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  • midlifelove 12:06 am on February 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: beam radiation therapy, Dr Richard Valicenti, prostate cancer, radiation treatment, sex life after cancer, sex life good after cancer, sex life normal two years later   

    Radiation for Prostate Cancer Won’t Hurt Sex 

    If a man’s sex life was strong and happy before being he got prostate cancer, it’s likely it will return to similar good levels within two years of radiation treatment for prostate cancer.

    That’s the conclusion to be drawn from a new study on how sex is affected by the effects of prostate radiation treatments.

    While sex is likely to decrease over the first two years after treatment, it then stabilizes, according to US research reported by UPI.

    Satisfaction Four Years Later

    Researchers at the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and University of California, Davis, School of Medicine evaluated 143 prostate cancer patients receiving external beam radiation therapy who completed baseline data on sexual function before treatment and at follow-up visits.

    Senior author Dr. Richard Valicenti of the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, said patients were analyzed on sexual drive, erectile function, ejaculatory function and overall satisfaction for a median time of about four years.

    Past Performance Best Predictor

    The study authors found the strongest predictor of sexual function after treatment was sexual function before treatment and the only statistically significant decrease in function occurred in the first two years after treatment — and function then stabilized with no significant changes thereafter.

    The findings are published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics.

  • midlifelove 3:28 am on February 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 6 cups of coffee a day, aggressive cancer affected most, , decaf as good, , Kathryn M Wilson, prostate cancer, survival rates improved   

    Coffee To Beat Prostate Cancer 

    Having a few more cups of coffee can reduce a man’s risk of dying of prostate cancer, a new study indicates.

    While the case for coffee as a preventative for prostate cancer is far from proven, results show a definite link, particularly with aggressive forms of cancer, US News reports.

    “I wouldn’t recommend that people change their coffee-drinking habits based on this study,” said Kathryn M. Wilson, a research fellow in epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health and lead author of one report. “But if you like coffee, there is no compelling reason to cut back at this point.”

    Aggressive Cancer Affected Most

    Data collected on 50,000 men showed nearly 10 per cent (4975) were diagnosed with prostate cancer in the 20 years from 1986 to 2006.

    But only 846 of those cancers were life-threatening. And while the study found just a weak relationship between consumption of six or more cups of coffee a day and a reduced risk of all forms of prostate cancer (down about 19 percent), the reduction for the aggressive form was much more marked — 41 percent.

    And there was a clear relationship between the amount of coffee consumed and prostate cancer risk, Wilson said: “The more coffee you drank, the more effect we saw.”

    Decaf Works Just As Well

    The caffeine in coffee doesn’t seem to be the link, since the same reduction was seen for consumption of decaffeinated coffee, she said.

    Instead, “it has something to do with insulin and glucose metabolism,” Wilson said. “A number of studies have found that coffee is associated with a reduced risk of diabetes.”

    This study is just a starting point for establishing a relationship between coffee and prostate cancer, Wilson stressed.

    “We hope that this study drives more research so that we really know what is going on.”

  • midlifelove 2:43 am on February 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: death rate decreased, exercise benefits, , prostate cancer, Stacey A Kenfield, survival rate increased, US News.com,   

    Running Beats Prostate Cancer 

    Three or more hours of physical exercise a week improves survival rates for prostate cancer, a new Harvard study suggests.

    The death rate from prostate cancer for men who exercised vigorously was 12 per cent lower that for those who didn’t, US News reports. Because the study sample was small, it didn’t quite reach statistical significance, says lead author Stacey A. Kenfield, a research associate at the Harvard School of Public Health.

    Nevertheless, “this is the first study to show an effect of physical activity not only on overall survival, but on prostate cancer survival,” she said.

    Boosts Immunity, Reduces Inflammation

    The study looked at the levels of physical activity among 2,686 men in the study who were diagnosed with prostate cancer.

    It found, as many other studies have, that exercise is good for overall health, with a 35 percent lower death rate for men who reported three or more hours a week of vigorous physical activity, such as jogging, biking, swimming or playing tennis.

    It’s already well known how physical activity reduces overall mortality, Kenfield said. “It affects immune function and reduces inflammation, among the major processes involved. But it’s not clear yet how it is related to prostate cancer and survival.”

  • midlifelove 10:35 am on November 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Mo Bro, Mo Sistas, moustache, , prostate cancer, , Rod Cheeseman, Sam Kamani,   

    Movember Madness 

    john keyTV3’s sports host Rod Cheeseman is in. Prime Minister John Key – though he says he’s in favour – won’t participate because he says his wife doesn’t like hairy men. But Bronagh, what’s not to like about our photo-shopped mo-wearing John Key? And we have to ask – would you date this man?

    We’re talking Movember, the annual, month-long celebration of the moustache, when thousands of men around NZ, Australia and now the world grow a moustache to highlight men’s health issues, specifically prostate cancer and depression.

    Mo Bros, supported by their Mo Sistas, start Movember (November 1st) clean shaven and then have the remainder of the month to grow and groom their moustache.

    Mo-Growing Online

    And this year Herbal Ignite’s general manager Sam Kamani has joined the fray with a mo-growing experiment we’ll track on line.

    Says Sam: “I’m quite enjoying my ‘motor-biker mo look’ even though my fiance hates it and is waiting for the days of Movember to finish.”

    During Movember, each Mo Bro effectively becomes a walking billboard for men’s health and, via their Mo, raises essential funds and awareness for Movember’s men’s health partners – The Cancer Society and the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.

    The idea for Movember came about in 2003 when a few mates were having a beer in a small bar in Fitzroy, Melbourne. Inspired by the women’s health movement, it was recognized that men were lacking a way to engage and actively involve themselves in their own health.

    During a conversation about fashion and past trends, the idea came up to bring the moustache back for one month, and in doing so, have some fun, raise a small amount of money and hopefully encourage men to talk about their health with each other.

    $60m Raised Globally

    Since this time, Movember has continued to grow each year, both in terms of participation numbers and funds raised. In its first year, 30 Mo Bros took part in Movember and since 2006, the first year in New Zealand, more than 50,000 people have participated and $4million has been raised for Movember’s Kiwi men’s health partners.

    Today, in its sixth consecutive year, Movember now take splace not just in Australasia but also in the US, Canada, UK and Ireland.

    To date, Movember has raised AUS$60 million globally for the fight against prostate cancer and depression in men. And, more importantly, as a direct result, male awareness of health issues has improved with Movember helping to spread health messages directly to millions of Mo Bros & Sistas around the world.

    Going forward, Movember will continue to work towards helping to change established habits and attitudes and make men aware of the risks they face, thereby increasing early detection, diagnosis and effective treatment.

    Herbals For Prostate Health

    A range of herbs have been shown to improve prostate health, but non more so than saw palmetto, a herb grown in the US and found in Herbal Quup (pronounced Kew Up) a supplement to help reduce those midnight trips to the bathroom caused by an enlarged prostate.

    Quup contains saw palmetto, lycopene from tomatoes, the red ingredient which has found to have a good preventive action against prostate cancer, as well as zinc and selenium, both good for sperm health.

    Find out more at Herbal Quup and order today.

  • midlifelove 7:30 am on November 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , pigment that makes tomatoes red, prostate cancer, , PSA levels, tomato sauces   

    Stay Healthy – Eat Tomatoes 

    tomatoesSup up on lots of tomato sauces and you’ll do wonders for prostate health at the same time. That’s a medical fact that’s becoming well-established, as study after study confirms cooked tomatoes are one important key for men staying healthy.

    That’s because of lycopene, the pigment in tomatoes that makes them red.

    In a study of over 40,000 health professionals, Harvard investigators found that men who ate more than 10 servings tomato-based foods daily (like cooked tomatoes and tomato sauce,) had a 35 percent lower risk of developing prostate cancer than those who ate the least amount of these foods. The benefits of lycopene was more pronounced with advanced stages of prostate cancer.

    In another study of prostate cancer, researchers looked at blood levels of lycopene and found that the risk of developing prostate cancer, especially aggressive cancer, decreased with increasing blood lycopene levels.

    The Secret is Lycopene

    Men taking 50mg of lycopene daily had significantly higher level of lycopene. In this study, researchers found that high level of lycopene in the blood was associated with low PSA (prostate specific antigen) levels. High PSA levels in blood are often a sign of prostate cancer.

    Enjoy the benefits of lycopene by eating more tomatoes and processed tomato products. Indeed, research showed that lycopene is better absorbed by the body when tomatoes are processed. It is due to the fact that lycopene is bound to tomato’s cell structure; processing releases lycopene from the cell structure.

    What Is Lycopene?

    Lycopene is the pigment that makes tomatoes red. The redder the tomato, the more lycopene is present. Numerous studies suggest that lycopene levels in the blood may be associated with reduced incidence of prostate, digestive tract, breast, lung and cervical cancer as well as cardiovascular disease and age-related macular degeneration, the most common form of blindness for elderly people in the western world.

    Does Lycopene Prevent Cancer?

    Cancer risk is determined by many factors, however diet is an important one. The importance of eating fresh and processed fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet is now well recognized. Tomatoes and tomato products proven to be rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that picks up free radicals in the body, can play a key role. While it is still too early to conclude that any single food can prevent cancer, the research to date is promising.

    How Does Lycopene Work?

    Lycopene is an antioxidant that helps to prevent and repair damaged cells. Antioxidants are compounds that fight free radicals in the body and have been shown to inhibit DNA oxidation that some studies indicate may lead to some cancers.

    How Can I Get More Lycopene?

    The human body does not produce lycopene, but it’s readily available through the diet. Minor sources include guava, rosehip, watermelon and pink grapefruit, but about 85% of dietary lycopene comes from tomatoes and tomato products such as sauce, paste, ketchup, juice, and soup. Research confirms that lycopene from tomatoes is absorbed much better into the bloodstream if it is first heat processed.


    Benefits of a Lycopene Rich Diet

    In recent years, numerous studies have indicated that a lycopene-rich diet is associated with a lower risk of certain chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Benefits of lycopene:

    • As an antioxidant: Human studies conducted at the University of Toronto on dietary lycopene confirmed that it acts as an antioxidant. As lycopene levels in the blood go up, the levels of oxidized lipoprotein, protein and DNA compounds go down. This, in turn, may lower the risk of cancer and heart disease.
    • Reduces Prostate Cancer: A study of 48,000 men by Harvard Medical School estimated that consuming tomato products twice a week, as opposed to never, was associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer of up to 34%. Of 46 fruits and vegetables evaluated, only tomato products showed a measurable relationship with reduced prostate cancer risk.
    • Inhibits Cancer Cells: Research conducted into breast, lung and endometrial cancer at Ben Gurion University and Soroka Medical Center in Israel shows that lycopene is even more effective than the other bright vegetable carotenoids alpha- and beta-carotene, in causing a delay in the cell cycle progression from one growth phase to the next.
    • Reduces Heart Risk: A study, conducted by the University of North Carolina, compared fat samples from 1,379 American and European men who had suffered a heart attack with those of healthy men. It found that those with high levels of lycopene were half as likely to have an attack as those with low levels.
    • Reduces Blindness: Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the most common form of blindness for elderly people in the western world. Lycopene is the only micro-nutrient whose serum level is shown to be inversely related to the risk of ARMD.
    • Reduces Atherosclerosis: prevents oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and reduces the risk of developing atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease Drinking  2 – 3 8-oz glasses of a processed vegetable juice such as V-8(R) would  provide in excess of the 40 mg per day of lycopene suggested for reducing LDL cholesterol.

    Can’t I Get the Same Benefits From Eating Fresh Tomatoes?

    Yes, tomatoes are rich in lycopene, however cooking fresh tomatoes with a little oil will enhance the body’s absorption of lycopene. Research confirms that the lycopene in tomatoes is converted by the temperature change involved in processing to a form that the body can absorb more easily. A study showed that lycopene is absorbed 2.5 times better from tomato paste than from fresh tomatoes.

    How Can I Ensure I Get Enough Lycopene?

    As outlined above, Three 8 oz glasses of tomato juice a day will provide 40mg, the amount suggested for reducing cholesterol levels.  Standardized supplements with a guaranteed lycopene content like Herbal Quup are a safe and convenient way to ensure you get a good daily intake of lycopene no matter how busy you are. Two capsules of Quup (the recommended daily dose) has a guaranteed 5 mg of pure lycopene. There is no RDA for lycopene, and the recommended intake as a therapeutic is 1 to 20 mg daily.

    Order herbal Quup for prostate health with Saw palmetto, lycopene, zinc and selenium.

  • midlifelove 9:51 pm on November 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: anti-prostate cancer foods, green prescription, , preventive tips for prostate cancer, prostate cancer   

    Four Fun Ways to Beat Prostate Cancer 

    dragon boat racingWith Movember – the “grow a mo” for prostate cancer – month happening in November we can’t help but applaud Ask Men’s approach to encouraging men to take preventative care of themselves – but not being  preachy about it.

    As Ask Men notes, prostate cancer is the single most common cancer in men, and the second deadliest cancer, behind only lung cancer.

    While proper prevention might mean denying yourself of things that you as a man enjoy (take for example your red meats, your beers and your fried foods), there are positive ways to make the most of taking care of your health.

    The Ask Men “green prescription”:

    1- Eat marinara sauce

    How it works: The main ingredient in marinara sauce is tomato, and tomatoes are chock-full of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer in men. In fact, the tomato is just one of several anti-prostate cancer foods to choose from.
    How to prepare: Recipes for marinara sauce are not hard to come by, so spend some time surfing the internet until you find one that tantalises your taste buds. You can freeze or refrigerate the results for future meals. Serve with pasta or as a healthy dipping sauce for homemade pizzas.

    Pro tip: Add garlic to increase protection.

    2- Masturbate

    How it works: Now before you shake your fist in anger, allow us to explain. Several studies conducted in the last few years have indeed suggested that masturbation protects against prostate cancer. Actually, it was ejaculation, achieved by either sex or masturbation, that showed benefit.

    One theory is that it allows the prostate to clear itself of carcinogens. In other words, masturbation may literally clean your pipes.

    How to perform: Yeah, nice try — that’s for you to figure out. But as far as frequency is concerned, we can give you an estimate for that. According to the largest study of its kind, a 2004 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, to gain any protective benefit against prostate cancer, more than 12 ejaculations per month (i.e., masturbating or having sex every other day) was necessary. What’s more, each increase of three ejaculations per week was associated with a 15% decrease in prostate cancer risk.

    Pro tip: Don’t use disease prevention to sell the idea of more sex to your girlfriend.

    3- Go dragon boat racing

    How it works: It’s no secret that aerobic exercise is one of the most powerful preventers of disease. As human beings, we are meant to be active. Exercise improves circulation, boosts the immune system and increases energy levels. But nowadays, finding the time and motivation to exercise can be tricky. The solution then is to combine exercise with fun. So, why not get involved in an activity where you and 20 other paddlers race giant boats named after dragons? Sounds pretty awesome.

    How to get involved: First things first, you’ll need to find whether there’s dragon boat racing available in your area. Start by asking around at your work. Unbeknownst to most, many major organisations like hospitals put together teams on a yearly basis. If occupational opportunities are lacking, then research some external dragon boat racing organisations at the municipal or state/provincial level.

    Pro tip: If you can’t get on the water, try any group aerobic activity, such as mountain biking, jogging, spinning, or even dancing.

    4- Eat a big bowl of cereal in front of Saturday morning TV

    How it works: There’s no arguing that Frosted Flakes taste great, but it’s not exactly the healthiest breakfast cereal. So, if you’re looking to find a fun way to prevent prostate cancer, opt for a cereal that’s high in flax and try substituting cow’s milk with soy. Both flax and soy contain active ingredients that fight prostate cancer.

    How to prepare: Find a cereal that contains flax, or simply add some flax seeds or ground flax to your favourite cereal. Fill a bowl and add some soy milk. Simple.

    Pro tip: Eat while watching your favourite Saturday morning sport show.


  • midlifelove 10:13 am on October 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: alprostadil injections, , , , nerve-sparing technique, , prostactectomy, prostate cancer, prostate surgery, , risk factors, , , sildenafil, treatments and risks, tumor,   

    Prostate Cancer – the Most Risky Treatments 

    treatmentIt’s a topic that has made it into the story lines of 30 Rock and Boston Legal, but it’s still a “touchy” subject men are reluctant to talk about. That’s the risk of temporary or permanent erectile dysfunction from prostate cancer treatment.

    Temporary or permanent impotence can affect up to 70 per cent of men with prostate cancer, and only a few high profile men – among them Rudy Guiliani in the US and broadcaster Paul Holmes in New Zealand  – are willing to publicly acknowledge the issue, even when they talk about prostate cancer.

    Whether a man retains good sexual function very much depends on a range of factors, including the size and aggressiveness of the tumor, the patient’s age, lifestyle, and overall health, and the treatment option chosen.

    It’s impossible for a doctor to predict ahead of treatment what the outcome for an individual is likely to be.

    Risk Factors Assessed

    But here is a rundown on the treatment options and the risk factors involved:

    Surgery (Radical Prostatectomy)

    The first US nationally representative study to evaluate long-term outcomes after radical prostatectomy concluded that impotence occurs far more frequently than previously reported.

    Those who have so-called nerve-sparing surgeries have better results than those whose surgeries affect the nerves around the prostate. Some evidence also suggests that sexual function rates might improve if the nerve-sparing prostate surgeries also spare the ducts that carry semen.

    • Some degree of erectile dysfunction occurs right after surgery to remove the prostate, regardless of whether the technique that tries to spare the nerve that controls erections is performed or not.
    • If the nerve-sparing technique is used, recovery from erectile dysfunction may occur within the first year following the procedure. Recovery of erectile function after a non-nerve-sparing surgery is unlikely, but possible.
    • One study shows erectile dysfunction rates of 66% for nerve-sparing prostatectomy versus 75% for non-nerve sparing surgery at one year after the surgery. The use of vacuum devices or drugs such as Viagra after surgery once the body has healed may improve the quality of erections and speed the return of normal sexual function.
    • Some studies suggest that impotence after prostate surgery may in part be due to injury to the smooth muscles in the blood vessels. Early treatments to maintain penile blood flow, particularly alprostadil injections, may helpful in restoring erectile function. In one study, men administered injections every other night for six months. They then started taking sildenafil (Viagra) three months after surgery. At six months, 82% of these men achieved penetration compared to only 52% of men who took Viagra only. The vacuum pump may serve a similar purpose as the injections.


    Loss of erectile function is the most common long-term complication of radiation therapy.

    • The onset of erectile dysfunction following radiation therapy is gradual and usually begins about six months following the treatment.
    • Although it is generally believed that radiation poses a lower risk for impotence than does surgery, studies have reported similar rates after three years. Experts suggest radiation injures the blood vessels and so leads to erectile dysfunction over time.
    • Some studies report a lower risk for impotence from brachytherapy, a radiation technique that involves the implantation of radioactive seeds compared to external-beam radiation. Still, there have been very few studies that have lasted more than two years. One five-year study reported a high long-term rate of impotence (53%) with brachytherapy, which is close to that of standard externally administered radiation. Early use of alprostadil injections and Viagra may help these men as well as those who had surgery.

    Drug Treatments

    Prostate cancer medical treatments commonly employ androgen-suppressive treatments, which cause erectile dysfunction.

    • When hormone therapy is used, erectile dysfunction may occur approximately two to four weeks after the start of therapy. A decreased desire for sex also occurs.
  • midlifelove 10:08 am on October 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: prostate cancer, prostate cancer and impotence, prostate cancer treatment, , talking about impotence   

    Talking about impotence 

    timShould men feel free to talk about their sex life following prostate cancer treatment or is it a case of “who cares” – or even worse – “Shut up, it’s in bad taste.”

    That’s the interesting question raised by comments on a recent story in the Sydney Morning Herald headlined Husband sacrifices sex to stay alive.

    In it Sydney engineer Tim Maddever, (pictured above) a 46-year-old married man with teenaged children, discussed the dilemma of agreeing to prompt prostate cancer surgery which meant “in all likelihood he will see his teenage children grow to adulthood.

    “For that privilege he has swapped a happy, spontaneous sex life, and the loss has been harrowing.”

    Mental Challenge

    ”It’s as much a change mentally as it is physically,” Tim Maddever explained.  ”The nerves were preserved but the sexual function is not straightforward. The libido is different and the orgasm process is different. I’d prefer to be back the way I was, but on the other hand good health is the main thing. Now it’s done I’m glad.

    ”From the point of view of being confident I’m going to see my grandkids, exceedingly glad.”

    Oh Just Shut Up!

    Some of the comments that followed this admission were supportive, and congratulated Tim Maddever on his willingness to talk publicly about his experience.

    Others though, were apparently upset that sex was openly discussed.

    Said Jimmy Monkey; “Why is this even a story? Lots of people sacrifice lots of things to live longer or be around for other people. I can see the one benefit is to get guys to get a check up, but frankly the story seems to focus on how sex is now a bit awkward . . . who cares, if you still get to live??? I think SMH needs some perspective.”

    Very Poor Taste

    And another identified as NrKy: “I feel empathy for any man who’s had to undergo the trauma that is prostate cancer, however, I do not take kindly to the title of this article. The title of this article is suggestive that Mr. Maddever is making a CHOICE whether or not to live or have sex. This makes men look like bumbling sex-crazed idiots, which we are most certainly not. I am glad that this article is bringing prostate cancer awareness into light, however it is in very, very poor taste.”

    Woman’s Perspective

    And if you wanted one in the “anything you can do I can do better” vein how about this emphatic female:  “Sacrifice’?? At least Tim had his nerves preserved. Ask any woman about their sex life after a Caesarean section… Not to mention their libido after having, and rearing, children in general. Of course it’s news when ‘men’ and ‘sex’ are in the same sentence! So yes, NrKy and Jimmy Monkey, I, too, am so disappointed in the weighty title. Shame on you, I thought you were all for equality.”

    Talking – Good or Not?

    Talking about issues around any health problem seems like a great idea to us, and about sex after prostate cancer its especially recommended.

    Just for starters:

    • Sex is important to men
    • Sex is important in a relationship and for the affected partner
    • Communicating about feelings is wonderful for relationships at any time
    • Talking about it helps other men
    • Talking also enables men confronting treatment-caused erectile dysfunction to find other ways to express themselves sexually
    • Yes getting an erection is not the only way a man can express affection and desire – but if he doesn’t start talking he’ll never discover that.

    What Do You Think?

    Do you agree Tim Maddever should have kept his sex life – or lack of it – hidden under the sheets? Should he be congratulated for talking about a sensitive subject, or is it better to continue the “bury your head in the sand and hope I don’t get it” approach to prostate cancer?  What do you think?

  • midlifelove 9:42 am on October 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Arnold Palmer, Colin Powell, , , Harry Belafonte, , , Nelson Mandela, nerve-sparing surgery, prostate cancer, prostate cancer treatments, , risks of prostate cancer treatment options, Robert de Niro, , surgery,   

    Prostate Cancer and Impotence 

    Prostate Cancer1It could be one of those random quiz items – what do Robert de Niro, Rudy Guiliani, Nelson Mandela, Arnold Palmer, Harry Belafonte and Colin Powell have in common?

    The answer is that all of them have had prostate cancer, been treated in a variety of ways, (from surgery to radiation to hormone therapy), survived to tell the tale and with a couple of exceptions (mainly de Niro) have been willing to talk publicly to encourage other men to get tested.

    In Rudy Guiliani’s case that openness included acknowledging the issue that is still only reluctantly discussed by many men when facing up to prostate cancer – impotence as a possible side effect of treatment.

    During divorce proceedings in 2001 Mr Guiliani said he had been impotent for a year as a result of his prostate cancer treatments (hormone therapy followed with radiation in implanted pellet form and 25 external radiation treatments).

    Outcome Can’t Be Predicted

    Temporary or permanent impotence can affect up to 70 per cent of men with prostate cancer, and doctors says as of now there is no way to determine who will be affected or for how long after treatment. Even in the best conditions, 10 per cent of patients may be impotent afterwards.

    Andrew Penman, chief executive of the Cancer Council of NSW, (Australia) says doctors who suggest testing younger men PSA levels to identify possible cancers must also tell them at the first interview about ”flow-on issues.”

    It very much depends on a range of factors including the size and aggressiveness of the tumor, the patient’s age, lifestyle, and overall health, and the treatment option chosen.

    Treatment Options & Risks

    • Hormonal therapy – Testosterone is either reduced or its uptake blocked. Erectile dysfunction and a loss of desire usually occur after two to four weeks of treatment.
    • Surgery – The prostate and surrounding cancerous tissue are removed. If nerve-sparing surgery is used, erectile function can return within the first year. Recovery of erectile function after a non-nerve-sparing surgery is unlikely, but possible.
    • Radiation – The tumour area may be blasted with external beam radiation, more tightly targeted for proton radiation, or implanted with radioactive pellets for continuing therapy. ED is the most common complication and usually occurs six months after treatment.
    • Observation – Often called “watchful waiting,” this strategy may be appropriate in some cases where disease progression is slow.

    How Effective Are Oral Erectile Dysfunction Drugs?

    • Following surgery Web MD reports that as many as 60 to 70 per cent of men who have had nerves spared on both sides of the prostate will regain erections. Results are less favourable for men who have had a single nerve spared or no nerves spared.
    • Following radiation therapy Overall, 50 to 60 per cent of men regain erections with Viagra following radiation for prostate cancer. However, current data are rather limited, especially for patients treated with radioactive seed implants.
    • Hormone therapy Specialists at the Cleveland Clinic find that men treated with hormone therapy do not respond well to any erectile dysfunction treatments, including Viagra, but data are limited.

    Can I Use Herbal Supplements?

    There is continuing research into natural ingredients that may be of benefit for prostate health, including saw palmetto and the tomato-based active substance lycopene. Tribulus terrestris in herbal supplements like Herbal Ignite is NOT recommended without doctor’s approval because it stimulates testosterone levels which may be counter-productive to treatment.

    Prostate cancer survivor Jim Tucker’s Prostablog contains a comprehensive section on natural ingredients and therapies which is regularly updated.

  • midlifelove 1:01 am on October 7, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: active sex life, American Heart Association, Duke University, , Gleason score, HPFS Study, , prostate cancer, , reduced cancer risk,   

    Extend Sex Life By Ten Years 

    exerciseA daily brisk walk, run or gym workout is looking increasingly attractive as the evidence supporting the benefits of working up a regular sweat continue to roll in. For middle aged men the pay off includes a longer active sex life and reduced risk of prostate cancer.

    Men who exercise 3-5 hours a week:

    • have 30% less risk of having erectile dysfunction (impotence)
    • have 70% less risk of developing prostate cancer – and of surviving it if they do develop it
    • can look forward to an additional ten years  of undiminished sex life

    Those are some of the conclusions from a tidal wave of surveys and studies conducted in the last five years.

    One of the largest, The Harvard Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) of over 31,000 men aged 53 – 90 who did not have prostate cancer is significant. One third of the men reported having erectile dysfunction in the previous three months.

    The risk goes up 5% a year after age 50. The study showed that regular exercise can mean ten more years free of erectile dysfunction for the average man.

    Lower Risk of Prostate Cancer

    The same study of 48,000 men over 14 years found that among those age 65 or older, those who exercised vigorously at least three hours a week had a 70 per cent lower risk of advanced or fatal prostate cancer.

    The study’s lead author, Edward Giovannucci, MD, ScD, says the findings suggest that regular vigorous physical activity could slow the progression of prostate cancer and might be recommended to reduce mortality from prostate cancer.

    Less Aggressive Disease

    A second study shows moderate amounts of exercise most days of the week may contribute to a lower risk of prostate cancer, and lower grade tumours among those men who are diagnosed with the disease following biopsy.

    Investigators found that men who regularly engaged in moderate activity — anything equivalent to walking at a moderate pace for several hours per week — were significantly less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and if they were, they were less likely to have aggressive disease, defined as a tumour with a Gleason score equal to or greater than 7.

    They assessed participants’ level of exercise with a questionnaire prior to the biopsy.

    Most Exercise Less Than an Hour a Week

    Most of the men fell far short of the American Heart Association guidelines for the minimal amount of exercise needed per week. Researchers found that a majority of the men (58 percent) were sedentary, meaning they exercised less than the equivalent of one hour per week of easy walking. Forty-six percent were moderately active; only 33 percent were very active.

    Investigators found that men who reported more hours per week of exercise were significantly less likely to have cancer on biopsy.

    More Exercise, Less Cancer Any amount of exercise was associated with a trend toward a lower risk of prostate cancer and as the amount of exercise increased, the risk of cancer decreased, says Jodi Antonelli, MD, a urology resident at Duke University Medical Center and the lead author of the study.

    Among men who were found to have cancer, even exercising as little as one hour per week of easy walking was associated with a lower risk of high-grade disease.

    Herbal Support for Prostate Health

    Herbs and supplements can offer real benefits for prostate health, including saw palmetto and lycopene, the tomato-based ingredient which has been found to be beneficial against prostate cancer. A nutritional supplement like Quup (pronounced Kew-up) with saw palmetto, lycopene, selenium and zinc is useful for mid life men experiencing urinary discomfort, or who simply want to give their prostate good support.

    However use of a supplement does not replace seeing your health professional for a full check of your prostate health. For more information check out What is Herbal Quup?

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