Monthly Archives: May 2011

Coffee’s Cancer Preventing Properties – Can Drinking Coffee Really Reduce the Risk of Prostate Cancer?

Many of us view coffee as a morning necessity. It helps us perk up and get ready for the work day ahead. Several previous studies have shown that drinking coffee may reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. A new study, just released by the Harvard School of Public Health, has shown some very promising benefits for male coffee drinkers. The study looked at the coffee drinking habits of 47,000 men, comparing the number of cups they had per day with the rate of prostate cancer development among them. Men who drank “a lot” of coffee, defined as six cups or more per day by the study, were 30% less likely to develop any form of the disease than their non-coffee drinking peers. Furthermore, they were 60% less likely to develop an aggressive and life-threatening metastatic prostate cancer. So is it healthy to be drinking six cups of coffee per day? Are there benefits to drinking just one cup of coffee? The answer to the first question is not a simple one. Those who have read my blog know that I advocate healthy dietary choices; I don’t [...]

The Role of MAN2C1 in Prostate Cancer Progression

Despite being a firm believer in the benefits of PSA testing, I recognize that it is not enough on its own to be able to identify the severity of a man’s cancer. By looking at PSA velocity, family history, Gleason scores, and biopsy results, we’re able to piece together what we think is an accurate view of a patient’s case; but there really is no definite way to tell short of removing the prostate. This has driven researches to try to find a method for testing that provides much more definitive results, thus lowering the rate of unnecessary treatments and reducing overall screening costs. Recently, new research has shown a correlation between increased levels of a protein called MAN2C1 and the development of metastatic cancers. Another protein called PTEN typically suppresses tumor growth, but increased levels of MAN2C1 have been identified as a cause of reduced efficacy of PTEN; preventing the body from properly fighting off prostate cancer development. Since prostate cancer develops so slowly, in many cases, it may never progress to a point where it would be lethal. With current screening methods we aren’t able to make a [...]

Erectile Dysfunction, Penile Rehabilitation, and Sex After Robotic Prostatectomy Surgery

Advancements in robotic prostatectomy surgery have greatly reduced the risk of impotence in men following the procedure. With my nerve-sparing SMART Surgery Technique 85% of my patients regain sexual function within one year. The question for many men though is, “What about the other 15%?” While I do everything in my power to save the delicate nerves around the prostate that control sexual function, there are times when the location and size of the tumor do not allow for a bilateral nerve sparing (sparing of the nerves on both sides of the prostate). In instances where nerves on one side of the prostate are removed the return of sexual function is more difficult. For men who have the nerves from both sides removed a return of natural sexual function is rare. To combat these problems a nerve graft, commonly taken from the leg, can be used in a nerve reconstruction process. These nerves are used to help regenerate the penile nerves, in an effort to restore a man’s ability to maintain an erection. For some men, a little extra help is needed. This can be done several ways. The least [...]

Prostate Cancer Does Not Discriminate

It doesn’t matter how much or how little money you have, famous or not famous, prostate cancer is not biased – it can affect any man. More and more celebrities are being diagnosed with and treating the disease, while sadly, some succumb to it. While no man should have to die from prostate cancer, the fact that famous men are being diagnosed with prostate cancer has helped to raise awareness of the disease. As I always say, the first step in better treatment and survival rates comes through better education. In my time as a surgeon I’ve performed robotic prostatectomy surgery on a number of notable men including famed Dutch interior designer Jan Des Bouvrie, world-famous Latin musician “Little Johnny” Rivero, and just yesterday, Curtis Sliwa, radio host and founder of the Guardian Angels organization. The one thing that these men all have in common is that they want to help raise awareness; they want share their stories with the world. Through their fame and exposure they’re able to reach a large segment of people who are interested in their experiences and what they have to say. In Curtis Sliwa’s [...]

A Cure And Quality of Life In Prostate Cancer Treatments

There is no doubt that any currently available prostate cancer treatment has potential for long-term effects on a man’s quality of life. A recent study by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that many of these treatments have a severe impact on sexual and urinary function. However, when it came to the overall quality of a man’s life, factors like pain, energy levels, emotional health and the ability to perform daily physical tasks, such as walking, climbing stairs or errands were largely unaffected. The study followed 1,269 American men for four years after their early-stage prostate cancer treatment. Sixty percent had undergone a radical prostatectomy, or surgical removal of the prostate gland. Seventeen percent had radiation therapy, otherwise known as brachytherapy, whereby radioactive “seeds” are implanted in the prostate gland. Twelve percent had external radiation therapy. Six percent of patients had a combination of two radiation therapies and five percent used hormone drug therapy to inhibit prostate cancer growth. It is well known that prostate cancer treatments such as surgery and radiation can cause problems with urinary function and sexual performance, including erectile dysfunction. However, this is the [...]