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Archive for July, 2009

calcitrimJULY 31: PROSTABLOG NZ: Prostate cancer patients who think drinking calcium-fortified trim milk  is a good way to maintain health need to read this.

In fact, the calcium milk (Calci-Trim in NZ) is the last thing prostate survivors should be touching, says leading Kiwi immunologist (and cancer survivor) Dr Richard Forster.

It’s quite the wrong thing to do, he told the NZ Prostate Cancer Foundation at its annual conference.

“Get your calcium from slow-release sources – like almonds,” he says. And go for soy milk.

Read more of Dr Forster’s advice – and how he and science colleague Dr Jim Watson are working on new treatments for advanced cancer – in Prostablog soon.

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JULY 31: URO TODAY: What’s the most accurate way your specialist can predict your fate when you first learn you have prostate cancer? Using something called a nomogram, according to latest analysis. READ MORE>

Researchers at the University of Montreal Health Center reviewed tools available to clinicians involved in treatment decisions in newly diagnosed prostate cancer and examined their accuracy to provide individual life expectancy.

“…nomograms provide the most accurate health-adjusted life expectancy prognostication,” they conclude.

What’s a nomogram?

It’s a calculation that gives an estimate – in this case, of life expectancy – after known information is fed into it.

The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in the US has one for prostate cancer on its website. Anyone who knows the results of PSA, biopsy and Gleason grade can use it: CLICK HERE>

Here’s an example:

Nomogram

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JULY 31: URO TODAY: If population-based screening and testing were adopted in the UK, five times as many men would be diagnosed with prostate cancer, a new study has concluded. READ MORE>

Researchers at the Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, report:

If population-based PSA testing were introduced in the UK, approximately 2660 men per 100,000 aged 50-69 years would be found to have prostate cancer, compared to current rates of approximately 130 per 100,000.

If half of men accepted PSA testing, approximately 160,000 cancers would be found, compared to 30,000 diagnosed each year at present.

Population-based PSA testing resulted in a significant downward stage and grade migration, and most such cancers were of low stage and grade, which could lead to risks of over-treatment for some men.

Mike Scott (New prostate Cancer Infolink) has this to say about the study:

What this study does do…is identify the real clinical value of a test that could actually discriminate with accuracy, early on between those patients at real risk for clinically significant disease (apparently about 30,000 per annum in the UK) and the 130,000 who might be identified with histologically identifiable but clinically non-significant disease.

That’s an awful lot of men who could benefit from knowing early on what their real risk might be for clinically significant disease — one way or the other!  READ MORE>

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JULY 31: NZ MINISTRY OF HEALTH: A set of guidelines for registered  working in cancer control has just been published by the New Zealand Ministry of Health. READ MORE>

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JULY 31: MEDICAL NEWS TODAY: Trusted health care sources and continuity of care may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer deaths in African-American men, according to a study published in the current issue of the journal Cancer. READ MORE>

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JULY 31: INDIAN NEWSLINK: NZ politician Dr Jackie Blue (a National list MP) is urging men in the country’s Indian communities to avail themselves of cancer screening. READ MORE>

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JULY 31: URO TODAY: Knowledge of the molecular and cellular changes that occur during the transition of hormone-naïve to castration-resistant prostate cancer is increasing rapidly. This might provide a window of opportunity for (future) drug development, and for treating patients with these potential devastating states of disease, say Dutch researchers. READ MORE>

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JULY 31: URO TODAY: Higher levels of immune cells called CD68(+) macrophages found in patients having androgen deprivation therapy may be associated with greater risk of advanced prostate cancer, according to a study in Quebec. Patients with elevated abundance of CD56(+) Natural Killer cells had lower risk of prostate cancer progression. READ MORE>

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JULY 31: David Leonhardt, NEW YORK TIMES: The “prostate cancer test” will determine whether President Obama and Congress put together a bill that begins to fix the fundamental problem with our medical system: the combination of soaring costs and mediocre results. READ MORE>

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JULY 31: URO TODAY: Researchers have investigated whether whole-pelvis radiotherapy in combination with interstitial brachytherapy – thus covering the pelvic lymph nodes – improves treatment outcome in high-risk prostate cancer. READ MORE>

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