I am taking this info from the current issue of the BOB newsletter from and for that brotherhood of graduates from proton treatment at Loma Linda U medical center. If you read this posting you will see a link to a web site that discusses the treatment between the breakdown of hormonal therapy and the beginning of chemo. It is a good presentation and worth listening/watching if you are one that is heading in that direction. But the following discussion on intermittent hormal therapy is an excellent read and worth looking at. I hope this adds to your ever growing medical knowledge on this important topic to all of us.
INTERMITTENT HORMONAL THERAPY MAY BE BETTER THAN CONTINUOUS
In a recent video post, Dr. Charles “Snuffy” Myers, an expert on advanced and metastatic prostate cancer, offered his opinion on this subject. Myers believes that Intermittent Hormonal Therapy (IHT) is just as effective in controlling cancer as continuous hormonal therapy, and it provides several advantages.
Side effects with IHT are generally less severe. These include such things as loss of libido, hot flashes, cardio-vascular complications, insulin resistance, and diabetes.
Although the subject is controversial, Dr. Myers believes strongly that the IHT approach is superior to continuous hormonal therapy.
SECOND LINE HORMONAL THERAPY
It’s not a pleasant subject, but when prostate cancer recurs, there are many options available to the patient. One common approach is to use hormonal therapy with drugs such as Lupron or Casodex. These drugs suppress testosterone and help slow and sometimes stop cancer progression.
The downside of using these medications can be unpleasant side effects including hot flashes, bone loss, breast enlargement, fatigue, and body hair loss.
Dr. Charles “Snuffy” Myers reports in a recent video (See: http://askdrmyers.wordpress.com/2010/08/18/ketaconazole-as-hormonal-therapy/
that when primary hormonal therapies stop working, doctors often move directly to chemotherapy. His contention is that second line hormonal therapy (e.g. estrogen skin patches) may be a better next step for three reasons: 1) the side effects are minimal (no hot flashes, or bone loss), 2) the benefits can last for months or even years, and 3) It allows the patient to postpone chemotherapy.
AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY GOT IT WRONG
A new study out of Sweden shows that PSA testing reduces the prostate cancer death rate by 44% according to Medical News Today. And the group, ZERO, The Project to End Prostate Cancer demands an apology from the American Cancer Society, which has discounted the importance of prostate cancer testing in the past.
The new study is based on a 14-year review of 20,000 men between the ages of 50 and 65. It found that PSA testing reduced the prostate cancer death rate by 44%. These results were published June 30 in the Lancet Oncology Medical Journal.
Skip Lockwood, ZERO CEO said, “With 2010 statistics predicting a 17% jump in prostate cancer deaths the largest in more than a decade, the ACS should be encouraging men to take control of their lives and get tested. Instead, the ACS is more concerned about sexual side effects rather than saving men’s lives though it quickly changed its tune when it said the same thing last year about women getting a mammogram.”
The ACS quickly backed off of the mammogram position after an outcry from the public as well as health and government officials. Now the ACS says men should consider getting a PSA test at the age of 50, or even 40, if the individual is at higher risk.
If you are interested in seeing the entire newsletter with lots of good stuff in it you can find it here: