Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Little Secret on Cancer

Read an article this morning in the most recent edition of Nutrition Action (which is not available online as far as I can tell).  I am not entirely hooked on that magazine, but my mother bought it for me and they often have articles of interest especially when it comes to processed foods to look out for.  My favorite column is their food porn write-ups where they compare some fat laden food to another that is much healthier for you.

But this month they had a two whole articles on prostate cancer, which I read word for word.  The take away here is that if you stick to a healthy diet, full of good food and exercise, quit smoking (or not start - why would you anyway), and do all the things that everyone is telling you to, your chance of developing prostate cancer is low.  However if you do get the lethal kind, there are treatment options that help extend your life, albeit with high rates if incontinence and impotence. The one thing I didn't know is that men get prostate tumors just from getting old and according to this article, 1 out of 2 men have prostate cancer and don't even know it.

But the biggest take-away I got (no surprise here), was that in America surgeons want to cut and radiologist want to radiate.  The article said that in Canada, this is not necessary the case.  It is just another way for people getting money from other who don't have it when the treatment may not always require cutting or radiation.  This article said that not all cancers are lethal and even though the PSA test score may be high it may not be require surgery and the full blown cancer treatment because you will not die from it.  The bottom line here is that you have to be your own advocate and make a decision that is based on your risk factors, something called a "Gleason" number, and the fact that as men age they are naturally prone to prostate tumors which are not going to kill you. Sometimes something called "watchful waiting" is all that is needed.

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