Adults should be trusted to make their own decisions about their bodies, yet the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) in May recommended that men over 50 no longer get routinely screened for Prostate Specific Antigen, PSA, because men might not know how to handle abnormal results which could indicate potential prostate cancer. Next to skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common malignancy in men and is second only to lung cancer in its killing power. 30,000 men in the United States will die of prostate cancer this year.
A study published July 30 in the online journal Cancer concluded that dropping routine screening could threaten the lives of 17,000 men a year who would develop late stage prostate cancer. What is needed is more education, not less transparency.
Cancer ranges from the almost always fatal like lung cancer with its 85 percent five year death rate to those that grow slowly, like that in the prostate. This gland is the size of a walnut and makes the milky fluid that protects and transports the sperm in semen.
Elevated PSA levels can indicate prostate cancer, a common diagnosis that occurs in the lives of one out of every six men. At any one time, three percent of men tested for PSA will have real cancers detected, two percent will have the cancer missed, and five percent will have false positives, which should lead to a biopsy. Since biopsies are done by a needle, they are not harmless. Pulling sample cells out for analysis could potentially seed cancer along the needle track.
Left to themselves, two thirds of prostate cancers grow slowly and are not life threatening, yet 90 percent of the men who learn they have prostate cancer immediately deal with it, even though surgery and radiation therapy can produce incontinent or impotence.
According to a study published July 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine of 731 men with localized prostate cancer followed for an average of ten years, there was no significant life extension for those who had surgery. The difference in the survival rate was less than 3 percent. 47 percent with surgery died, compared to 49.9 percent whose cancer was assigned to watchful waiting.
For many men, the PSA test is simply part of an annual physical, often accompanied by a digital rectal exam that detects for an enlarged gland. If the PSA levels are elevated, many immediately order a biopsy and if it’s cancer, they get rid of it quickly, no matter what the potential consequences. The gut reaction is understandable since hostile cells are trying to take over a man’s most intimate parts.
Prostate cancer's aggressiveness is rated by a Gleason Score. If it's low, it probably better to wait. Prostate cancer does not usually demand the immediate action of appendicitis.
All men should research prostate cancer before taking the PSA test. Ask around. Given prostate cancer’s frequency, you’re bound to know somebody who has dealt with it. Have a frank discussion, especially about the side effects if your friend has had surgery or radiation treatment.
Fully understand the risks from the biopsy to surgery, chemotherapy and hormone therapy. Know what you’re confronting if you go for advanced treatment. In most cases prostate cancer is slow growing, so you’ll have time to assess your options rationally.
Here is the most important point: Despite the controversy surrounding it, Insist on a PSA test as part of your next physical. It’s your right to know.
Past that, if you test negative for prostate cancer, there are steps you can take to stay negative. In the Anti-Aging DVD, Reverse Aging Now, Bradley Willcox, MD of Harvard, author of The Okinawan Program told us that due to the lifestyles on the island of Okinawa, "The rate of breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers there is less than a quarter of American levels."
Diet and exercise are the key to Okinawan health. As elders they still get up and move, doing what they've always done, working muscles to earn a living. There is no word for "retirement" in the local dialect. They eat a low calorie, nutrient rich diet of fish caught in deep, pristine seas, whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, and local sake. They share a convivial social life and believe in higher powers. "Most important, Okinawans have the world's longest disability-free life expectancy," Willcox said.
For a fascinating look at this culture of longevity in Okinawa, pick up the anti-aging DVD "Reverse Aging Now." For more on diet's role in combating not only prostate but breast cancer, read the February 2012 Issue of Reverse Aging News.
Alzheimer’s Disease Hope
In July researchers in the journal Nature announced the discovery of a rare genetic mutation found in Iceland that protects people from Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Beta amyloid, a protein molecule, has been implicated as a cause. It builds up as plaques and tangles in the brains of those affected, where the fibers effectively strangle brain neurons to death. Decades ago, scientists found a genetic propensity for some to develop Alzheimer’s that puts children of Alzheimer's Disease patients at risk for cognitive decline in their fifties or even younger. Now researchers led by Dr. Kari Stefansson have found a protective mutation that puts a brake on beta amyloid production.
According to Caleb Finch, PhD, in the anti-aging DVD "Reverse Aging Now." 50 percent of people reaching the age of 85 suffer from dementia in what could be an Alzheimer’s process. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, but the new discovery offers hope of developing medication that could mimic the effect of the mutant gene, reducing age related cognitive decline. Until new medication is developed one simple step we can all take to slow age related cognitive decline is to avoid spikes in blood sugar.
Reverse Aging Now is Perfect For Bathing Suit Season
Now that summer is at its height, it's time to keep looking your best for the beach. In particular, note the section on sun damage and its consequences. Pick up your own copy of the anti-aging documentary , “Reverse Aging Now." Each has a 100+ page interactive longevity workbook on the DVD so viewers can track their own progress. The latest version also contains a TV interview with the producers about how they applied the precepts they learned to live better and younger. Preview the documentary here. As a reader of this newsletter you qualify for a special bonus: Enter coupon code RAN-5 at checkout and save $5 off the selling price here at ReverseAging.TV Get 2 1/3 hours of material for only $19.95!
To see how one baby boomer is applying anti-aging precepts to his own life, go to Anti Aging Diary.com. To embrace anti-aging you need to make a mental as well as physical journey. It's not always easy, but well worth the effort. Remember to watch our anti-aging documentary, “Reverse Aging Now.
Reverse Aging News c. 2012 Checkmate Pictures - Paul M. J. Suchecki, Editor Prostate Diagram Courtesy WomensHealth.Gov, B&W photo by Leroy Skalstad, color photo by Amanda Mills, Centers for Disease Control.
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