prostate cancer treatment

  1. How to survive prostate cancer

    The mainstream is engaged in one of the biggest turnarounds in medical history--and it's almost complete.

    Two new studies show yet again how prostate cancer is badly overtreated, exposing millions of men to expensive, life- ruining surgeries and deadly radiation for absolutely no reason.

    The first study finds that men who've survived one prostate treatment only to see the disease return are still far more likely to die of anything other than the cancer.

    Kind of makes you wonder if that first treatment was even necessary, doesn't it?

    More than 600 prostate cancer patients who had been treated with either surgery or radiation were tracked for up to 16 years. During that time, 62 percent died--but just 12 percent of those patients died of prostate cancer, according to the study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

    You might think that's a win for "life-saving" treatment... but don't celebrate it just yet--because it turns out even those who suffered cancer recurrences survived the disease long enough to die of something else.

    Roughly 37 percent of the surgery patients saw a return of their cancer--but since that's based on the same PSA levels that have led to the overtreatment of this cancer in the first place, it's hard to take that number too seriously.

    In any case, nearly 80 percent of the patients who suffered this "biochemical recurrence" were still alive 15 years later.

    Again, it begs the question: Was that first surgery really necessary?

    Nearly half of those treated with radiation--48 percent-- suffered a recurrence, and 80 percent of them were still alive 10 years later, while 58 percent managed to live through 15 more years.

    You have to wonder what role radiation played in the cancer's return... and the slightly higher death rate.

    Meanwhile, a new study in the Journal of Urology finds that most men who undergo prostate cancer surgery get too many PSA tests afterwards.

    Researchers examined data on 2,219 men who underwent surgery at the Mayo Clinic, then were given PSA tests every three months for a year, every six months for the second year, and then annually after that.

    Just 6 percent of the patients experienced that so-called "biochemical recurrence."

    Researchers say that clearly, too many men are getting too many tests.

    I agree--because most of these men had one test too many to begin with: The one that led to their first cancer treatment. PSA tests are inaccurate, unreliable and the very embodiment of everything wrong with a system that profits off treating a disease that rarely kills anyone even when it's left alone.

    But while prostate cancer usually isn't worth worrying about, one rare and deadly form of cancer is. Keep reading to find out how you can lower your risk.

  2. Living with prostate cancer

    Prostate cancer isn't the cold-blooded killer you've been led to believe--and a new study shows yet again how the best treatment is often no treatment at all.

    That's because prostate cancer doesn't actually kill most of the people who get it. In fact, low- and intermediate- risk prostate cancers hardly kill anyone at all.

    Swedish researchers crunched the numbers on more than 6,800 men under 70 years old who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and compared what happened to those who underwent treatment to those who did nothing.

    And never before has "nothing" meant so much--because while these patients were three times more likely to die of prostate cancer, the overall numbers were so tiny you'd need a microscope to see them.

    In fact, the researchers found that just 2.4 percent of the patients who did nothing died of prostate cancer over 10 years. Not only that, but the researchers say the real number may have been even smaller--because many of those who didn't seek treatment were unhealthier in the first place, according to the study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

    In any case, nearly 98 percent of the untreated patients didn't die of prostate cancer. It's yet another sign that today's screenings have gone too far--detecting cancers that never needed to be seen in the first place, because they never would have caused anyone harm.

    Some of those screenings actually "detect" phantom cancers that aren't really there at all--setting patients up for all the pain and misery of treatment, with none of the disease. One study out of Europe earlier this year found that one out of every eight men treated for prostate cancer didn't actually have the disease.

    Whatever happened to "first, do no harm?"

    And when it comes to prostate treatments, there is plenty of harm. Men who opt for treatments such as surgery and radiation face impotence, incontinence, painful recoveries, high stress and big bills.

    These people call themselves "cancer survivors"--but maybe "treatment survivors" is a better term.

    The bottom line here is that many of us suffer from cancer and never know it--because some cancers grow so slowly that they'll never hurt us. Prostate cancer is a prime example of that.

    So if you have a doctor rushing you into treatment, rush yourself to another doctor for a second opinion first.

    The numbers are on your side.

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