The one thing every man should start thinking about when he turns 40, is his prostate health.
Yes, I know, 40 might sound a bit early, but the truth is 1 in every 10,000 men under the age of 40 is diagnosed every year with prostate cancer… and then the rate suddenly shoots up to 1 in 38 for ages 40 to 59, and 1 in 14 for ages 60 to 69…
Medical experts now also say all men should get a baseline PSA blood test in their 40s to help predict their risk of developing prostate cancer. So, it makes sense to start a healthy prostate regimen sooner rather than later.
However, if there is one thing you shouldn’t do, then it is to allow your doctor to use two advanced prostate cancer treatments without very good reason.
No thanks in advance
Over the past decade, researchers have wisely figured out how to address prostate cancer in older men. If the cancer hasn’t spread, and if the patient is past the age of 70, you DO NOT treat.
Most prostate cancers grow very slowly. So it’s pointless to treat a condition that will likely never become a serious health risk.
In fact, there was a saying in the medical community that you’re “far more likely to die WITH prostate cancer than FROM prostate cancer.”
Yet even in these older men with very little risk, new research shows that doctors have dramatically increased their use of two advanced prostate cancer treatments. One is intensity-modulated radiotherapy. The other is robotic prostatectomy.
Over a five-year study period, use of these high tech treatments in men who didn’t need them increased by 85 per cent! Apart from the side effects, the improvements in outcomes are “marginal at best,” according to one of the researchers.
We recently saw the very same thing when I told you about the “advancement” of 3-D mammography. High tech. High price. Plenty of dangers. And an improvement in outcome that’s ?¦ well ?¦ marginal at best.
It’s deeply upsetting that medical professionals are hyping and using pricey new technology in patients who need LESS treatment, not more.
But it’s most upsetting to realize how easy it is for doctors to sell patients on fantastic new “lifesaving” developments. In a desperate moment, after hearing the word “cancer,” just about any of us might agree to a treatment that’s touted as bigger, better, and advanced.
Cutting edge. World class. They can call it whatever hyped-up term they want. In the end, it’s just a shiny new bike with streamers on the handlebars.
Don’t get me wrong. A lot of medical advancements are literally life-saving.
This just isn’t one of them.
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
“Use of Advanced Treatment Technologies Among Men at Low Risk of Dying From Prostate Cancer” Vol. 309, No. 24, 6/26/13, jama.jamanetwork.com
“Corporate Integrity Agreement between the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services and GlaxoSmithKline LLC” Department of Justice, July 2012, justice.gov
“Biggest Deal Ever: Glaxo Pays $3B For Bad Behavior” Ed Silverman, Pharmalot, 7/2/12, pharmalot.com
“GlaxoSmithKline Accused of Corruption by China” David Barboza, The New York Times, 7/11/13, nytimes.com