,[PDF-310KB] the American Cancer Society, and the American College of Physicians may have other recommendations. It is important to talk to a doctor and get routine screenings.

Some men may be having prostate problems and want to learn more about prostate cancer symptoms and risk factors, the PSA screening test, and conditions that are not cancer such as an enlarged prostate (BPH) and prostatitis. To learn more follow this link for practical lists, tips, and medical images …

Knowing your prostate cancer therapy options empowers you to make smart choices

Prostate cancer is the leading solid organ cancer in the USA and the second most common cause of cancer related death. Worldwide, it is the fourth most common cancer with differing biologic activity in different cultures, probably related to different lifestyles. Many prostate cancers can be managed conservatively, especially in elderly men. But larger tumors, those with higher Gleason score and higher (and rising) PSA levels, especially in younger men, should be treated more aggressively.

Prostate Cancer Therapy Options

There are many options available to residents of Northern California. Prostate cancer is usually managed with active surveillance, radiation therapy, surgery to remove the cancerous gland, freezing (cryotherapy), or high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). Hormonal therapy is used to control cancer that has spread beyond the prostate and is no longer curable, or for very elderly patients with a limited life expectancy.

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. However, 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.

Learn more about HIFU treatment for prostate cancer …

By | June 14th, 2016|News, Prostate Cancer|0 Comments