Urology news

“Vitamin D supplements may slow or prevent low-grade prostate cancer from progressing.” Investigators “randomly assigned 37 men who elected to have their prostate removed to receive either 4,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D or an inactive placebo daily for 60 days before their operation, when the prostate gland was examined after their surgery,” the investigators “found that many who received vitamin D had improvements in their prostate tumors, while the tumors in the placebo group remained the same or got worse.”

Mr J Clavijo: it is well known that vitamins deficit has negative effects. This seems to look at the issue from the opposite side.

“Testosterone, which fuels prostate cancer growth, unexpectedly stymies the disease in certain cases. The “treatment strategy called bipolar androgen therapy – where patients alternate between low and high levels of testosterone – might make prostate tumours more responsive to standard hormonal therapy.” In the “study, 16 men with hormone therapy-resistant prostate cancer received bipolar androgen therapy.” The cancers in seven of these individuals went into remission. Meanwhile, “in four men, tumours shrank, and in one man, tumours disappeared completely.”

Mr J Clavijo: testosterone suppression shrinks prostate cancer, however, prostate cancers that develop under low testosterone conditions are more aggressive than those that develop under normal testosterone levels. Changing testosterone levels may be a strategy to change tumour behaviour. Intermittent androgen suppression is a well known and time tested treatment alternative.

Targeted Biopsy Using MRI and TRUS Information Can Predict Location, Gleason Pattern Of Prostate Tumour With 90% Or Greater Accuracy. Research published online in European Urology suggests that “targeted biopsies using magnetic resonance-transrectal ultrasound (MR-TRUS) can reliably predict the location and primary Gleason pattern of a prostate tumor with 90% or greater accuracy.” But, “this approach…has limited ability to predict cancer volume.”

Mr J Clavijo: when there is suspicion of prostate cancer, especially after a first normal biopsy, MRI helps to localize areas where small but relevant tumours may be located.

Shockwave Therapy May Improve Erectile Dysfunction In Some Men. A study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Urology finds that “shockwave therapy may help improve erectile dysfunction (ED) in some men.” The study included 112 men with ED and was prospective, randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled. Fifty-one men in the study received “low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy” while 54 received placebo. Of those treated, 29 “were able to obtain an erection after treatment and to have sexual intercourse without the use of medication” while just five were able to do so in the placebo group. Seven in the treated group were still able to do so 24 weeks after treatment.

Mr J Clavijo: this is an interesting finding. If replicated can lead to an additional option to treat ED.

Doctor Ratings Improve With More Tests and Treatments. “Ultimately, it is the patient that pays the price for this policy”. As noted in the Forbes article on doctor ratings, “The math is now simple for doctors: More tests and stronger drugs equal more satisfied patients, and more satisfied patients equal more pay. The biggest loser: the patient, who may not receive appropriate care.” The largest and most important study to date on satisfaction and clinical outcomes reported that the hospitals with the highest satisfaction scores also had the highest per capita expenditures, the longest inpatient stays and the highest all-cause mortality rates.

Mr J Clavijo: human nature is difficult to understand, but these are facts. The study comes from the US, but it is highly likely to be quite similar elsewhere.

WHO: High BMI Linked To 481,000 New Cancer Cases In 2012. The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said in a study published in the journal The Lancet Oncology that high body mass index (BMI) is a major cancer risk factor, causing 3.6 percent (481,000) of new cancer cases in 2012. The study also found that North America had about 111,000 obesity-related cancers diagnosed in 2012, 23 percent the cancer cases linked to high BMI in the world that year. The researchers focused on types of cancer linked to excess weight in previous studies, including “cancers of the oesophagus, colon, rectum, kidney, pancreas, gallbladder, uterus and ovaries, as well as postmenopausal breast cancer.”

Mr J Clavijo: obesity is likely to be the main health risk factor this century.

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