Is confusion the order of the day in the medical community? It would seem so, because every few years or so another respected (by medical orthodoxy) and influential government advisory panel will issue new, contradictory recommendations that send patients into a state of confusion and into the arms of orthodox doctors for clarity.
This time it’s the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force reversing its advice of five years ago regarding men and the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test.
In 2012, the task force issued advice against the screening because there was little evidence that PSA screening was reducing prostate cancer deaths. Now the panel says men should decide for themselves whether to have the screening after talking with their doctor. Or, as USA Today put it:
The new draft guidelines released Tuesday echo those of several leading medical groups, but they don’t make the decision any easier for men: With their doctor’s help, they have to decide whether to take an imperfect PSA test that has a small chance of detecting a deadly cancer and a larger chance of triggering unneeded worry and treatment with serious side effects.
The task force is making the change, it says, because new evidence indicates that routine PSA blood tests can slightly reduce some men’s chances of dying from prostate cancer and that drastic treatment can sometimes be avoided with close monitoring when cancer is detected.
More from USA Today:
The new advice published Tuesday closely aligns the panel with medical groups that also support shared decision-making. The biggest remaining difference is timing. The task force draft says screening conversations should begin at age 55. Other groups say start earlier, depending on family history of prostate cancer and other factors. It recommends against testing men aged 70 and older.
Most urologists in conventional medicine have long placed great emphasis on the PSA test to determine prostate health. The new advice published Tuesday closely aligns the panel with medical groups that also support shared decision-making. The biggest remaining difference is timing. The task force draft says screening conversations should begin at age 55. Other groups say start earlier, depending on family history of prostate cancer and other factors. It recommends against testing men aged 70 and older.
Here is the point: The literature says a low PSA number of about four indicates a normal or healthy prostate, whereas higher numbers put prostate health in doubt and even suggests malignancy. To the medical community a higher number, of course, calls for biopsy and may lead to prostate surgery.
Yet, some men may have prostate malignancy with very low PSA numbers or no malignancy with very high PSA numbers.
This makes the whole test doubtful. I personally would not rely on the PSA test and would certainly refuse prostate surgery based on it, or even biopsy at my age, 85.
Many men have been ruined because of prostate surgery. At the very least, all considerations of prostate surgery should be preceded by a detailed understanding of the pros and cons of relying on the PSA test.
There is not as much objection to the digital rectal exam (DRE) because no harm can result and a trained doctor can get a reasonable appraisal of prostate health by doing a rectal prostate exam. Swelling and inflammation may be detected in most men, particularly as they age.
Usually a man can tell if he begins to have prostate swelling or benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) because of a noticeable restriction in his urine flow. Swelling of the prostate causes restriction of the urethra resulting in restriction of urine flow. This becomes chronic in many men and they may opt for green laser procedure to burn out that part of the prostate that is squeezing the urethra and causing restricted urine flow and urinary urgency, which disturbs sleep. Green light laser is done as an outpatient procedure, but the patient is put to sleep or given a spinal block.
Prostate cancer is risky for men, especially before about age 65. After that, the risk of death from the prostate cancer is reduced as age increases. The literature suggests that many men who die have prostate cancer but it doesn’t kill them. They die of other causes. So the older man should be very careful in selecting prostate surgery over doing nothing. Even younger men should not be unduly alarmed at a high PSA test because of the unreliability of the test.
Dr. David G. Williams calls prostate treatment “The Billion-Dollar Scam.” It is indeed.
Dr. Williams says that a high PSA reading does not indicate cancer. Instead it indicates that something is going on to inflame the prostate. That something could indeed be cancer, but it is much more likely that a high reading is due to a recent infection or a completely benign enlargement of the prostate gland.
The literature claims that many or most men age 50 and above have dormant prostate cancer and that most never become active.
Be careful of over-aggressive treatments for early prostate cancer; including surgery and radiation therapy. Some side effects include urinary incontinence (inability to control urine flow), problems with bowel function, erectile dysfunction (loss of erections, or erections that are inadequate for sexual intercourse) and infection.
Sad to say, there is no need for surgery anyway if it is determined that prostate cancer has already spread to other parts of the body before being detected.
Please remember that in the U.S., cancer is a multi-billion dollar industry and establishment medicine will move quickly to capture potential cancer patients and involve them in the cancer profit system. Fear is their major ruse.
I believe that prostate cancer is based on diet and environmental factors along with smoking or heavy drinking.
It is a health crisis that seems to be in proportion to the rise of xenoestrogens or environmental pollutants and commercial junk foods creating estrogen dominance in both men and women (causing breast cancer in women).
Estrogen dominance (too much estrogen) comes from environmental pollution caused by insecticides, plastics, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, sugar-laden junk foods, and the popular refined carbohydrates (cookies, crackers, chips and french fries.) Then there is cattle feed which is full of growth hormones (estrogen) which is used to fatten beef cattle quickly.
The reason these pollutants cause estrogen dominance is that all of these substances are chemically very similar to estrogen, fooling estrogen receptors in the body to accept them. They then act just like real estrogen in the body.
High estrogen levels are devastating to prostate tissue. The body produces hormones in balance with each other, and too much estrogen causes dysfunction in that balance and our levels of progesterone and testosterone decline. The decline in these two is greater than the rise of estrogen, causing problems in the tissue dependent on testosterone, the prostate.
Unmetabolized estrogen can promote continued growth of abnormal cells. DIM (Diindolylmethane) is a powerful plant metabolite that comes from crucifers. It promotes “good” estrogen metabolites which are powerful signals to trigger programmed cell death. The elimination of damaged cells that might become cancerous is one of the important mechanisms for the cancer-protective activities of DIM and the “good” estrogen metabolites.
The severe drop in male testosterone with aging is what allows the body to gain weight and start producing estrogen dominance. The male prostate seems to draw estrogen growth stimulation.
For prostate health, be as active as possible, at least walk as much as possible. But in my view nutrition is basic to prostate health. Zinc, selenium, and lycopene (cooked tomatoes) are very important. A handful of pumpkin seed daily is basic. I read about pumpkin seed for the prostate 30-something years ago in “Prevention” magazine and now keep them with me all the time to snack on.
Eat cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, Brussel’s sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli. These help the body to form DIM that promotes estrogen metabolism and weight loss. You can also take DIM supplement.
DIM effectively separates good estrogen from bad estrogen. DIM adjusts the balance of testosterone and estrogen in both sexes.
Finally, you can greatly relieve your BPH symptoms if you leave off caffeinated coffee. Coffee is a strong diuretic and compounds the symptoms of BPH.