Prostate Cancer Survival May Be Boosted With Regular Exercise

Researchers find that men who exercised the most had the best outcomes.

A new study suggests that sticking to a moderate or intense exercise regimen may improve a man’s odds of surviving prostate cancer.

The study, conducted by the American Cancer Society, included more than 10,000 men, aged 50 to 93, who were diagnosed between 1992 and 2011 with localized prostate cancer, which means that it had not spread beyond the gland. The men in the study provided researchers with information about their physical activity before and after their diagnosis.

According to the team of researchers, men with the highest levels of exercise before their diagnosis were 30 percent less likely to die of their prostate cancer than those who exercised the least.

The men who had the highest level of exercise seemed to confer an even bigger benefit: these men had the highest levels of exercise after diagnosis were 34 percent less likely to die of prostate cancer than those who did the least exercise.

The study results support evidence that prostate cancer survivors should adhere to physical activity guidelines, and suggest that physicians should consider promoting a physically active lifestyle to their prostate cancer patients.

The researchers also examined the effects of walking as the only form of exercise. They found that walking for four to six hours a week before diagnosis was also associated with a one-third lower risk of death from prostate cancer. But timing was key, since walking after a diagnosis was not associated with a statistically significant lower risk of death.

The American Cancer Society recommends that adults engage in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week. Physical activity has been found to help all aspects of health.

Certain Fatty Foods Could Be Linked to Aggressive Prostate Cancer

Study also suggests that cholesterol-lowering drugs may help counteract harmful effect.

A new study suggest that what men eat; particularly fatty meats and cheese, may affect how quickly their prostate cancer progresses.

A recent study showed that high dietary saturated fat content was associated with increased prostate cancer aggressiveness. It may suggest that limiting dietary saturated fat content may also have a role in prostate cancer.

However, the study did not prove that diet directly affects prostate cancer behavior, only that there is a link between those factors.

The researchers looked at more than 1,800 men from North Carolina and Louisiana. All had been diagnosed with prostate cancer between 2004 and 2009. They were asked about their eating habits and other factors at the time of their diagnosis.

Higher intake of saturated fat from foods such as fatty beef and cheese was linked with more aggressive prostate cancer, the researchers found.

A diet high in saturated fat contributes to higher cholesterol levels, researchers said. They noted that the link between saturated fat and aggressive prostate cancer was weaker in men who took cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.

The researchers said that suggests that statins reduce, but don’t completely reverse, the effect that high amounts of saturated fat may have on prostate cancer.

The study also found that higher levels of polyunsaturated fats, found in foods such as fish and nuts, were associated with less aggressive prostate cancer.

Further research is needed to learn more about why a diet high in saturated fat is linked with more aggressive prostate cancer.

The researchers presented their findings April 18 at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in New Orleans. Findings presented at meetings are generally viewed as preliminary until they’ve been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Studies Find That Smokeless Tobacco Product Tied to Higher Risk of Prostate Cancer Death

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

Many people believe that smokeless tobacco is a less harmful alternative to smoking just because it lacks the combustion products of smoking that are most associated with cancer risks. Researchers have found that men with prostate cancer who were smokeless tobacco users were at risk of premature death.

Snus is readily available in the United States. Usually sold in tea bag-like sachets, the powdered tobacco product is placed under the upper lip for extended periods.

Researchers analyzed health check-up data from thousands of men. The investigators found that, compared with men who never used tobacco, those who used snus but did not smoke, 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.

Among patients whose cancer had not spread, those who used snus but did not smoke, were three times more likely to die from prostate cancer than those who never used tobacco, the study found.

The study was published in the International Journal of Cancer.

Pathologic Features of Prostate Cancer Worse in Blacks

At the time of radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer, black men are more likely to have adverse pathologic features. Independent of socioeconomic and clinical factors, investigators came to this conclusion in a study presented at a Cancer Symposium.

According to researchers, these adverse pathologic features increase their risk of biochemical recurrence and more frequently lead to an indication for adjuvant radiation therapy.

Using the National Cancer Database, the investigators identified 313,013 men diagnosed with PCa from 2004 to 2014 and who underwent RP. The group included 256,315 whites (85%), 33,725 blacks (11%), and 12,973 patients of other races.

Significantly higher proportions of blacks than whites had Gleason grade group 2 cancer (46% vs 37.7%), PSA levels of 10 ng/mL or higher (18.5% vs 15.9%), and clinical stage T2b disease (17.8% vs 13.8%).

On multivariable analysis, the odds of having indications for adjuvant radiotherapy (pT3 disease or higher or positive surgical margins) were 21% greater among blacks than whites. Blacks had 26% greater odds of having positive surgical margins, but 23% lower odds of having pT3 or higher disease.

As for what might explain the findings, it was noted that black men may be more likely to harbor certain genetic polymorphorisms that give rise to more aggressive PCa. An autopsy study revealed that black men are more likely to have cancer in the anterior of their prostate, which could be a cause of pathologic upstaging. Another possibility is the low vitamin D, which has been linked to an increased risk of aggressive cancer. Black people in general have low vitamin D levels, possibly as a result of their darker skin.

Researchers Find That Statin Use May Improve Survival in Advanced Prostate Cancer

According to the finding of three studies presented at the Genitourinary Cancer Symposiom, statins may improve overall survival among men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) and improve cancer-specific survival among those with high-risk prostate cancer (PCa).

In a post-hoc analysis of data from the randomized clinical trials COU-AA-301 and COU-AA-302, in which men with mCRPC were treated with prednisone plus placebo or abiraterone, researchers found that statin users had significantly better overall survival than non-users.

The reference group for both studies included patients in the placebo arm who did not use statins. Among statin users in the COU-AA-301 study, patients treated with prednisone plus abiraterone had a significant 29% decreased risk of death compared with the reference group. The investigators observed no significant decrease in death risk among statin users in the placebo arm.

In the COU-AA-302 study, statin users in the abiraterone and placebo groups had a significant 28% and 19% decreased risk of death, respectively, compared with the reference group.

In a completely separate study, researchers examined the effect of statin use on outcomes among patients with mCRPC receiving abiraterone, an anti-androgen that inhibits CYP17A1. Their analysis included 301 patients. Of these, 84 (28%) were statin users. The median overall survival for statin users and non-users was 16.2 and 11.3 months, a borderline significant difference in adjusted analyses.

The study authors concluded: “Although limited by sample size, our data showed a trend that statins may mildly enhance the anti-tumor effects of [abiraterone] in CRPC patients.”

The findings suggest that depletion of de novo cholesterol production may further limit androgen synthesis in concert with CYP17A1 inhibition.

In a population-based study of 12,700 men with high-risk PCa identified using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare linked database, researchers found that post-diagnostic use of statins is associated with a 47% lower risk of PCa mortality compared with patients with no documented statin use. Among obese patients, statin use was associated with a 62% decreased risk of PCa mortality. The investigators observed a synergistic effect of statins and metformin among patients with metastatic disease.

Yoga Can Be Helpful For Prostate Cancer Patients

Study suggests that the side effects of therapy might be eased in patients who practice yoga.

A new research study suggests that yoga may be helpful in easing the side effects of prostate cancer therapy.

The study found that men who were novice yoga practitioners had more energy and fewer side effects such as sexual and urinary symptoms that are normally associated with radiation treatment, compared with men who didn’t practice yoga.

The typical levels of patient-reported fatigue that are normally expected to increase by around the fourth or fifth week within a typical treatment course were not evident in the study group that was practicing yoga.

Researchers reported that as many 85 percent of men who undergo radiation therapy for prostate cancer experience erectile dysfunction, often because they are also taking testosterone-depleting treatments. Many men undergoing radiation also report great fatigue after the therapy.

The patients involved in the study underwent six to nine weeks of external beam radiation therapy. Patients who were previously yoga practitioners, those with advanced stages of cancer, and those who’d previously undergone radiation therapy were not included in the study.

Of the patients in the study, 22 attended a structured yoga class two times a week while undergoing radiation therapy, while 28 others did not do yoga. This group served as a comparison group.

The findings, based on self-reported questionnaires, suggest that men who attended yoga classes had less fatigue and better sexual and urinary function than those in the other group. Furthermore, fatigue levels for men taking yoga fell as the classes went on, while they rose for men not in the classes. There was not a drop in sexual functioning scores for the men in the yoga group but these same scores dropped for the men in the non-yoga group.

One of the many theories that may explain these positive results is that yoga is known to strengthen pelvic floor muscles.

The study on yoga and men with prostate cancer was funded by grants from the American Cancer Society and the Prostate Cancer Foundation, and was published recently in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, and Physics.

New Study Suggests There May Be a Link Between Sleep Deprivation and Fatal Prostate Cancer

Not just a luxury any more. An adequate number of hours of sleep is not a luxury, it’s essential. A preliminary study suggests that for some men, the amount of sleep they get each night might even mean the difference between life and death.

A new preliminary study found that men younger than 65 who slept just three to five hours a night were 55 percent more likely to develop fatal prostate cancer than those who got the recommended seven hours of shuteye nightly.

Moreover, researchers in this study found that men who got six hours of sleep a night had a 29 percent higher risk of prostate cancer death compared to men who got seven hours of sleep.

The findings need to be confirmed by additional studies, but if confirmed in other studies, these findings would contribute to evidence suggesting the importance of obtaining adequate sleep for better health.

Much more research is needed to better understand the biologic mechanisms, but many experts consider the study “interesting” but not substantive enough to cause sleep-deprived males any alarm.
However, the findings from this study do contribute to evidence that the body’s natural sleep/wake cycle — circadian rhythms — might play a role in prostate cancer development.

The study results were concluded using an analysis of long-term data on more than 823,000 men in the United States. The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

It has long been known that lack of sleep can inhibit production of melatonin, a hormone that affects sleep cycles. When melatonin production is low, many experts believe that it can lead to an increase in genetic mutations, greater oxidative damage, reduced DNA repair and a weakened immune system. Some specialists believe that lack of sleep may also contribute to the disruption of genes involved in tumor suppression.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get at least seven hours of sleep a night.

NOTE: Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

New Study Suggests That Black Men Should Start Prostate Cancer Screening Earlier

New findings suggest that the disease progresses faster in this demographic.

Some researchers now believe that black men may merit their own race-specific screening guidelines due to studies that have shown that they have a higher risk of developing — and dying from — prostate cancer.

Compared to white men, the incidence of prostate cancer is 60 percent higher among black men in the U.S. Also the death rate from prostate cancer is more than twice as high for black men than white men in this country, and the prostate cancers in black men tend to progress faster.

Based on these statistics/facts, some researchers believe that black men merit their own race-based screening guidelines. Other experts disagree with the idea of race-based screening guidelines.

Some experts strongly believe that black men should start talking to their physicians about prostate cancer screening at an earlier age; in their 40’s vs. their 50’s. Most standard guidelines suggest that these talks begin when a man is in their 50’s. Black men may also benefit from more frequent screening.

In the U.S. prostate cancer is the leading cancer diagnosis for men. It is also the second leading cause of cancer death for males in this country.

Because screening can sometimes lead to unnecessary treatment, it can be a source of controversy among medical experts. Many experts feel that there should be specific clinical guidelines written that are specific to black men.

PROSTATE CANCER SCREENING

When it comes to prostate cancer, screening usually consists of a blood test to measure the level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and a digital rectal exam to check the prostate gland for enlargement or other abnormalities.

If a PSA level is above 4.0 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) of blood it is considered high, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recently proposed new recommendations for prostate cancer screening. It now suggests that men in their 50s should start a discussion with their doctor about the risks and benefits of screening. According to this task force, whether a man gets screened or not should be an individual, informed decision.

Study Finds That Taller And Heavier Men Are More Likely To Get Prostate Cancer And Die From It.

BMI, which is body-mass index together with waist circumference were recently studied as how they relate to prostate cancer. The results show that both factors can directly predict risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer.

A new study suggests that the larger a man is, the greater his risk of getting and dying from aggressive prostate cancer.

Each additional segment of 4 inches of height increased a man’s chances of being diagnosed with high-risk prostate cancer by 21 percent. Researchers found that this also increased their odds of dying from prostate cancer by 17 percent.

The size of a man’s waist yielded similar results in the study. With every 4-inch increase in waist circumference, the odds of developing aggressive prostate cancer were increased by 13 percent.The risk of dying from prostate cancer using this waist measuring criteria, increased by 18 percent.

The study researchers came to their conclusions based on data from nearly 142,000 men in eight European countries who participated in a large-scale study of cancer and nutrition.

There have been previous studies done that have suggested a potential link between prostate cancer and a man’s height or weight, but this study is the first to assess whether those factors influence the risk of being diagnosed with either a slow-growing or aggressive cancer.

As a statistic measured on its own, height by itself was not linked to a man’s overall risk of developing prostate cancer, nor was it associated with risk of being diagnosed with low- or intermediate-grade prostate cancer.

The results of the study did show that height did indeed influence a man’s risk of being diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer and of dying from prostate cancer.

Along the same lines, body-mass index and waist circumference were both shown to directly predict risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer.

This particular study only found an association between height, weight and aggressive prostate cancer risk; it couldn’t prove a cause-and-effect link.

The association between height and prostate cancer risk isn’t a new finding. Researchers have long suspected that the increased risk from height could possibly be related to early childhood nutrition that promoted fast growth.

There are some theories in regards to the possible link between obesity and prostate cancer. One is that obesity influences hormones in the body in a way that promotes prostate cancer. The second is that it may simply be more difficult to catch prostate cancer early in men who are obese partly because the digital rectal exam is more difficult to do. If the men have a large prostate it’s easier for a doctor to miss something during an exam.

Another contributing factor could be that PSA blood tests for prostate cancer are less reliable in obese men, because they tend to have a higher volume of blood that dilutes and masks elevated levels of prostate-specific antigen.

The 15-year survival rate of men diagnosed with prostate cancer is 96 percent, according to the American Cancer Society.

The study was published July 12, 2017 in the journal BMC Medicine.

A High PSA Level Can Indicate Less Serious Conditions Than Prostate Cancer

The first sign of prostate cancer can certainly be a high PSA level, but it can also be a sign of a less-serious condition.

Here are some reasons you may have an abnormal PSA reading:

1. PSA Levels Are Affected By Age

Your PSA level can increase gradually as you age even without any prostate problems. At age 40, a PSA of 2.5 is the normal limit but by age 70, a PSA of 6.5 could be considered normal.

2. Many Men Under 50 Suffer From Prostatitis

Prostatitis is the most common prostate problem for men younger than 50. Common causes of inflammation in the prostate gland, called prostatitis, can cause high PSA levels.

3. PSA Can Be Elevated Due To Medical Procedures

Anything that traumatically interferes with the architecture around the prostate gland can make PSA go up such as placing a catheter into the bladder. A bladder exam that involves passing a scope or taking a biopsy can also affect PSA levels.

4. BPH May Be the Cause of High PSA In Men Over 50

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is an enlargement of the prostate gland. BPH means more cells, so that means more cells making PSA. BPH is the most common prostate problem in men over age 50. It may not need to be treated unless it’s causing frequent or difficult urination.

5. Urinary Tract Infections Can Create High PSA Levels

Any infection near the prostate gland such as a urinary tract infection, can irritate and inflame prostate cells and cause PSA to rise. If you’ve been diagnosed with a urinary tract infection, be sure to wait until after the infection has cleared up before you get a PSA test.

6. Ejaculation Can Be a Potential Cause of Mildly Elevated PSA

Ejaculation can cause a mild elevation of your PSA level. This type of PSA elevation is usually not enough to make a significant difference unless your PSA is borderline.