Risk for 120-day prostate biopsy-specific mortality — redux

Once upon a time (not so very long ago) Boniol et al. suggested that the 120-day mortality rate associated with biopsies for risk of prostate cancer might be as high as 1.3 percent. This caused something of a furore. … READ MORE …

Overall survival among participants in the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial

The Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) showed that treatment with finasteride (a 5α-reductase inhibitor) could lower the number of prostate cancers diagnosed in the U.S. each year by about 25 percent. … READ MORE …

The practical utility of prostate cancer survival and mortality data for clinicians and patients

Imagine that you are 65 years of age and have just been diagnosed with intermediate-risk prostate cancer (clinical stage T1c; PSA 3.7 ng/ml; Gleason 3 + 4 = 7; with 3/12 biopsy cores positive for cancer, all in the left lobe). You understand quickly that this places you at some risk for progressive disease, and perhaps even for prostate cancer-specific mortality. … READ MORE …

“There’s more to life than death”

We strongly recommend to all our readers a commentary in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine by Drs. Pamela Hartzband and Jerome Groopman. It deals forcefully with distinction between “statistical proof” of the lack of value of PSA testing and the accuracy of that statistical proof as a basis for clinical decision-making. … READ MORE …

Risk of dying of prostate cancer really has been decreasing

According to a study published on line last week in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, not only are men with prostate cancer more likely to die from other conditions, the risk that they will die of prostate cancer (as opposed to other conditions) has been decreasing significantly over time. … READ MORE …

Quality of life, quality of death, and “end of life care”

Here in the USA, while our legally elected representatives in Washington, DC, pontificate about “death panels” and try to score political points over which of our two major political parties is more likely to “ration Grandpa to death,” most of us do, in fact, appreciate that we are going to die (at some point) and that we would prefer to do it at home with some degree of dignity. … READ MORE …

Was prostate cancer really the cause of death?

One of the most complicated questions in dealing with prostate cancer is correctly assessing whether men who are known to have had prostate cancer actually died of their prostate cancer or simply with it, especially among men of more advanced age or with co-morbid conditions. In other words, “What do prostate cancer patients die of?” … READ MORE …

Terminal prostate cancer, quality of death, and hospice care

The role of hospice care and its potential benefits — in terms of quality of life and quality of death — for men who are actually dying of prostate cancer is theoretically well understood but relatively little studied. … READ MORE …

Atul Gawande’s “Letting Go”

Atul Gawande is a general surgeon who practices in New York. He also writes regularly on issues related to the relationship between medicine and society. … READ MORE …

Cancer and the media: an academic assessment

As regular readers of this blog will be aware, The “New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink is often unhappy about the “over-hyping” of certain types of scientific and medical information related to prostate cancer in the media. … READ MORE …

Prostate cancer and causes of death in older males

A recently published paper has used the SEER database to compare the causes of death of older men, dependent on whether they had ever been diagnosed with prostate cancer or not. … READ MORE …