Not all prostate cancer needs aggressive treatment

There may be many problems with the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer in the U.S. but today I just want to make you aware of 2.

1- Many experts believe that some of the cellular changes being labelled as prostate cancer are not cancer at all and should not carry that label.  There is also a push for relabeling some breast cancers for the same reason.  The "C" word is scary, if these conditions do not meet the criteria for a definition of cancer, adding the stress and worry that label brings seems not only unnecessary, but cruel, and it can lead to unnecessary treatments.  Here is a link to a New York Times piece about this.

2- Patients with some types of prostate cancer are being treated very aggressively by some doctors, and the treatment is not only unnecessary, but carries risk, and can seriously reduce quality of life.  These risks include increased chances of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as impotence, muscle weakening, and osteoporosis.

I saw this article today and wanted to share it.  It explores recent evidence that many men are being diagnosed and treated aggressively for prostate cancer when such treatment does not improve their prognosis.  To be clear, prostate cancer is real, and I do not recommend ignoring it.  What I do recommend is finding a doctor who understands this and is giving you advice based on your own specific condition, its risks, and prognosis, not based on how much money they may make from your treatment.  For the CNN health article click here.