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Knowledge is power: UCLA study finds men who are uneducated about their prostate cancer have difficulty making good treatment choices

They say knowledge is power, and a new UCLA study has shown this is definitely the case when it comes to men making the best decisions about how to treat their prostate cancer.

UCLA researchers found that men who aren’t well educated about their disease have a much more difficult time making treatment decisions, called decisional conflict, a challenge that could negatively impact the quality of their care and their long-term outcomes.

The study should serve as a wake-up call for physicians, who can use the findings to target men less likely to know a lot about their prostate cancer and educate them prior to their appointments so they’re more comfortable making treatment decisions, said study first author Dr. Alan Kaplan, a resident physician in the UCLA Department of Urology.

“For prostate cancer, there is no one right answer when it comes to treatment. It comes down to the right answer for each specific patient, and that is heavily dependent on their own personal preferences,” Kaplan said. “Men in general, and specifically economically disadvantaged men, have a hard time deciding what their preferences are, how they feel about any possible complications and what the future after treatment might be like. If you don’t know anything about your disease, you’ll have a really tough time making a decision.”

The findings from the one-year study appears in the early online edition of the peer-reviewed journal Cancer.

The research team surveyed 70 men at a Veterans Administration clinic who were newly diagnosed

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An unequal burden: prostate cancer in black men is a global concern

How much cancer risk is unacceptable within a community? One in four black men in the UK will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime.

The global burden of prostate cancer is borne disproportionately by black men – who require greater representation in research, according to a new Special Issue published in ecancermedicalscience.

Seven original research articles from the Prostate Cancer Transatlantic Consortium address the global burden of prostate cancer in black men from multiple perspectives, including screening, intervention, and treatment.

“This work will inspire researchers to try and understand what lies behind the increased risk of black men,” says Dr Frank Chinegwundoh of the Barts Health NHS Trust, a contributor to the Special Issue.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men globally, and the most common male cancer in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and North America.
All black men are disproportionately affected by prostate cancer, while African-American and Jamaican men have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world.

Multiple factors combine to increase this risk, including genetics and socioeconomic status. However, men of African descent are less likely to be able to access necessary healthcare.

Men of African descent are underrepresented in the sampling pools in both laboratory science and clinical research, partially due to the lack of research funding in developing countries.

This collection of articles provides a worldwide perspective that is urgently needed.
“Prostate cancer disproportionately affects Black men of African ancestry globally,” says Dr Folakemi Odedina of the University of Florida, Guest

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Tomato-rich diet lowers prostate cancer risks

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men around the world, but a new study suggests that eating 10 or more portions of tomatoes a week significantly lowers the risk of developing this disease.

Men who ate over 10 portions of tomatoes per week experienced an 18% reduced risk for prostate cancer, according to the new study.

With higher rates in developed countries, many experts believe prostate cancer is linked to a Westernized lifestyle and diet. The new study, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, helped the researchers better understand whether following current dietary and lifestyle recommendations reduces risk for this type of cancer.

It is the first study to develop a prostate cancer “dietary index” that includes dietary components linked to reduced prostate cancer, including selenium, calcium and lycopene-rich foods.

Tomatoes are one such food rich in lycopene, which is a carotenoid that gives fruits and vegetables a red color. The naturally occurring chemical has previously been linked to improved blood vessel function in cardiovascular disease patients, as well as an effective treatment for high cholesterol.

According to the researchers – led by Vanessa Er from the University of Bristol in the UK – lycopene also fights off toxins that can damage DNA and cells.

In total, she and her team – which also included researchers from the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford – assessed the diets and lifestyles of 1,806 men with prostate cancer who were between the ages of 50-69, and compared these

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Unique prostate cancer treatment programs could be tailored using RNA sequencing

Sequencing RNA, not just DNA, could help doctors predict how prostate cancer tumors will respond to treatment, according to research published in the open access journal Genome Biology. Because a tumor’s RNA shows the real time changes a treatment is causing, the authors think this could be a useful tool to aid diagnosis and predict which treatment will most benefit individual cancer patients.

Colin Collins and Alexander Wyatt, and other researchers from the Vancouver Prostate Centre at the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, matched 25 patients’ treatment outcomes with the RNA sequence of their prostate cancer tumors. They suggest that similarities between the RNA of some of the patients’ tumors could open up new avenues of treatment.

Prostate cancer is the fourth most common cancer worldwide, but can be effectively managed. Doctors normally recommend a combination of therapies, because patients’ reaction to treatment varies considerably. The side-effects of these treatments can be significant, so current research is focused around precision medicine – classifying patients on their tumor’s molecular changes, and only giving them the treatments that are expected to be most effective.

To investigate variations between the highest risk cases of prostate cancer, researchers conducted a range of genomic analyses, including sequencing the RNA in 25 patients’ prostate tumors. The RNA molecules direct which proteins the cell produces, so the RNA sequences show how tumor cells behave differently to normal cells.

Alexander Wyatt, Vancouver Prostate Centre, says: “Most genomic sequencing studies have focused on the DNA, which gives us important information about a tumor’s

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U.S. has seen widespread adoption of robot-assisted cancer surgery to remove the prostate

A new study reveals that the U.S. has experienced widespread adoption of robot-assisted prostate removal surgery to treat prostate cancer in recent years. The BJU International study also found that while such surgeries are more expensive than traditional surgeries, their costs are decreasing over time.

In 2001, surgeons began using robotic technologies in operations to remove the prostate. To examine trends in the use of such robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) procedures for prostate cancer patients, Steven Chang, MD, MS, of Harvard Medical School, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, led a team that analyzed 489,369 men who underwent non-RARP (i.e., open or laparoscopic radical prostatectomy) or RARP in the United States from 2003 to 2010.

During the study period, RARP adoption (defined as performing more than 50 percent of annual radical prostatectomies with the robotic approach) increased from 0.7 percent to 42 percent of surgeons performing radical prostatectomies. Surgeons who performed at least 25 radical prostatectomies each year were more likely to adopt RARP. Also, from 2005 to 2007, adoption was more common among surgeons at teaching hospitals and at intermediate and large-sized hospitals. After 2007, adoption was more common among surgeons at urban hospitals. RARP was more costly, disproportionally contributing to the 40 percent increase in annual prostate cancer surgery expenditures; however, RARP costs generally decreased and plateaued at slightly over $10,000 while non-RARP costs increased to nearly $9,000 by the end of the study.

“Our findings give insights on the adoption of not just robotic technology but future

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