When You Have Prostate Cancer Make Physical Activity a Priority

From improving your mood to helping you fight fatigue; physical activity can have lots of benefits when you have prostate cancer, from improving your mood to fighting fatigue. Physical activity doesn’t have to mean something of the level of running a marathon or climbing a mounting. There are many small ways to encourage yourself to get more active; move more. Talk to your doctor and ask for a good exercise plan that meets your personal needs.

Activity Can Help Ease Treatment Side Effects

For patients that are getting hormone therapy for their prostate cancer, exercise can help with some of the side effects, some of which can be similar to those that women get during menopause. Some of the potential problems with hormone therapy can be osteoporosis, hot flashes, issues with sexual libido and weight gain. Staying physically active can help minimize these side effects.

Physical Activity Can Improve Your Treatment Options

There are a wide variety of reasons to keep up your fitness level throughout your life, however for prostate cancer patients research suggests that physical activity activates certain genetic pathways in your body, which can help improve how well medicines work.

Try to Keep Your Weight To a Normal Level.

Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center conducted a study that suggests the risk of dying from prostate cancer is more than double in obese men diagnosed with the disease, compared with men of normal weight. Men that are obese and have cancer that is limited to a specific area, have nearly four times the risk of their cancer spreading.

Activity Can Help You Beat Fatigue

Cancer treatments can often make patients feel tired. This is due to many factors including anemia, chemotherapy and radiation side effects, depression, and the cancer itself.

People often think that exercising when you are fatigued sounds counterproductive, but it is indeed a good way to combat fatigue. Researchers have proved that people with cancer who exercise regularly have 40%-50% less fatigue than those who don’t.

Activity Can Be a Mood Booster

Keeping your spirits up is easier when you are physically active. It’s a way to have control over your body in a good way. Exercise for prostate cancer patients can really help make them feel more positive.

What Activity Is Best For You?

Experts say that the ideal exercise/activity plan includes three parts: an activity like a brisk walk to get your heart pumping, strength training such as lifting weights to build muscle, and stretching to keep your muscles and joints limber.

For patients that weren’t physically active before their diagnosis, the advice is to start slowly. Each day just do a little more and a little more. Don’t strain yourself at the start of your new regime or you will just get discouraged. It’s fine to being with a simply 10-minute walk and work your way up slowly to a level such as 30 minutes, 5 days a week.

Your Relationship And The Effects Of Advanced Prostate Cancer

When a patient gets a diagnosis of advanced prostate cancer many things can change. One of those can be their relationship with their partner. There are ways to respond to this situation that can be helpful to the relationship.

What Can You Expect?

The statement “Knowledge is power” can be very apropos in this kind of circumstance. Understanding the physical and sexual side effects that could occur during or after prostate cancer treatment, will help couples be better prepared to handle them.

Your doctor can help you understand the symptoms a patient might experience and how to best manage them. It’s important that both partners understand this information.

It is very common for men who go through prostate cancer treatment have trouble getting or maintaining an erection in the first few months after treatment. On occasion these problems can be long-lasting.

Strong medicine is used in advanced prostate cancer including radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, and medications (including hormone therapy). Their side effects can include weight gain, lower libidos, fatigue and urinary incontinence. The side effects can be very upsetting to patients but there are many ways to help manage them.

Some men for example who experience erectile problems after treatments may be able to get erections with the help of medications, injections, or surgeries (such as penile implants).

Extra Affection Can Help

At a stressful time like this it’s important to focus on your relationship as a couple. Kisses and hugs and physical touch are good ways to keep the feeling of being connected. Even extra eye contact can help couples feel more in touch with each other.

Intimacy Can Come in Many Forms

During and after treatments sex may have to take a backseat and that’s to be expected. There are many ways to be sexual and couples just have to be open to new ways of looking at this issue.

There Are Pros Who Can Help

A couple’s therapist can help you and your partner if you are having trouble with sexual or emotional closeness when you’re dealing with cancer. Many men are reluctant to see a therapist, but it can be an important part of the whole treatment process/plan.

Keep The Faith It Will Get Better

Even you and your partner struggle with your relationship at times, patients need to realize that in the majority of cases it does get better and their relationship with their spouse does not have to deteriorate. In fact, when asked after treatment is finished, many couples say that dealing with prostate cancer has made their relationship stronger than ever.

Making the Choice: Advanced Prostate Cancer Treatments

Today patients have many choices on how to treat their advanced prostate cancer. There are many new therapies that have been approved by the FDA in the last few years and more are in development for the future. It can be challenging to decide which treatment to choose.

When patients are deciding on their course of action there a many important things to consider.

What are the Possible Side Effects?

As patients weight their options they need to consider their quality of life. It’s important to discuss the risks and benefits of each possible treatment with your doctor. Ask them to tell you about any side effects that medications may have both long term and short term.

Some drugs have risks such as muscle weakness or nausea. It is important to weigh those side effects against the benefits of that particular drug.

Take a Good Look at the Costs

Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor about the cost of certain treatments. Doctors understand that patients are very worried about the cost of care. Your doctor might not initially bring up the subject, but you can initiate the conversation by saying something like “Is there any way I can get an estimate on the costs of my cancer treatment before we start it?” Your doctor should be glad to help address these valid concerns.

Consider Your Family History

Doctors always ask whether prostate cancer runs in the family. And for good reason. The family history can influence the treatment plan that they suggest for you. For instance, a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine determined that more than 10% of men with advanced prostate cancer have a genetic mutation that raises the chance of having cancer.

Schedule of Treatment

You need to carefully consider how the treatment you choose affects might your daily routine. Questions like these are very relevant:
• Will I need to leave work/take vacation time early to get treatment?
• What will the arrangements be for transportation to get to and from the treatment center?
• If you have a caregiver, determine whether the treatment works with their job and schedule.

There is no treatment available, no matter how advanced it is, that will work if you don’t stick to it/remain compliant to the schedule. Some treatments have schedules that are more flexible than others so discuss that with your doctor.

Carefully Factor in Any Additional Health Problems You May Have

Many times your overall health will determine how well you handle a particular treatment. 66 is the average age of prostate cancer diagnosis in the U.S. Men with advanced prostate cancer are on average, about 10 years older when they get diagnosed. During your mid 70’s and later, patients are more likely to have long-term health conditions like diabetes and heart disease. These conditions can complicate cancer treatment.

Determine the Level of Your Personal Support Network

When you need treatment for prostate cancer, ask for help and support. Tell your family and friends and let them give you some assistance. That kind of help can be invaluable. You can also hire reliable staff that can be of aid. Your doctor or a staff member at the clinic may know about local organizations that offer discounted home care services.

Eating Right is Especially Important When You Have Prostate Cancer

Cancer treatments can cause side effects. These side effects are often more pronounced when patients are not eating enough and/or are not eating the right foods. Prostate cancer patients need to maintain good nutrition to feel their best and have the most energy possible. Here are some strategies to improve your diet:

Set a goal to meet your basic calorie needs.

For a cancer patient, the estimated calorie needs can be determined by multiplying their weight x 15 calories a pound (if their weight has been stable). If the patient has lost weight another 500 calories per day can be added. Example: A person who weighs 150 lbs. needs about 2,250 calories per day to maintain his or her weight.

Plenty of protein is recommended.

To rebuild and repair damaged and normally aging body tissue, protein can be an important factor. The estimated protein needs are 0.5 to 0.6 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Example: A 150-pound person needs 75 to 90 grams of protein per day.

The best sources of protein include foods from the dairy group (8 oz. milk = 8 grams protein) and meats (meat, fish, or poultry = 7 grams of protein per ounce), as well as eggs and legumes (beans).

Make sure to stay hydrated.

In general, people should take in between 30 and 50 ounces of fluid daily to prevent dehydration. (That’s 1 to 1.5 liters). Fluids can come in many types including water, juice, milk, broth, and milkshakes, as well as gelatin, fruits, and salads. The need to stay hydrated becomes very important if you have treatment side effects such as vomiting or diarrhea.

Keep in mind that beverages containing caffeine do not count as much, because they may make you urinate out as much or more than you take in.

Get your vitamins.

If you are not sure you are getting enough nutrients it’s a good idea to take a vitamin supplement. A multivitamin that provides at least 100% of the recommended dietary allowances (RDA) for most nutrients is a good option.

Make an appointment with a dietitian.

You can get a great deal of help from a registered dietitian who can provide suggestions to work around any eating problems that may be interfering with proper nutrition (such as early feeling of fullness, swallowing difficulty, or taste changes).

A dietitian can also help you maximize calories and show you how to include proteins in smaller amounts of food (such as powdered milk, instant breakfast drinks, and other commercial supplements or food additives).

Users of smokeless tobacco product were found to have higher risk of death from prostate cancer

According to a new study, snus, a smokeless tobacco product, may increase a prostate cancer patient’s risk of death.

Some have suggested that because it lacks the combustive effects of smoking, that snus is a less a harmful alternative to smoking.

However, researchers found the men who used snus and had prostate cancer were at increased risk of premature death.

Pronounced as though it rhymes with “goose”, snus is used mainly in Sweden but is also available in the United States. Sold most often in a bag resembling a tea bag, users place the powdered tobacco product under the upper lip for extended periods.

The researchers investigating snus users, found that, compared with men who never used tobacco, those non-smokers who used snus had a 24 percent higher risk of death from prostate cancer during the study period. They also had a 19 percent higher risk of death from any cause.

The study found that for those non-smokers who used snus whose cancer had not spread; these patients were three times more likely to die from prostate cancer than those who never used tobacco.

The study co-author concluded that there is some evidence from animal studies that nicotine can promote cancer progression, and snus users have high blood levels of nicotine. Although snus is a smokeless product, users are still exposed to other carcinogens in tobacco.

The results of the study suggest that the health effects of smokeless tobacco products can be detrimental to men diagnosed with prostate cancer.

New research regarding prostate cancer prevention

Researchers continue to look for foods (or substances in them) that can help lower prostate cancer risk. Scientists have found some substances in tomatoes (lycopenes) and soybeans (isoflavones) that might help prevent prostate cancer. Studies are now looking at the possible effects of these compounds more closely.

Scientists are also trying to develop related compounds that are even more potent and might be used as dietary supplements. So far, most research suggests that a balanced diet including these foods as well as other fruits and vegetables is probably of greater benefit than taking these substances as dietary supplements.

One vitamin that may be important in prevention is vitamin D. Some studies have found that men with high levels of vitamin D seem to have a lower risk of developing the more lethal forms of prostate cancer. Overall though, studies have not found that vitamin D protects against prostate cancer.

Many people assume that vitamins and other natural substances are safe to take, but recent research has shown that high doses of some may be harmful, including those in supplements marketed specifically for prostate cancer. For example, one study found that men who take more than 7 multivitamin tablets per week may have an increased risk of developing advanced prostate cancer. Another study showed a higher risk of prostate cancer in men who had high blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil capsules, which some people take to help with their heart, contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.

Some research has suggested that men who take a daily aspirin for a long time might have a lower risk of getting and dying from prostate cancer. Still, more research is needed to confirm this, and to confirm that any benefit outweighs potential risks, such as bleeding.

Scientists have also tested certain hormonal medicines called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors as a way of reducing prostate cancer risk

PSA Testing Differs Among Primary Care Doctors, Urologists

When it comes to prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, a new study reports that urologists are far more likely than primary care doctors to do perform these prostate cancer screenings.

The test is simple. blood sample is taken and sent to a laboratory to check for levels of a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland.

After the U.S. Preventative Services Task force recommended against routinely screening all men in 2011, PSA testing declined overall. New research shows that the decline in number of men tested was sharper among primary care doctors than urologists.

PSA testing decreased from 36 percent to 16 percent at primary care physician visits between 2010 and 2012. Researchers found that the decline in PSA testing was much smaller in urologist visits, dropping from 39 percent to 34 percent.

This discrepancy may reflect different perceptions of the benefits of the test among doctors, according to a study published online in JAMA Internal Medicine.

This much larger decline in PSA testing among primary care doctors could also stem from conflicting prostate cancer screening guidelines and differences in patients’ demographics or expectations, the study authors suggested.

The research team used the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey to examine PSA testing one year before and one year after the task force recommendations were issued.

The study involved nearly 1,200 preventive office visits made by men aged 50 to 74 who were not diagnosed with cancer or any other prostate condition. Primary care doctors were seen in 1,100 of these visits. The others were examined by a urologist, a doctor who specializes in the urinary tract.

New Research Into The Prevention Of Prostate Cancer

Researchers continue to look for foods (or substances in them) that can help lower prostate cancer risk. Scientists have found some substances in tomatoes (lycopenes) and soybeans (isoflavones) that might help prevent prostate cancer. Studies are now looking at the possible effects of these compounds more closely. Scientists are also trying to develop related compounds that are even more potent and might be used as dietary supplements. So far, most research suggests that a balanced diet including these foods as well as other fruits and vegetables is of greater benefit than taking these substances as dietary supplements.

Some studies have suggested that certain vitamin and mineral supplements (such as vitamin E and selenium) might lower prostate cancer risk. But a large study of this issue, called the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT), found that neither vitamin E nor selenium supplements lowered prostate cancer risk after daily use for about 5 years. In fact, men taking the vitamin E supplements were later found to have a slightly higher risk of prostate cancer.

Another vitamin that may be important is vitamin D. Some studies have found that men with high levels of vitamin D seem to have a lower risk of developing the more lethal forms of prostate cancer. Overall though, studies have not found that vitamin D protects against prostate cancer.
Many people assume that vitamins and other natural substances cause no harm, but recent research has shown that high doses may be harmful, including those in supplements marketed specifically for prostate cancer. For example, one study found that men who take more than 7 multivitamin tablets per week may have an increased risk of developing advanced prostate cancer. Another study showed a higher risk of prostate cancer in men who had high blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil capsules, which some people take to help with their heart, contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.

Some research has suggested that men who take aspirin daily for a long time might have a lower risk of getting and dying from prostate cancer, but more research is needed to confirm this.
Scientists have also tested certain hormonal medicines called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors as a way of reducing prostate cancer risk.

Chemotherapy in combination with hormone therapy in advanced prostate cancer

A new study has concluded that chemotherapy at the start of hormone therapy can extend the lives of men with prostate cancer that has spread beyond the gland.

Over nearly 29 months of follow-up, men with advanced prostate cancer who received the combination therapy lived almost 14 months longer than men who received only hormone therapy (58 months versus 44 months), researchers said.

Men who have hormone-sensitive metastatic prostate cancer should consider speaking with their doctors about having this combination treatment to significantly prolong their survival. For 50 years, hormone therapy has been the standard care for these patients, but adding chemotherapy to hormone therapy may be worth doing because even though it’s not a cure, it could very well improve survival and quality of life.

The study was funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute, and the report was published Aug. 5 online in the New England Journal of Medicine.

For the study, 790 men with prostate cancer, average age 63 were randomly assigned to have either chemotherapy plus hormone therapy or hormone therapy alone.

In addition to the survival benefit, men who received the combination of chemotherapy and hormone therapy saw their cancer remain dormant for more than 20 months before it began to progress, compared with close to 12 months among those who only received hormone therapy, researchers found.

The side effects of the chemotherapy were mild, in general. Fatigue, low white blood cell count and infection were the most common side effects, the study said.

One of the criteria for the treatment is that patients should be able to handle the chemotherapy. If they have other conditions such as liver or kidney disease, they should not be getting chemotherapy. In the study, the greatest benefit was seen in men who had four or more tumors outside the prostate.

Other studies have confirmed these findings.