|Prostate cancer screening does more harm than good|
|Saturday, 26 May 2012 00:00|
New recommendations are now emerging from two huge studies in the United States and Europe on the necessity of a non-specific prostate cancer screening technique. The PSA blood test that is routinely done on males over the age of 50 has been found to do more harm than good.
Despite strong protests from urologist, the final guideline published last Monday says there’s zero evidence that PSA testing saves or extends lives and was found to increase healthcare costs.
PSA testing and false positive tests result in impotence, incontinence, heart attacks, strokes and even premature death from further unneeded cancer treatments.
The recommendations are not mandates for healthcare professionals to follow yielding potential harm to you and your family.
PSA testing hasn’t been studied extensively in black men and those with prostate cancer in the family. Communicate with your healthcare professional about the serious risks of prostate cancer screening.
PSA testing causes harm
Many men aged 50 and older have an annual PSA ritual that causes harm. Current recommendations urge men over the age of 75 to skip PSA screening altogether as they’re at the highest risk of complications.
Despite the new recommendations it is predicted that half of men will blindly continue a useless test based on outdated information.
PSA testing is not specific for prostate cancer. False positives are more likely than real positives. The test has no determining factors that will improve treatment outcomes, seriousness of the condition or who ultimately will live or die from the condition.
We have been told for decades to be terrified of cancer and that the only hope is early detection and treatment while forgetting about the prevention aspect altogether. New recommendations do not exist as no current test indicates which cancers are aggressive and life-threatening.
Dr Otis Brawley, the American Cancer Society’s chief medical officer fully supports the new recommendations and the financial impact cancer treatments have on families. Brawley specifically indicated that PSA testing is an abuse of power and results primarily in healthcare centres profits.
100 percent at risk
Prostate cancer is most commonly a slow-growing tumour that will carry a very low risk of developing into a form of cancer that can kill you. A PSA test very rarely detects serious cancer while putting 100 percent of patients at risk of serious complications.
The study finds the following:
l Without screening, about five in every 1 000 men die of prostate cancer over 10 years. The European study found PSA testing might prevent one of those deaths, while the US study found no difference.
l Of every 1 000 men screened, two will have a heart attack or stroke from the resulting cancer treatment, and 30 to 40 will experience treatment-caused impotence or incontinence.
l Of every 3 000 men screened, one will die from complications of surgery.
Dr Brawley says the drop in prostate cancer has zero correlation to PSA testing and downward trends started before widespread use. Prostate cancer deaths have dropped over the last 20 years with improved dietary and exercise recommendations.
Eat healthy fats
Choose a healthy-fat diet. Processed fats and oils such as corn oil, vegetable oil and canola oil puts you at specific risk. Consume lean meats, nuts, butter, whole dairy and cook with healthy oils such as olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil.
The type of fat is strongly correlated to unhealthy outcomes. Unhealthy fats have been found to promote weight gain, damage your immune system and create inflammation. Inflammation is linked to heart disease, stroke, cancer and most chronic health conditions.
Eat your vegetables
Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat each day. Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and nutrients that reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Start by substituting a piece of fruit or a vegetable instead of a poor dietary choice that is full of unhealthy fats such as chips.
Fatty cold water fish — such as salmon, sardines, tuna and trout — contain a fatty acid called omega-3 that has been linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer via its anti-inflammatory effects. If you don’t currently eat fish, try adding it to your diet.
Drink green tea
Studies of men who drink green tea or take a green tea supplement have been found to have a reduction in prostate cancer. Tea’s health benefits are largely due to its high content of antioxidants. Green tea is the best food source of a group called catechins. Catechins are more powerful than vitamins C and E in halting oxidative damage to cells thus preventing cancer.
Drink alcohol in moderation
If you choose to drink alcohol, limit yourself to no more than a drink or two each day. Alcohol alters hormonal balance in the body, creates inflammation and produces the stress response that damages healthy cells. There’s a clear connection to the consumption of alcohol and poor dietary choices that further harm the body.
Maintain a healthy weight
Men with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher are considered obese. Being obese increases your risk of prostate cancer. If you are overweight or obese, work to lose weight. You can do this by reducing the number of calories you eat each day and increasing the amount of exercise you do. If you are currently a healthy weight, work to maintain it by regular exercise and a healthy diet.
Exercise helps kill cancer
Studies of exercise and prostate cancer risk have shown that men who exercise have a reduced risk of prostate cancer.
Exercise has many other health benefits and may reduce your risk of heart disease and other cancers.
High intensity, short duration exercise versus traditional weight lifting or cardiovascular exercise has been found to improve the function of one’s immune system.
The immune system is the primary system of the body that identifies and eliminates the development of cancer. The powerful combination of exercise, diet, stress management and detoxification will yield the greatest immune response — killing cancer.
Our daily choices have an impact on our overall health outcomes. Be proactive — choose a healthy lifestyle, nutritious diet and engage in an exercise programme to help reduce your risk. Do not wait until cancer develops — prevent it.
This column is directed by your questions, comments and inquiries. The health advice provided is in collaboration with the World Health Organisation’s and the International Diabetes Federation’s goals of prevention, maintenance and natural treatment of disease. The advice is for educational purposes and does not necessarily reflect endorsement.Visit their website: www.who.int and www.idf.org
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