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Monday, December 22, 2014

Is It an Option? Part 1

Posted by William on July 3, 2012

Triple Hormone Blockade Therapy as Treatment for Prostate Cancer

When Fred Osterloh was diagnosed with prostate cancer following a routine physical exam eight years ago at age 57, he was stunned. He felt fine. He didn’t have any symptoms, and no one in his family had ever been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

I was in total shock,a€? recalls Osterloh, now 65, of Ventura County, Calif. For the next six weeks, he set out to find out as much as he could about prostate cancer and the best method of treatment available. What I found was a real eye opener,? he says.

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men — after skin cancer — and one in six men are at risk for it. Nearly 32,000 men die of the disease in the United States each year, and researchers aren’t sure what causes it. Currently, there are several traditional treatment options. They’re about what you’d expect — talk treatment with urologists and they’ll recommend surgery. Radiologists recommend some type of radiation. It’s what they know, what they’ve spent years training in and practicing — and it’s what they believe in. But is one better than another?

There’s no evidence of a clear, perfect treatment. We don’t know if anything is superior, says Timothy Wilt, M.D., M.P.H., of the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, associate professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota, and a co-principal investigator for the Cochran Review Group in Prostatic Diseases and Urologic Malignancies. And there’s nothing proven to be significant in lengthening or improving the quality of life of a man with prostate cancer,? he says.

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