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JULY 3: NEW PROSTATE CANCER INFOLINK: Results from a UK study show the potential of transrectal, whole-gland, high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) in patients with low risk, organ-confined prostate cancer. However, many of those treated likely fall into the category of men who don’t actually need treatment for their prostate cancer at all, and the risk for post-treatment erectile dysfunction after HIFU in this trial appears to be significant — at about 30 percent after 1 year of follow-up. READ MORE>

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JUNE 16: NEW PROSTATE CANCER INFO-LINK:  The whole issue of the appropriateness of cancer screening is starting to become a major public health issue, closely and inevitably associated with cancer risk, writes Mike Scott. READ MORE>

“The New Prostate Cancer Infolink believes we can expect strong feelings to be expressed on both sides of this issue over the next few years, and we want to go on record now as stating that the currently available data for and against the appropriateness of screening for almost every form of cancer is generally very poor.

“We are never going to be able to resolve any of these issues until be get a lot better at at least some — and preferably all — of the following:

  • The early differential diagnosis of cancers by clinical risk — in other words, being able to have much better understanding at the time of diagnosis of who really needs aggressive treatment because their cancer may either shorten their life or severely affect its quality.
  • Explaining to individual patients why aggressive treatment may not be  in their best interests if they have every indication of low risk, indolent forms of cancer.
  • Alignment of physicians’ financial reimbursement with truly appropriate medical practice — so that a urologist (for example) is as reasonably compensated for convincing a 70-year-old patient that expectant management is probably an excellent form of care for his prostate cancer, given his particular circumstances, as the urologist would be for carrying out a radical prostatectomy.
  • Teaching society that the vast majority of cancer diagnoses have long since ceased to be a death sentence (although there are still plenty of exceptions to that statement).”

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