A Lingering Question: Do Vasectomies Increase Prostate Cancer Risk
Theres no need to panic if youve heard about studies suggesting that men who have vasectomies are at a greater risk of developing prostate cancer.
Controversy has existed for several decades over the possible relationship between vasectomy and prostate cancer, says Chodak. But those studies were flawed.
A Mayo Clinic review of 53 studies published in September 2017 in JAMA Internal Medicine found no link between the procedure and high-grade, advanced, or fatal prostate cancer. Whatever negligible association they did detect between vasectomies and cancer probably had nothing to do with the disease, say the authors. Men considering a vasectomy and those who have already had one need not become alarmed or take any special action, adds Chodak.
Additional reporting by Carlene Bauer.
Can You Make A Dog With Cancer Comfortable
So what do you do now once your dog is diagnosed with cancer? Are they bound to suffer each day they go on, or are there ways to improve the time they have left? The answer to this question will vary based on the cancer your dog is diagnosed with.
Based on your dogs specific diagnosis, your vet will try their best to make their life as comfortable as possible. This may include offering them a special diet, offering pain management if needed, controlling undesirable GI issues, implementing frequent check ups, and offering tips for comfort that you can apply at home. Establishing a close relationship with your veterinarian is key for keeping your dog comfortable.
Medical Procedures Can Cause Psa To Rise
“Anything that traumatically interferes with the architecture around the prostate gland can make PSA go up,” says Dr. Milner. “One of the most common causes of significantly high PSA from this type of trauma is the placing of a catheter into the bladder.”
Another cause is a prostate or bladder exam that involves passing a scope or taking a biopsy.
“Since it takes about two to three days for PSA to go down by half, you should wait two to three weeks after this type of trauma to do a PSA test,” Milner says.
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Benefits Of Early Detection And Treatment
The goal of screening for prostate cancer is to identify high-risk, localized prostate cancer that can be successfully treated, thereby preventing the morbidity and mortality associated with advanced or metastatic prostate cancer.
Adequate evidence from randomized clinical trials shows that PSA-based screening programs in men aged 55 to 69 years may prevent approximately 1.3 deaths from prostate cancer over approximately 13 years per 1,000 men screened.3,4 Screening programs may also prevent approximately 3 cases of metastatic prostate cancer per 1,000 men screened.3 Current results from screening trials show no reductions in all-cause mortality from screening. There is inadequate evidence to assess whether the benefits for African American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer aged 55 to 69 years are different from the benefits for the average-risk population. There is also inadequate evidence to assess whether there are benefits to starting screening in these high-risk groups before age 55 years.
Adequate evidence from RCTs is consistent with no benefit of PSA-based screening for prostate cancer on prostate cancer mortality in men 70 years and older.
When To Euthanize A Dog With Cancer
Our canine companions are a member of our family, making a cancer diagnosis extremely devastating. Not only is it difficult to hear the words, but many owners struggle with understanding the process of their disease and when its actually time to let them go.
In this article we will help you understand the diagnosis of cancer in dogs. The signs that your dog may be struggling in their disease and when its time to consider letting your furry friend go.
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Straining To Pass Feces
Think of this problem like putting your foot on a hosepipe: The pressure on the hosepipe stops water flowing. Only in this case, the rectum is the hose and the prostate in the foot. The lack of space with the pelvis means an enlarged prostate pushes up on the rectum and makes it difficult for the dog to pass feces.
These dogs typically squat for ages, and perhaps walk around in a squat as they try to do their business. They may even produce some liquid from the anus, followed by a hard stool.
What Are The Stages Of Prostate Cancer
Your healthcare provider uses the Gleason score and Grade Groups to stage prostate cancer based on its projected aggressiveness. To get this information, the pathologist:
- Assigns a grade to each type of cell in your sample. Cells are graded on a scale of three to five . Samples that test in the one to two range are considered normal tissue.
- Adds together the two most common grades to get your Gleason score .
- Uses the Gleason score to place you into a Grade Group ranging from one to five. A Gleason score of six puts you in Grade Group 1 . A score of nine or higher puts you in Grade Group five . Samples with a higher portion of more aggressive cells receive a higher Grade Group.
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Why Does Prostate Cancer Happen
The causes of prostate cancer are largely unknown. But certain things can increase your risk of developing the condition.
The chances of developing prostate cancer increase as you get older. Most cases develop in men aged 50 or older.
For reasons not yet understood, prostate cancer is more common in men of African-Caribbean or African descent, and less common in Asian men.
Men whose father or brother were affected by prostate cancer are at slightly increased risk themselves.
Recent research also suggests that obesity increases the risk of prostate cancer.
Risk Factors For Prostate Cancer
Some risk factors have been linked to prostate cancer. A risk factor is something that can raise your chance of developing a disease. Having one or more risk factors doesn’t mean that you will get prostate cancer. It just means that your risk of the disease is greater.
- Age. Men who are 50 or older have a higher risk of prostate cancer.
- Race. African-American men have the highest risk of prostate cancerâthe disease tends to start at younger ages and grows faster than in men of other races. After African-American men, prostate cancer is most common among white men, followed by Hispanic and Native American men. Asian-American men have the lowest rates of prostate cancer.
- Family history. Men whose fathers or brothers have had prostate cancer have a 2 to 3 times higher risk of prostate cancer than men who do not have a family history of the disease. A man who has 3 immediate family members with prostate cancer has about 10 times the risk of a man who does not have a family history of prostate cancer. The younger a man’s relatives are when they have prostate cancer, the greater his risk for developing the disease. Prostate cancer risk also appears to be slightly higher for men from families with a history of breast cancer.
- Diet. The risk of prostate cancer may be higher for men who eat high-fat diets.
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Why Are Girls More Likely To Get Utis Than Boys
These nasty germs can cause infections anywhere in the urinary tract, which is made up of the: A bladder infection is called cystitis. A kidney infection is called pyelonephritis. Girls are more likely to get UTIs than boys are because their urethra is shorter. Bacteria from the anus can more easily get into the vagina and urethra.
Prostate Cancer Survival By Age
Five-year survival for prostate cancer shows an unusual pattern with age: survival gradually increases from 91% in men aged 15-49 and peaks at 94% in 60-69 year olds survival falls thereafter, reaching its lowest point of 66% in 80-99 year olds patients diagnosed with prostate cancer in England during 2009-2013. The higher survival in men in their sixties is likely to be associated with higher rates of PSA testing in this age group.
Prostate Cancer , Five-Year Net Survival by Age, Men, England, 2009-2013
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Psa Levels By Age Chart
The main difference between the PSA scores of prostatitis and an enlarged prostate, compared to prostate cancer, is the ratio of free vs bound PSA within your test sample.
- Prostate Cancer will have a higher bound PSA ratio.
- An enlarged prostate and prostatitis will have a higher free PSA ratio.
- If your free PSA results are less than 25%, your risk for developing prostate cancer is between 10% to 20%.
- If your free PSA results are less than 10%, your risk for developing prostate cancer jumps to around 50%.
Screening For Prostate Cancer In African American Men
Burden. In the United States, African American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than white men . African American men are also more than twice as likely as white men to die of prostate cancer .1 The higher death rate is attributable in part to an earlier age at cancer onset, more advanced cancer stage at diagnosis, and higher rates of more aggressive cancer . These differences in death from prostate cancer may also reflect that African American men have lower rates of receiving high-quality care.
Available Evidence. The USPSTF searched for evidence about the potential benefits and harms of PSA-based screening for prostate cancer in African American men.
Potential Benefits. The PLCO trial enrolled 4% African American men, which is not enough to determine whether the overall trial results differed for African American men.17 The ERSPC trial did not record or report any race-specific subgroup information. The low proportion of persons of African descent in European countries during the study period makes it likely that these groups were not well represented.
Potential Harms. An analysis from the PLCO trial found that African American men were significantly more likely to have major infections after prostate biopsy than white men .13 Evidence is insufficient to compare the risk of false-positive results, potential for overdiagnosis, and magnitude of harms from prostate cancer treatment in African American vs. other men.
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Research Needs And Gaps
There are many areas in need of research to improve screening for and treatment of prostate cancer, including:
Comparing different screening strategies, including different screening intervals, to fully understand the effects on benefits and harms
Developing, validating, and providing longer term follow-up of screening and diagnostic techniques, including risk stratification tools, use of baseline PSA level as a risk factor, and use of nonPSA-based adjunctive tests that can distinguish nonprogressive and slowly progressive cancer from cancer that is likely to become symptomatic and affect quality or length of life, to reduce overdiagnosis and overtreatment
Screening for and treatment of prostate cancer in African American men, including understanding the potential benefits and harms of different starting ages and screening intervals and the use of active surveillance given the large disparities in prostate cancer mortality in African American men, this should be a national priority
How to better inform men with a family history of prostate cancer about the benefits and harms of PSA-based screening for prostate cancer, including the potential differences in outcomes between men with relatives who died of prostate cancer and men with relatives diagnosed with prostate cancer who died of other causes
How to refine active prostate cancer treatments to minimize harms
Read the full article.
What Research Has Been Done To Study Prostate Cancer Screening
Several randomized clinical trials of prostate cancer screening have been carried out. One of the largest is the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial, which NCI conducted to determine whether certain screening tests can help reduce the numbers of deaths from several common cancers. In the prostate portion of the trial, the PSA test and DRE were evaluated for their ability to decrease a mans chances of dying from prostate cancer.
The PLCO investigators found that men who underwent annual prostate cancer screening had a higher incidence of prostate cancer than men in the control group but the same rate of deaths from the disease . Overall, the results suggest that many men were treated for prostate cancers that would not have been detected in their lifetime without screening. Consequently, these men were exposed unnecessarily to the potential harms of treatment.
A second large trial, the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer , compared prostate cancer deaths in men randomly assigned to PSA-based screening or no screening. As in the PLCO, men in ERSPC who were screened for prostate cancer had a higher incidence of the disease than control men. In contrast to the PLCO, however, men who were screened had a lower rate of death from prostate cancer .
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Risk Of Prostate Cancer
About 1 man in 8 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.
Prostate cancer is more likely to develop in older men and in non-Hispanic Black men. About 6 cases in 10 are diagnosed in men who are 65 or older, and it is rare in men under 40. The average age of men at diagnosis is about 66.
Tests Used To Check The Prostate
This first step lets your doctor hear and understand the “story” of your prostate concerns. You’ll be asked whether you have symptoms, how long you’ve had them, and how much they affect your lifestyle. Your personal medical history also includes any risk factors, pain, fever, or trouble passing urine. You may be asked to give a urine sample for testing.
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Prostate Cancer Screening Ages 55 To 69
This is the age range where men will benefit the most from screening.Thats because this is the time when:
- Men are most likely to get cancer
- Treatment makes the most sense, meaning when treatment benefits outweigh any potential risk of treatment side effects
Most men will get prostate cancer if they live long enough. Some prostatecancers are more aggressive others can be slow-growing. Doctors will takeyour age and other factors into consideration before weighing the risks andbenefits of treatment.
You should ask your doctor how often he or she recommends you get screened.For most men, every two to three years is enough.
Depending on the results of your first PSA test, your doctor may recommendyou get screened less frequently.
Are Prostate Problems Always A Sign Of Prostate Cancer
Not all growths in the prostate are cancerous, and not all prostate problems indicate cancer. Other conditions that cause similar prostate cancer symptoms include:
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia : At some point, almost every man will develop benign prostatic hyperplasia . This condition enlarges the prostate gland but doesnt increase cancer risk. The swollen gland squeezes the urethra and blocks the flow of semen and urine. Medications, and sometimes surgery, can help.
- Prostatitis: Men younger than 50 are more prone to prostatitis, inflammation and swelling of the prostate gland. Bacterial infections are often the cause. Treatments include antibiotics or other medications.
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How Is Prostate Cancer Treated
For many men with prostate cancer, treatment is not immediately necessary.
If the cancer is at an early stage and not causing symptoms, your doctor may suggest either “watchful waiting” or “active surveillance”.
The best option depends on your age and overall health. Both options involve carefully monitoring your condition.
Some cases of prostate cancer can be cured if treated in the early stages.
- radiotherapy either on its own or alongside hormone therapy
Some cases are only diagnosed at a later stage, when the cancer has spread.
If the cancer spreads to other parts of the body and cannot be cured, treatment is focused on prolonging life and relieving symptoms.
All treatment options carry the risk of significant side effects, including erectile dysfunction and urinary symptoms, such as needing to use the toilet more urgently or more often.
For this reason, some men choose to delay treatment until there’s a risk the cancer might spread.
Newer treatments, such as high-intensity focused ultrasound and cryotherapy, aim to reduce these side effects.
Some hospitals may offer them as an alternative to surgery, radiotherapy or hormone therapy.
But the long-term effectiveness of these treatments is not known yet.
How Are Researchers Trying To Improve The Psa Test
Scientists are investigating ways to improve the PSA test to give doctors the ability to better distinguish cancerous from benign conditions and slow-growing cancers from fast-growing, potentially lethal cancers. None has been proven to decrease the risk of death from prostate cancer. Some of the methods being studied include:
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Genetic Testing For Prostate Cancer
You may hear a lot about genetics or genomics. Both terms are related to genes and cell DNA, but they are different. These tests are being used to learn more about the DNA of cancer cells, and link DNA mutations with treatments. In the future, genetic testing may be the first step doctors take when diagnosing prostate cancer.
High Psa Levels From A Urinary Tract Infection
“Any infection near the prostate gland, including a urinary tract infection, can irritate and inflame prostate cells and cause PSA to go up,” says Milner.
If youve been diagnosed with a urinary tract infection, be sure to wait until after the infection has cleared up before you get a PSA test. In men, most urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria and respond well to antibiotics.
Having BPH increases your risk for a urinary tract infection.
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