Prostate Cancer – The JV Team Of Cancers?
Chances are you have been told that prostate cancer is not a serious threat. Its the JV Team of Cancers and it is curable. That said every year 30,000 men die from metastasized prostate cancer in the United States while another 250,00O men are diagnosed. Forecasters are projecting that both the number of cases and deaths from this disease will double in the next few years. While the prospect of acquiring prostate cancer increases with age, today it is not uncommon for men in their 4O’s and 30’s to test positive. No one knows why this trend is emerging.
Against this background, the U.S. Preventative Services Taskforce (an independent group of national expert volunteers in prevention and evidence-based medicine that makes recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services, or preventive medications) recommends that men should not do PSA testing until they are in their 50’s or earlier if there is a family history.
One of the many organizations that support the Taskforce recommendation to delay PSA testing is the Veteran’s Administration. It is interesting to note that patients at VA Hospitals across the country are being diagnosed with more aggressive and advanced forms of prostate cancer.
Insurers, employers and health care providers can cut costs when men are not screened and tested on a regular basis. While the overall number of new prostate cancers appears to be on a downtrend, the future does not bode well. Unlike breast cancer, prostate cancer does not typically show outward physical signs until it silently reaches an advanced stage. The decline we are experiencing in new prostate cancer cases is most likely due to the fact that fewer men being screened vs. improvements in men’s health.
While no one knows the exact causes of prostate cancer, there is mounting evidence suggesting the standard western diet may play a role. Men who live in the Far East, for example, consume greater volumes of vegetables, fish and green tea than those in the United States and Western Europe. Overall these men show far less involvement with prostate cancer. Once they are exposed to the standard western diet, the incidents of prostate cancer show a dramatic increase. Is diet the cause? No one knows for sure but it is an interesting trend that keeps turning up in studies.
Medical professionals tend to downplay the role of diet in preventing, treating, or curing diseases, yet cancer patients who are undergoing treatment are often encouraged to include more fruit and vegetables in their diet. Apparently a change in diet is believed to help patients fight the disease. At some point, making some changes in your diet might be a prudent preventative move.