Long Term Hormone Therapy Raises Risk of Cardiovascular Death

If you have been on hormone therapy (androgen deprivation therapy, ADT) for significant periods of time, e.g. greater than six months, this blog has some valuable information and recommendation for you. A new study reports that long-term exposure to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), a common treatment for prostate cancer, is associated with worse cardiorespiratory fitness and a higher risk of cardiovascular death. Men who received ADT therapy for more than six months were ultimately found to have a nearly four times higher risk of death than those not exposed to the therapy. The scientists from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, both in Boston, noted that further research will be necessary to determine whether cardiovascular-targeted interventions, like exercise, might help reduce cardiovascular risk in prostate cancer patients undergoing long-term ADT. For us with prostate cancer, physical exercise and strengthening are both valuable habits.

For a full article, see the Jan. 11th, 2021 Prostate Cancer News Today.

Diet and Prostate Cancer Video

In this third video of the PCRI series, Dr. Mark Scholz discusses the role of diet as related to prostate cancer. His overwriting principal is vegetarianism, avoiding animal products. Dr. Scholz bases his conclusion on his observation of patients who lowered their PSA levels while on strict vegan diets. Dr. Scholz also discusses the fact that prostate cancer does not target sugars the way other cancers do. Data from PET scans seem to indicate that prostate cancer seems to feed on fats and amino acids both from animal products. A third observation comes from Chinese studies which indicate that prostate cancer incidence is low in those areas where people eat only small amounts of animal protein. Dr. Scholz concludes that avoidance of animal products and proteins is most important in men with advanced, metastatic tumors. For the entire five minute video, see the following link.

Bone Metastasis Video from the Prostate Cancer Research Institute.

Dr. Mark Scholz, Executive Director of the PCRI, has generated an eight minute video discussing the major issues related to bone metastasis. Bone metastases generally occur in a small percentage of men and can appear 10-20 years after continuous prostate cancer treatment. Bone mets can be observed when the PSA levels exceed 20-30 or hundreds. The best method for detecting bone mets is the PSMA PET scan, if one can obtain access to it. Otherwise, standard bone and CT scans are used which also reveal enlarged lymph nodes. PSMA PET scans reveal metastases up to an 1/8th inch in width while other scans, 1/2 inch across. Bone mets indicate a potential life-threatening condition. Treatments include radiation and various hormone therapies. Fatigue can become a cumulative side effect. Exercise is very important. Bone metastases commonly spread to pelvic or back bone areas and can involve spinal chord compression. Xofigo is an approved drug for more than six metastatic sites; focused radiation can be used for fewer sites. Lutetium is a treatment not yet approved in the US but has been used overseas with some success. For the entire video, see the following link.

As I wrote this post, it hit home to me personally and seriously as I have advanced prostate cancer, with at least one metastatic site. However, my PSA remains very low and I am otherwise asymptomatic. Meanwhile, I am thanking my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for his continual personal care, His Biblical promise of life eternal in a new heaven and a new earth with a new body and for the extraordinary physicians to which I have access. For additional help, see the following Scriptural Medicines.

Active Surveillance Video

“Active surveillance” perched overlooking a Norwegian fjord. Photo from Shutterstock.

Dr. Mark Scholz, Executive Director of the Prostate Cancer Research Institute (PCRI), has produced three very informative short videos dealing with topics such as 1) active surveillance (AS) for men recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, 2) bone metastasis and, 3) diet and cancer.

This first 7 minute AS video defines the terms “watchful waiting” as compared to “active surveillance”; cites the criteria for AS such as a Gleason 6 score, a PSA <10, and diagnostic procedures using MRI; discusses whether one can be sure of a Gleason 6 diagnosis; the utility of AS for long term care; monitoring of the cancer during AS utilizing periodic biopsies, PSA’s, and high quality MRI’s; signs to discontinue AS including increases in Gleason scores to >6; the use of PSA density; and, finally suggested diets. “Heart healthy diet is prostate healthy.” For the AS video, see the following link.

A Large, Free, Virtual Prostate Cancer Conference Available Sept. 11-13, 2020.

Pull up a chair and get informed. Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico at Matlacha, Florida. Photo: BJ Gabrielsen.

The annual Prostate Cancer Research Institute (PCRI) Conference is a comprehensive educational experience for prostate cancer patients and caregivers. The conference moderated by Mark Moyad, MD, consists of keynote presentations from leading doctors followed by live question – and – answer sessions. Keynote topics include all treatments, newly-diagnosed, diet and exercise, sexual dysfunction, active surveillance, treatment side effects, prostate imaging and benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). For the first time, this online event will be live-streamed free! You can attand from the comfort of your own home. You can expect to learn information that will empower you to make the best decisions. You can learn more about this unique educational event at www.pcri.org/2020-conference. To RSVP or subscribe see the following link. You may also contact PCRI at www.pcri.org/get-in-touch.

Message to Men; Please Circulate

Blogger Dr. Bjarne (B.J.) Gabrielsen at Boca Grande Lighthouse, Charlotte Harbor, Punta Gorda, Southwest Florida Gulf Coast

I am a prostate cancer survivor since 1995. If you know of any men in your life who may have an interest in prostate cancer at any stage of disease, please inform them of this website, Godandprostate.net, .com, .org or .info. As blogs are posted, readers can receive them automatically by e mail by simply inserting their e mail address in the indicated space on the right side of the home page. Posts focus on all aspects of prostate cancer as well as encouraging commentaries which we all need at one time or another. Comments on any specific post are always welcome. Remember, as men, we are all in this together and God desires to play a central role in our lives. While I am not a medical doctor, I received my doctorate in organic chemistry at the State University of New York – Stony Brook. My career was evenly distributed between academia (Wagner College, NY and the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL) and government (NCI). I retired from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH) as Senior Advisor in antiviral and antitumor Drug Discovery and Development.

Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) 2019 Guide

Every year, the PCF publishes an electronic guide providing information on all aspects of prostate cancer. The chapters covered are as follows.

  1. General information including diagnosis, symptoms, risk factors, and medical basics.
  2. Information for the newly diagnosed, including detection, diagnosis and treatment selection.
  3. Treatment options for localized or locally advanced prostate cancer. These include active surveillance, surgery, various radiation modalities, and other experimental therapies for localized prostate cancer.
  4. Living with and after prostate cancer including sections on quality of life, recurrence, urinary, bowel and sexual function, diet, exercise and lifestyle changes.
  5. What to do if one’s PSA starts to rise. Topics include local treatments for recurrent cancer, therapies for advanced recurrent or metastatic cancer, hormone-resistant cancer, non-hormonal therapy options and side effects from various treatments for advanced prostate cancer.
  6. Cutting edge developments in prostate cancer research including precision medicine, PARP inhibitors, immune checkpoint inhibitors, CAR T cells and vaccines.
  7. Information for families of prostate cancer patients including future risk, genetic testing and screening and prevention.
  8. Here is a link to the most recent edition of the annual PCF prostate cancer guide.

Prostate Cancer Resources

At a recent meeting of a prostate cancer support group, a list of internet informational resources were listed. Upon checking each one, I have found the following to be most informative and current. For a complete listing, see the section entitled Medical Resources on this website.

  1. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda and Frederick, Maryland have a site entitled cancer.gov.

2. For a searchable compilation of active and recruiting clinical trials, see clinicaltrials.gov.

3. The Prostate Cancer Foundation is a valuable source of information about all aspects of prostate cancer. See pcf.org.

4. Likewise, the Prostate Cancer Research Institute is also a valuable source. See prci.org.

5. I had never seen the following before, but it deserves a listing. See yananow.net.