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Harvard Health Blog
Read the latest posts from experts at Harvard Health Publishing covering a variety of health topics and perspectives on medical news.
PSA — Old controversies, new results
Many experts believe prostate cancer is the exception to the rule when it comes to screening. In fact, PSA screening may actually do more harm than good. Two studies, one conducted in the U.S. and the other in Europe, were hopefully going to settle the debate over the value of the PSA. While they gave us some answers, we are still a long way from settling the debate.
One couple’s story: Handling prostate cancer in the face of differing biopsies
Elliot and Elizabeth Boyd share their experience with a prostate cancer diagnosis, explain their next steps in light of seemingly contradictory test results, and offer advice to those coping with their diagnosis and weighing treatment options.
Raising prostate cancer awareness among African Americans: Two patients’ stories
Two prostate cancer survivors talk about the importance of prostate cancer education among African Americans and other men at high risk.
Androgen-independent prostate cancer: A patient’s story
Ken Gannon talks about his 13 year battle with prostate cancer and his experiences with second-line hormone therapies, investigational drugs, and four clinical trials, one of which nearly killed him.
A patient’s story: Why one man opted for lifestyle changes instead of treatment
Patient Ben Hunter explains why he decided to postpone treatment for prostate cancer and the lifestyle changes he made immediately following his diagnosis.
Choosing — and sticking with — active surveillance: A patient’s story
Patient Jeffrey Caruso explains why he decided to pursue active surveillance and under what circumstances he would opt to treat his prostate cancer.
A patient’s story: Why one man chose robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy
After talking with numerous medical professionals and asking friends about how they treated their prostate cancers, financial services executive Steve Henley opted to have a robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy. In this interview, he explains what factors went into that decision.
Drug combo better at easing BPH than either drug alone
Study shows that taking both dutasteride (Avodart) and tamsulosin (Flomax) might be more effective at easing symptoms than taking just one.
Continuous vs. intermittent hormone therapy (IHT): No survival difference
Given the beneficial effects and the lack of a survival difference, intermittent hormone therapy may be a preferred regimen for men with advanced prostate cancer.
Hormone therapy: How long should it last?
A European study finds that mortality is higher among men who pursue hormone therapy for just six months. But the study was conducted in men with relatively large tumors, not small, early-stage tumors, the kind found most often in American men.
Midlife PSA tests may predict prostate cancer diagnosis up to 25 years later
According to a 2007 Swedish study, a PSA test done between the ages of 44 and 50 may predict whether or not a man will develop prostate cancer later in life.
Initial PSA tests can’t distinguish lethal prostate cancers
In a study of over 250 men, Swedish researchers found that neither the initial PSA level nor its rate of increase in a two-year period predicted which men had lethal versus indolent cancers.
Can nerve grafts restore erectile function?
Studies have shown that some men who have their neurovascular bundles removed during a radical prostatectomy may regain erectile function with nerve grafts. But a patient’s best bet for preserving erectile function is to find an experienced surgeon.
Treating prostatitis: Any cause for optimism?
Standard treatments for prostatitis, including antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, and alpha blockers, are often ineffective. Patients might find relief by using drugs currently in clinical trials or nontraditional therapies such as biofeedback and myofascial trigger release, a form of massage.
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