Annals of Internal Medicine is a systematic review comparing the effectiveness and harms of treatments for prostate cancer. Check out their motive:Published in the
Background: The comparative effectiveness of localized prostate cancer treatments is largely unknown.Now, my new buddy Tara Parker-Pope of The New York Times Well blog sums up the study. Here’s an excerpt from No Answers for Men With Prostate Cancer:
Purpose: To compare the effectiveness and harms of treatments for localized prostate cancer.
But the study, published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine, gives men very little guidance. Prostate cancer is typically a slow-growing cancer, and many men can live with it for years, often dying of another cause. But some men have aggressive prostate cancers, and last year 27,050 men died from the disease. The lifetime risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer has nearly doubled to 20 percent since the late 1980s, due mostly to expanded use of the prostate-specific antigen, or P.S.A., blood test. But the risk of dying of prostate cancer remains about 3 percent. “Considerable overdetection and overtreatment may exist,'’ said an agency press release.Kudos to Tara for summing this up! I almost passed out trying to do it myself. Okay prostate cancer suffers, don’t give up hope. Here’s some advice from Dr. Fuhrman. Look:
The agency review is based on analysis of 592 published articles of various treatment strategies. The studies looked at treatments that use rapid freezing and thawing (cryotherapy); minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopic or robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy); testicle removal or hormone therapy (androgen deprivation therapy); and high-intensity ultrasound or radiation therapy. The study also evaluated research on “watchful waiting,'’ which means monitoring the cancer and initiating treatment only if it appears the disease is progressing.
No one treatment emerged as the best option for prolonging life. And it was impossible to determine whether one treatment had fewer or less severe side effects.
If you already have prostate cancer—and a Gleason score of 7 or higher or a palpable nodule identified by DRE—nutritional treatment alone does not offer enough of a guarantee of success. In these cases, a customized hormonal approach makes the most sense and has been shown to be very effective.1 Seek out a doctor well versed and experienced with triple hormonal blockade, who has the willingness and capability to customize a medical regimen for each individual patient. Triple hormonal blockade consists of a LH (luteinizing hormone) agonist, an anti-androgen, and finasteride. This treatment is usually performed for about a year and long-term suppression of cancer growth has been evident in scientific studies.And certainly surgical intervention is risky business. Dr. Fuhrman talks about it Prostate Cancer Facts, here’s a bit:
Quite a few enlightened physicians and urologists agree with the treatment options I describe in this newsletter. They no longer recommend local treatments (such as radiation and prostate surgery) directed at destroying the prostate. Instead, they have become experts in hormonal blockade. However, my approach goes farther than this because I add a nutritional protocol to prevent and treat cancer, which includes most of my general dietary recommendations for excellent health in general.
All of the biopsies, treatments, and surgeries done in the hope of helping men with prostate cancer live longer cause significant side effects, such as incontinence, rectal bleeding, and impotence.1. Labrie F; Cusan L; Gomez J; Luu-The V; Candas B; Belanger A; Labrie C. Major impact of hormonal therapy in localized prostate cancer—death can already be an exception. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2004 Dec;92(5):327-44.
It is reasonable to ask if men actually benefit from such invasive intervention, including the destruction of part of the prostate or its removal. Are the side effects balanced by clear-cut advances in life expectancy?
The side effects of prostate cancer treatment are debilitating and demoralizing, and the percentage of patients who suffer from them is shockingly high.
When it comes to the treatment of the higher-grade forms of prostate cancer, typically distinguished with a high Gleason score, only nutritional excellence and hormonal therapy— which can treat the cancerous cells that have already left the prostate, as well—are worthwhile.
- Erectile dysfunction: over 50%
- Bowel dysfunction: over 10%
- Urinary dysfunction: over 20%
For the majority of men treated for prostate cancer, it appears that their lives would have been much better off if their prostate cancer had never been diagnosed, since it is most likely that the side effects experienced from the treatment are not balanced by an increase in life span.