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Archive for May, 2009

MAY 31: PROSTABLOG NZ:  Here’s a question that doesn’t seem to have been addressed for a while – how come fewer Maori than non-Maori are registered as prostate cancer sufferers, yet the death rate among Maori is twice that of non-Maori?

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And why is nobody apparently concerned?

No media coverage has been accorded the problem in the last couple years, and the Ministry of Health’s Maori Health Directorate Newsletter did not mention prostate cancer in its three issues in 2008.

A search of research and academia would no doubt find papers explaining in technical and inaccessible language what’s happening, but what is being done to alert the public?

Why is there no TV marketing campaign to match that being aimed at Maori and Pacifica women to promote cervical cancer screening (aside from the argument that cervical cancer testing is more accurate and less prone to so-called “over-diagnosis” and “over-treatment”)?

Here’s what the Maori Health Directorate’s current website says about Maori male cancer rates in general (Maori comprise about 16% of the NZ population): 

  • Māori male lung cancer registration and mortality rates were three times those of non-Māori males.  
  • Although Māori males had a lower colorectal cancer registration rate than non-Māori, colorectal mortality rates for both Māori and non-Māori males were similar.
  • For Māori males, the liver cancer registration rate was five-and-a-half times that of non-Māori males, and the liver cancer mortality rate was six times that of non-Māori males.
  • Prostate cancer registration was lower for Māori males than for non-Māori males. However, Māori males had a prostate cancer mortality rate twice that of non-Māori males.
  • Rates of stomach cancer registration and mortality were almost three times higher for Māori males than for non-Māori males.
  • For many cancers the rate ratio for Māori compared with non-Māori is higher for mortality rates than for registration rates. This suggests that Māori with cancer may be more likely to die from their cancer than non-Māori.

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MAY 31: NEW PROSTATE CANCER INFO-LINK:  Patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer can be safely treated with high-dose testosterone (at least in clinical trials using testosterone patches), and future studies should employ strategies to maximize testosterone serum levels. READ MORE>

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MAY 31: E-TV:   Adult prostate stem or progenitor cells may acquire characteristics of self-renewing primitive foetal prostate cells during oncogenesis and aberrant activation of components of prostate stem cell pathways may contribute to the development of prostate tumours. READ MORE>

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MAY 31: NEW PROSTATE CANCER INFO-LINK: The future of prostate cancer detection may lie in complex assays systems that can test for several markers at the same time and use the accumulated data to assess prostate cancer risk. READ MORE>

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MAY 31: NOT ALONE BLOG:   Flomax (tamsulosin), a drug that is commonly used by men to treat their prostate problems, is linked to more than a double risk for serious complications following cataract surgery, indicates new study by Canadian scientists. READ MORE>

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MAY 31: CANCER.COM:  Some newer research reveals that green tea might help prevent the spread of prostate cancer. Specifically the phytochemicals found in green tea, called polyphenols attack the growth factors and protiens interupting the growth processes of tumors, resulting in preventing them from spreading to other organs of the body. READ MORE>

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MAY 31: PRESSEMITTEILUNG:  A German molecular diagnostics company developing cancer detection products based on DNA methylation will report clinical data from its study validating the mPITX2 biomarker in a prognostic setting in prostate cancer. READ MORE>

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MAY 30: PROSTABLOG NZ:  The partner of a NZ man with advancing prostate cancer says the public health system can’t test him for bone deterioration for at least year.  FULL STORY HERE>

Meantime, he goes untreated for osteoporosis, a well-known side effect of treatment he has been receiving for two years for his prostate cancer, which is now showing signs of spreading.

He was diagnosed in 2007 and hormone therapy since then kept signs of cancer spread in check.

But hormone therapy (as well as possibly causing bone deterioration) works for only a limited time, and now his prostate specific antigen levels are rapidly increasing, a sign the treatment is no longer effective.

The couple was told by his public health doctor a bone test could not be done for at least a year because 0f the long waiting list in the public health system.

Despite not being wealthy, they have abandoned the public system in desperation to get help from a private specialist.

In her story – published in full on the page titled John and Mary’s prostate saga – she tells of her quest for empowerment in dealing with the medical system.

Recently, she joined the US-based New Prostate Cancer Info-Link social network, where the expert sitemaster has offered some advice.

While he says the doctors were undoubtedly doing their best, one conclusion to be drawn is NZ is way behind the US when it comes to treating prostate cancer.

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Row May29 1MAY 29: PROSTABLOG NZ:  Eight pairs of hands are obviously better than four, as the only eights team in the Indian Ocean Rowing Race is showing.

Aud Eamus is starting to close on the leaders, Bexhill, and has left Rowing For Prostate and Pura Vida in its wake, still battling over third/fourth (with the Kiwis slightly behind).

Here’s the latest report from the race website:

Following the soaking that was last weekend, James and Jamie onboard Pairs Boat, Boat No. 9 ‘Southern Cross’ have reported their AIS unit to be temporarily out of action.

 After a tiring rowing shift a couple of days ago, James and Jamie crashed out in the cabin only to be rudely woken by a startling bright light shining in through their cabin access hatch.  Through bleary sleepy eyes they had the shock of their lives when they realised the light were coming from a tanker only spitting distance from them.  The guys held their breathes as the tanker slid silently on by, oblivious to the close encounter with Southern Cross.

 Elsewhere in the fleet, the last remaining Solo entry, Simon Prior onboard Boat No. 3 ‘Old Mutual Endurance’, celebrated yesterday evening with a glass of champagne, a welcome change to the usual warm and slightly salty drinking water of usual, as he reached the first 1,000 nautical mile mark.  Meanwhile, at the opposite end of the fleet, current race leaders, Boat No. 7 ‘ Bexhill Trust Challenger’ are fast approaching the last 1,000 nautical miles.Row May 29 2

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MAY 29: NEW PROSTATE CANCER INFO-LINK:  A US researcher has reviewed the strategic options for recurrent biopsy in men with one or more prior negative biopsies but continuing indications of risk of prostate cancer. Indications for repeat biopsy include “sustained or worsening of the findings that prompted the initial biopsy;” PSA velocity, PSA doubling times, and other PSA-derived data; and “the histology from the initial biopsy” (ie, high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia or atypical small acinar proliferation). READ MORE>

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