prostate surgery

  1. The risk of a PSA test outweighs the benefits

    The end of the PSA test?

    It's been a long time coming, but the PSA test used to screen men for prostate cancer is finally on the outs.

    The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has formally given a "D" to the PSA test. It's the lowest possible grade the guideline-writing agency issues, and it means the risks of the test outweigh the benefits.

    Naturally, there's been a lot of screaming from some doctors who want to keep using it, along with the men who believe the test led to a prostate surgery that saved their lives.

    In reality, the studies are remarkably consistent -- so consistent that I don't get why this new recommendation is controversial.

    Fact of the matter is that the PSA test has an incredibly high rate of false positives -- as high as 80 percent. That might be tolerable if it saved lives the other 20 percent of the time, but it doesn't.

    Instead, it often leads to treatments such as surgery that can come with serious long-term risks like incontinence and impotence -- and studies have shown that most of these men would have survived even without those life-ruining treatments.

    That's because prostate tumors grow so slowly you'll almost certainly live with them -- not die because of them.

    This isn't just a maverick opinion from the land of alternative health. It's the reason the very mainstream USPSTF is abandoning the test, the reason many mainstream doctors stopped using it long ago, and the reason even the man whose discovery led to the test -- Dr. Richard Ablin -- now regrets it.

    I don't think the PSA needs to be abandoned completely, as it may be of some use in men with a high risk of the disease -- such as men with a strong family history of prostate cancer. It can also be used to monitor men on testosterone therapy.

    But even then, it's just one tool in the toolbox and needs to be used alongside other better tools, such as the digital rectal exam and prostate ultrasound.

    If prostate cancer is diagnosed, many older men can safely take what's called the "watch and wait" approach, although I've never cared for the phrase. It sounds a little like "watch and do nothing," and that's exactly what you shouldn't do.

    Instead, work with a holistic doctor on getting the nutrition your body needs to slow, stop, and even reverse the growth of your prostate tumor. This used to be considered an "alternative" approach -- but thanks to the Task Force's decision, it's quickly moving into the mainstream.

    If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with prostate problems, consider getting help at my clinic.

  2. PSA tests don't save lives

    The best way to protect your prostate is to keep it far away from doctors who want to screen it -- and even further from the surgeons who make a living off prostate cancer procedures.

    Not long ago, this was considered a rogue approach.

    Today, it's mainstream science -- and another study confirms again that all the screenings in the world don't save lives.

    Simply put, the government-funded study of 76,000 men who were tracked for 13 years finds that annual PSA tests don't make a bit of difference in determining who lives and who dies.

    It's not hard to see why: PSA tests can't sort the rare, aggressive and deadly tumors from the ones you don't need to worry about -- and even when they do detect high-risk cancers, it's too late.

    As a result, men in both groups -- those who were screened every year, and those who were not -- died of the disease at the same rate, according to the study results published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

    But don't be fooled by the scare tactics: Most men who have prostate cancer live with it for years or even decades, and eventually die of something else entirely.

    And until screenings came along, most of these men never even knew they had prostate cancer.

    Ignorance was truly bliss.

    Today, when men find out they have the disease, they panic and get treated for it -- but if it doesn't reduce the death rate, why bother even finding out in the first place?

    That's the bottom line here, and if you're thinking "better safe than sorry," think again. Prostate surgery won't keep you safe... and it'll almost certainly leave you sorry -- sorry you ever agreed to surgery.

    The procedure that's been proven NOT to save your life can ruin it more than your doctors will ever let on. Men who wake up after prostate surgery often find they've lost all control "down there" and face long battles with incontinence and impotence.

    Plenty of men never recover.

    When you consider the decades you can live after a prostate cancer diagnosis -- with or without surgery -- that could add up to a quarter of your life or more, in diapers and unable to have sex.

    Of course, you've probably heard commercials and seen ads for newer "robot" procedures that make it sound like they have fewer of these risks -- but that's just not reality.

    Keep reading for the truth behind robot-assisted prostate surgeries.

  3. Men living with prostate regret

    The real "disease" facing many prostate patients isn't cancer -- it's regret.

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