Mon, Dec

Top Stories

Grid List

New Blood Pressure Guidelines Mean Yours Might Be Too High Now. Newsweek photo.


Heart experts released new guidelines for blood pressure on Monday and that means millions more Americans will now be diagnosed with high blood pressure.

Prof. Kwasi Adomako Ohemeng


Amidst the threat of growing resistance of superbugs to available antibiotics worldwide, a crisis which scientists have warned in foreboding terms could push the world back to the pre-antibiotic era where people died of simple infections, there appears to be a flicker of hope after all, following the discovery of a medicine by a team under the leadership of a Ghanaian pharmacist and researcher.

U.S. moves to revoke claim that soy protein protects the heart


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday proposed a rule revoking the right of companies to say soy protein protects the heart, while potentially allowing a more circumspect health claim.

A Silent Epidemic of Cancer Is Spreading Among Men


Jason Mendelsohn had been married for close to 20 years and was happily raising three kids when he noticed the painless lump on his neck while shaving three years ago.

Obesity-related cancers rising, threatening gains in U.S. cancer rates


The rates of 12 obesity-related cancers rose by 7 percent from 2005 to 2014, an increase that is threatening to reverse progress in reducing the rate of cancer in the United States, U.S. health officials said on Tuesday.

WHO: Media Should Not Sensationalize Suicide


The World Health Organization reports about 800,000 people commit suicide every year. To mark this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10), WHO is stressing the important role the media can play in stopping people from taking their own lives.

New Genetic Discovery May Eventually End Premature Birth


Researchers have found genetic mutations that affect whether a woman is likely to have her baby early or carry it to full term.

Scientists invent pen that identifies cancer in 10 seconds


Scientists at the University of Texas say they have invented a handheld tool can identify cancerous tissue in 10 seconds.

Poor Sleep Raises Alzheimer’s Risk


There’s more evidence that losing sleep can raise the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Ebola Survivors Found to Suffer Multiple After-effects


Patients who survive infection with the Ebola virus often continue to face numerous health problems. New research finds 80 percent of Ebola survivors suffer disabilities one year after being discharged from the hospital.

FDA approves Pfizer's drug for rare blood cancer


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Thursday it approved Pfizer Inc's rare blood cancer drug, Besponsa, with a boxed warning.

Study: Marijuana use holds three-fold blood pressure death risk


People who smoke marijuana have a three times greater risk of dying from hypertension, or high blood pressure, than those who have never used the drug, scientists said on Wednesday.

A DNA double helix is seen in an undated artist's illustration released by the National Human Genome Research Institute. For the first time, U.S. scientists have successfully edited genes of human embryos.


Scientists at the Oregon Health and Science University say they have successfully edited genes of human embryos in the first such attempt in the United States.

Sperm count falling sharply in developed world, researchers say


Sperm counts in men from America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand have dropped by more than 50 percent in less than 40 years, researchers said on Tuesday.

For 1st Time, Over Half of People With HIV Taking AIDS Drugs


For the first time in the global AIDS epidemic that has spanned four decades and killed 35 million people, more than half of all those infected with HIV are on drugs to treat the virus, the United Nations said in a report released Thursday.

Sleep and its implications for your health. Photo - GETTY


Sleep is essential to good health. As one of my professors once stated, "If a person can eat, poop, pee and SLEEP well, he is well!" Of course, he added something else not suitable for polite company!

Your Diet Soda Habit May Raise Stroke, Dementia Risk


You might think drinking sugar-free diet soda is better for you than regular soda, which is packed with sugar. After all, experts have been sounding alarm bells for years about the dangers of consuming excessive amounts of sugar, which has been associated with obesity and a litany of health problems.

A new study has found that males of short stature are at increased risk of losing their hair prematurely, in addition to a number of other health conditions.


Baldness is inevitable in many aging men, but it may be of particular concern to men who are short.

A new study has found that males of short stature are at increased risk of losing their hair prematurely, in addition to a number of other health conditions.

Bald men are three times as likely to get prostate cancer, Canadian study finds


I found this interesting and want to share with the Men. According to this new study from the University of Toronto, baldness in men has a strong correlation with the risk of developing prostate cancer.

Are you suffering from Penis Pain; the chronic and annoying type? (Photo: Mens Health)


I found this interesting article written by Dr. Geo Espionoza an expert in Holistic Urology and want to share with the Men. According to him, of all the places to have pain, the penis is one of the most inconvenient. One, it is super sensitive - depending on where the pain is. And two, it’s not a part of your body you can just “go easy on” for a day, like an arm or a leg. Sooner or later, you’re going to have to pee. And likely make other uses of it (wink, wink).

FILE - An image shows activity in a human brain. Scientists have developed a drug capable of sweeping away abnormal protein clumps in the brain which are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.


Scientists have developed a drug they hope will benefit people with Alzheimer’s disease, which afflicts an estimated 44 million people around the world. The new compound sweeps away abnormal protein clumps in the brain which are a hallmark of the neurodegenerative disorder.

WHO/NCI study: Smoking costs $1 trillion, soon to kill 8 million a year



Smoking costs the global economy more than $1 trillion a year, and will kill one third more people by 2030 than it does now, according to a study by the World Health Organization and the U.S. National Cancer Institute published on Tuesday.

That cost far outweighs global revenues from tobacco taxes, which the WHO estimated at about $269 billion in 2013-2014.

"The number of tobacco-related deaths is projected to increase from about 6 million deaths annually to about 8 million annually by 2030, with more than 80 percent of these occurring in LMICs (low- and middle-income countries)," the study said.

Around 80 percent of smokers live in such countries, and although smoking prevalence was falling among the global population, the total number of smokers worldwide is rising, it said.

Health experts say tobacco use is the single biggest preventable cause of death globally.

"It is responsible for... likely over $1 trillion in health care costs and lost productivity each year," said the study, peer-reviewed by more than 70 scientific experts.

The economic costs are expected to continue to rise, and although governments have the tools to reduce tobacco use and associated deaths, most have fallen far short of using those tools effectively, said the 688-page report.

"Government fears that tobacco control will have an adverse economic impact are not justified by the evidence. The science is clear; the time for action is now."


Cheap and effective policies included hiking tobacco taxes and prices, comprehensive smoke-free policies, complete bans on tobacco company marketing, and prominent pictorial warning labels.

Tobacco taxes could also be used to fund more expensive interventions such as anti-tobacco mass media campaigns and support for cessation services and treatments, it said.

Governments spent less than $1 billion on tobacco control in 2013-2014, according to a WHO estimate.

Tobacco regulation meanwhile is reaching a crunch point because of a trade dispute brought by Cuba, Indonesia, Honduras and Dominican Republic against Australia's stringent "plain packaging" laws, which enforce standardized designs on tobacco products and ban distinctive logos and colorful branding.

The World Trade Organization is expected to rule on the complaint this year. Australia's policy is being closely watched by other countries that are considering similar policies, including Norway, Slovenia, Canada, Singapore, Belgium and South Africa, the study said.


Source: Reuters

The Ministry of Health says it is putting in place measures to prevent the introduction and spread of the Dengue fever which has claimed about 15 lives in neighbouring Burkina Faso.

According to the ministry, although there is no evidence indicating an outbreak of the disease in Ghana, the risk of an outbreak is high due to the proximity and high density of the vector Aedes mosquito in the country.

“In this regard, there is the need to enhance surveillance and increase awareness among the health staff and general population to prevent, protect against, early detect and appropriately respond to cases,” a statement signed by the Health Minister, Mr Alex Segbefia said.

The ministry further entreated the public to improve environmental conditions to prevent mosquito breeding and protect against mosquito bites to prevent Dengue fever.

Dengue is an acute fever caused by a virus. Burkina Faso has since August and as at November 12, recorded a total of 1,061 probable cases out of 1,266 suspected cases.


What is Dengue Fever

Dengue is an acute fever caused by a virus. It occurs in two forms namely:

Dengue Fever: presents as febrile illness marked by sudden onset of high grade fever, severe headache and pain behind the eyes, muscles and joints.

Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF): is a more severe form. In addition to above, there is bleeding and sometimes shock occurs, leading to death. It is most serious in children. Symptoms of bleeding usually occur after 3-5 days of fever.

The high fever continues for five to six days (39-40 Degrees Celsius). It comes down on the third or fourth day but rises again. The patient feels much discomfort and is very weak after the illness.

Dengue spreads rapidly and may affect large number of people during an epidemic resulting in reduced work productivity, but most importantly causing the loss of lives.


Signs and symptoms (recognition) of dengue fever

Sudden onset of high fever ?

Severe headache (mostly in the forehead) ?

Pain behind the eyes which worsens with eye movement ?

Body aches and joint pains ?

Nausea or vomiting ?

Signs and symptoms (recognition): dengue haemorrhagic fever and shock ?

Symptoms similar to dengue fever as above, plus any one of the following:

Severe and continuous pain in abdomen; ?

Bleeding from the nose, mouth and gums or skin bruising;?

Frequent vomiting with or without blood; ?

Black stools, like coal tar; ?

Excessive thirst (dry mouth) ?

Pale, cold skin ?

Restlessness, or sleepiness ?



Treatment is to mostly supportive care with re-hydration and symptomatic treatment improves survival. There is no specific medicine for the treatment of the disease. However proper and early treatment can relieve the symptoms and prevent complications and death.

Aspirin, Brufen and other non-steroidal anti-inflamatory drugs (NSAIDs) should be avoided in dengue fever, as they are known to increase the bleeding tendency and also it increases the stomach pain. Paracetamol can be given on medical advice.

If one or more signs of Dengue Haemorrhagic fever are seen, take the patient to the hospital immediately. Give fluids to drink while transferring the patient to the hospital.


Preparedness Measures and Actions Done:

Alerts have been sent to all regions and districts to enhance surveillance for early detection, sensitize health staff and provide public awareness.

Enhanced Surveillance at all levels

Public education on signs and symptoms and prevention

We have conducted Entomological Assessment in the affected areas which indicates the presence of Aedes mosquitoes

Mode of spread

Spread of Dengue fever is through the bite of infected Aedes aegypti mosquito.

The mosquito gets the virus by biting the infected persons. The first symptoms of the disease occur about 5-7 days after an infected bite. It is impossible to tell if a mosquito is carrying the dengue virus. Therefore, people must protect themselves from all mosquito bites.

The Aedes mosquito rests indoors, in closets and other dark places. Outside, they rest at cool and with shade. The female mosquito lays her eggs in water containers in and around homes, schools and other areas in towns or villages. These eggs become adult in about 10 days.

Aedes mosquitoes breed in stored exposed water collections and conditions that favour breeding places are as follow:

Barrels, drums, jars, pots, buckets, flower vases, plant saucers, tanks, discarded bottles, tins, tyres, water cooler, etc. and a lot more places where rain- water collects or is stored.

Preventive measures

Avoid and protect against mosquito bites.

Major efforts of prevention and control should be directed against the mosquitoes. It is important to take control measures to eliminate the mosquitoes and their breeding places. Efforts should be intensified before the transmission season (during and after the rainy season) and at the time of the epidemic.

Prevent mosquito bites. Dengue transmitting mosquitoes bite during the daytime. Individuals must protect themselves from mosquito bites by doing the following:

Wear full sleeve clothes and long dresses to cover the limbs; ?

Use of mosquito repellent is helpful. Care should be taken in using repellents on small ?children and the elderly; ?

Use mosquito coils and electric vapour mats during the daytime to ?prevent Dengue; ?

Use insecticide treated mosquito nets – to protect babies, old people and others, who ?may rest during the day.

Curtains can also be treated with insecticide and hung at windows or doorways, to repel or kill mosquitoes. ?

Protect people sick with dengue by using mosquito nets and mosquito nets and mosquito coils to help stop the spread of dengue ?

Prevent multiplication of mosquitoes:

Mosquitoes, which spread dengue, live and breed in and around houses.

Cover and drain water from coolers, tanks, barrels, drums and buckets, etc.; ?

There should be no water in coolers when not in use; ?

Remove from the house all objects which ?have water collected in them; ?

Remove water from refrigerator drip pans every other day;

All stored water containers should be kept covered all the time;

Discard solid waste and objects where water collects, e.g. bottles, ?tins, tyres, coconut husk, etc.

The World Health Organization (WHO) doesn’t recommend any restriction of travel and trade to the affected country based on the information available on this Dengue fever outbreak.

The Ministry of Health do request intensive public awareness of the disease and direct health workers at all levels to kindly to take this up for action.  We further charge the leadership in various health regions and districts to initiate processes for public awareness creation on the disease and related complications, and institute systems for enhanced surveillance, facilities for case management, holding areas and strict adherence for infection prevention and control at all health facilities.

Specifically, we recommend the following to be done in all health institutions and by all health workers:

Surveillance on Dengue fever and Arbovirus fevers in general (using case definitions) should be enhanced.

Suspected cases of Dengue fever should be investigated and managed in accordance with guidelines and standard operative procedures.

Health workers should adhere to regular infection prevention and control (IPC) measures to prevent and protect against possible nosocomial transmission

Blood sample from suspected case(s) should be taken and safely packaged and sent to Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) for laboratory investigations

All levels (National, Regions, Districts and Facilities) are requested to update their preparedness and response plans for Dengue and other Arboviruses in general, sensitize the respective staff and create public awareness.

We wish to assure all Ghanaians that, the Ministry of Health is following with keen interest the progression of Dengue fever in the affected areas. We will not renege on our efforts to protect the people of Ghana.

We have initiated process for preparedness and response mechanisms which has the following major components:

Epidemiological and laboratory surveillance

Risk communication-social mobilization and health education which is a major tool in public health

Case management

Logistics, security and financial resources and

Coordination National Coordinating Committee, National Technical Coordinating Committee and EOC meetings on the issue.



Source: graphic.com.gh

I was very happy when a woman called me concerning her husband’s prostate cancer. She happens to know everything about his prostate cancer including Gleason score and I was amazed. She was very proactive and so much concerned about her husband’s condition.  This is what women should be doing. So, if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may already be familiar with the Gleason scale. The Gleason scale, developed by physician Donald Gleason in the 1960s, provides a score that helps predict the aggressiveness of prostate cancer.

A pathologist begins by examining tissue samples from a prostate biopsy under a microscope. To determine the Gleason score, the pathologist compares the cancer tissue pattern with normal tissue.
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), cancer tissue that looks most like normal tissue is grade 1. If the cancer tissue has spread through the prostate and deviates widely from the features of normal cells, it is grade 5.
The pathologist assigns two separate grades to the two predominant cancer cell patterns in the prostate tissue samples.  The first number, called the primary grade, is determined by observing the area where the prostate cancer cells are most prominent. The second number, or secondary grade, considers the area where the cells are almost as prominent.
These two numbers added together produce the total Gleason score or sum. This is a number between 2 and 10. A higher score means the cancer is more likely to spread.

Gleason Score: Understanding Your Prostate Pathology Report

When you discuss your Gleason sum with your doctor, ask about both the primary and secondary grade numbers.  A Gleason score of 7 can be derived from differing primary and secondary grades, for example 3 and 4, or 4 and 3. This can be significant because a primary grade of 3 indicates that the predominant cancer area is less aggressive than the secondary area.  The reverse is true if the score results from a primary grade of 4 and secondary grade of 3.

The Gleason score is only one consideration in establishing your risk of advancing cancer and in weighing treatment options. Your doctor will consider your age and overall health, as well as additional tests to determine the cancer stage and risk group. These tests include digital rectal exam (DRE), bone scan, MRI or CT scan.

Your doctor will also consider your level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a protein produced by cells in the prostate gland. PSA is measured in nanograms per milliliter of blood (ng/ml). PSA level is another important factor in assessing the risk of advancing cancer.
According to the NCI, a Gleason score of 6 or lower, a PSA level of 10-20 ng/ml, and an early tumor stage places you in the low-risk category. Together, these factors mean that the prostate cancer is unlikely to grow or spread to other tissues or organs for many years.

Some men in this risk category monitor their prostate cancer with active surveillance. They have frequent checkups that may include DREs, PSA tests, ultrasound or other imaging, and additional biopsies.

A Gleason score of 7, a PSA between 10 and 20 ng/ml, and a medium tumor stage indicates medium risk. This means that the prostate cancer is unlikely to grow or spread for several years. You and your doctor will consider your age and overall health when weighing treatment options, which may include surgery, radiation, medication, or a combination of these.

A Gleason score of 8 or higher, accompanied by PSA level higher than 20 ng/ml and a more advanced tumor stage, signifies a high risk of advancing cancer. In high-risk cases, the prostate cancer tissue looks very different from normal tissue. These cancerous cells are sometimes described as being “poorly differentiated.” This point is still considered early-stage prostate cancer because the cancer has not spread. High risk means the cancer is likely to grow or spread within a few years.

While a higher Gleason score generally predicts that prostate cancer will grow more quickly, remember that the score alone does not predict your prognosis. When you evaluate treatment risks and benefits with your doctor, be sure that you also understand the cancer stage and your PSA level. This knowledge will help you decide whether active surveillance is appropriate or guide you in selecting treatment that best suits your condition.

Here is a look at what the numbers mean, how to interpret your results, and where the scale fits in with the outcomes of other tests.

Gleason scores range from 2 to 10 and indicate how likely it is that a tumor will spread. A low Gleason score means the cancer tissue is similar to normal prostate tissue and the tumor is less likely to spread; a high Gleason score means the cancer tissue is very different from normal and the tumor is more likely to spread.
The lowest Gleason score of a cancer found on a prostate biopsy is 6. These cancers may be called well-differentiated or low-grade and are likely to be less aggressive – they tend to grow and spread slowly. Cancers with Gleason scores of 8 to 10 may be called poorly differentiated or high grade.

Gleason Score: Understanding Your Prostate Pathology Report

Gleason Score: Understanding Your Prostate Pathology Report

Gleason Pattern 5 (Grade 5)This is the most poorly differentiated pattern of prostatic carcinoma, which presents in two forms—5A and 5B.

Number of cores

An ideal report also specifies how many samples, or cores, were removed during the biopsy. The standard number of cores used to be six: three from the right side of the prostate and three from the left. However, this limited sampling meant that cancerous portions of the prostate, if there were any, might be missed. As a result, as many as one in four patients eventually diagnosed with prostate cancer was told, on the basis of the initial biopsy, that he did not have cancer — meaning that the test provided a false-negative finding.

Today, most doctors agree that an initial biopsy should include at least 10 to 12 core samples. In certain situations, some doctors recommend doing a saturation biopsy, which typically removes 12 to 14 cores — and sometimes as many as 20 or more — but less agreement exists about this practice.

Anatomic location

Ideally, the pathologist who prepares your report will have separated and labeled the core samples according to what part of the prostate they came from. This labeling will tell you and your doctors whether the cells came from the right or left side and whether they were drawn from the apex (counterintuitively, at the bottom), mid zone (middle), or base (top) of the prostate. In a saturation biopsy you may see even more detailed labels, such as RMA and RMB to differentiate between the right mid zone near the apex and the right mid zone closer to the base. Similarly, the report may refer to three zones: the peripheral, central, and transition zones (see Figure 2). All of this information can be invaluable in helping to determine the general location of the tumor, which helps guide treatment decisions.

Zones of the prostate

To help your doctor more precisely determine the location of prostate cancer or another condition, such as high-grade PIN, your pathology report may name specific areas. For example, it may refer to the apex, located at the bottom of the prostate; the base, at the top; or the mid zone, the area between the apex and base. Alternatively, it may note three zones: the peripheral zone (1), the central zone (2), and the transition zone (3). Seventy percent of prostate cancers arise in the peripheral zone. Few arise in the anterior prostate.

Example of An ideal pathology report

Men’s Health Hospital

Department of Pathology



Patient Name: John Doe

Medical Record #: 01020304

Date of Birth: 04/01/26 (Age: 81) Sex: Male

Procedure performed by: Dr. Yen

Specimen #: S00-9999

Procedure date: 07/15/07

Report date: 07/16/07

Gross description by: Dr.  Cock


Prostate needle biopsies: 21

A) R5A: Fibromuscular tissue only; no prostatic epithelium seen.

B) R5MA: Atypical glandular focus suspicious for adenocarcinoma.

C) R5M: No malignancy identified.

D) R5MB: No malignancy identified.

E) R5B: No malignancy identified; focal chronic inflammation.

F) R4A: No malignancy identified.

G) R4MA: No malignancy identified; focal chronic inflammation.

H) R4M: No malignancy identified.

I) R4MB: No malignancy identified.

J) R4B: No malignancy identified; focal chronic inflammation.

K) L5A: Fibromuscular tissue and colonic mucosa; no prostatic epithelium seen.

L) L5MA: Adenocarcinoma, Gleason score 7 (3 + 4), involving 50% of core.

M) L5M: Adenocarcinoma, Gleason score 8 (4 + 4), involving 70% of core.

N) L5MB: Adenocarcinoma, Gleason score 8 (4 + 4), involving 80% of core.

O) L5B: Adenocarcinoma, Gleason score 8 (4 + 4), involving 80% of core.

P) L4A: No malignancy identified.

Q) L4MA: Adenocarcinoma, Gleason score 7 (4 + 3), involving 80% of core.

R) L4M: Adenocarcinoma, Gleason score 8 (4 + 4), involving 80% of core.

S) L4MB: Adenocarcinoma, Gleason score 8 (4 + 4), involving 80% of core.

T) L4B: Adenocarcinoma, Gleason score 8 (4 + 4), involving 70% of core.

U) L seminal vesicle: Seminal vesicle, no malignancy identified.

Note: Perineural invasion is seen. Focally, a tertiary Gleason 5 pattern is noted.

Clinical Data: None given.
Gross Description: Received in 21 formalin containers labeled with the patient’s name, “John Doe,” the medical record number, and additionally labeled “R5 apex,” “R5 mid-apex,” “R5 mid,” “R5 mid base,” “R5 base,” “R4 apex,” “R4 mid apex,” “R4 mid,” “R4 mid base,” “R4 base,” “L5 apex,” “L5 mid apex,” “L5 mid,” “L5 mid base,” “L5 base,” “L4 apex,” “L4 mid apex,” “L4 mid,” “L4 mid base,” “L4 base,” and “left seminal vesicle” are multiple prostate cores measuring up to 2.5 cm, entirely submitted in cassettes A–U respectively.

 Gleason Pattern 5 (Grade 5)This is the most poorly differentiated pattern of prostatic carcinoma, which presents in two forms—5A and 5B.

Dr. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu is a Research Professor of Prosatte Cancer and Holistic Medicine at Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine, Cyprus. His clinic can be located at Dodowa-Akoto House. Consultation Hours: Monday-Friday @ 9am-5pm

Understanding Prostate Cancer: The Gleason Scale - Healthline

www.healthline.com › Prostate Cancer › Home

Peter A Humphrey (2004)Gleason grading and prognostic factors in carcinoma of the prostate. Modern Pathology

Med scape


This test may be able to spot fast growing cancers.

The Prostate Specific Antigen test, also known as PSA velocity, has been used extensively around the world to detect and monitor prostate cancer.

For many years, physicians have been using the absolute value of PSA to determine a man's risk for prostate cancer or whether his cancer has returned or progressed. In recent years, however, it has become more obvious that the rate of change of the PSA level, or PSA velocity, may be just as important as the raw number itself.

The New Role for PSA Velocity

Many prostate cancer experts now consider not only the PSA level but also how fast it is changing when determining whether to order further tests, when to start treatment or what to tell their patients about prognosis.

Numerous studies have now shown that a high PSA velocity (for example rapid doubling time of PSA or a rise of 0.35 ng/mL or more per year) may signal a rapidly growing cancer regardless of how high the absolute PSA level is.

For example, a man goes for his routine screening PSA test and it comes back at 2.0 ng/mL. He is otherwise healthy and his physician is unconcerned by the result since 2.0 is not a "high" level in most cases. But last year his PSA level was 1.0 ng/mL and the year before it was 0.5 ng/mL.

Should these results worry him or his doctor?

Based on mounting evidence, the answer is likely "yes." In this example, a relatively low PSA level of 2.0 could be waved off as "normal." However, this man's PSA has doubled each year for two years, making the number significant even if it falls within the "normal" range.

This is a high rate of change of PSA (such as a high PSA velocity) and could likely signify a rapidly growing cancer.

In short, the doctor in this scenario should take swift action to get this patient further medical treatment.
Wrapping Up

It is therefore important to keep track of your own PSA levels over the years and alert your doctor to any trends that you notice, especially if you change doctors and are not sure how familiar your new doctor is with your medical history.

Physicians see thousands of patients a year and may simply overlook the fact that your PSA has been increasing rapidly.

Don't hesitate to question your doctor about your PSA velocity results or to request further testing or analysis. This goes double if you belong to a high risk group, such as African American men, or have a family history of prostate cancer.

If your doctor takes issue with this line of questioning or appears to be unconcerned about your PSA velocity results, even if they appear to be rising markedly as they did in the above example, consider switching physicians. Your life is far too precious to take the risk that everything is normal, when your PSA levels may be revealing otherwise. If you don't switch doctors, at least consider getting a second or third opinion about your PSA velocity and medical history. The persistence of patients has saved countless lives.

Prostate Specific Antigen, or PSA for short, is a protein that is produced by prostate cells. The PSA increases as men age, when the prostate enlarges or becomes inflamed and when prostate cancer is present. There are also transient bumps in PSA after digital rectal exam (DRE), ejaculation, and bike riding. PSA is prostate specific but not cancer specific. There are different ways in which to look at your PSA.

Absolute Value

When PSA was introduced a cut off of 4.0 was used to achieve what scientists and doctors felt to be an acceptable level of sensitivity (how many it catches) and specificity (how accurate it is if positive). We soon realized that although this was helpful it missed too many cancers in young men and resulted in too many biopsies and over diagnosis in older men.

Age-Based PSA

We know that PSA rises as you age. By having a lower cut off in younger men and a higher cut off in older men we are able to catch cancers sooner in the younger population while eliminating a lot of unnecessary biopsies in the older population. There are several accepted reference ranges; one of the most common is this:

Age    Abnormal Value

46-55 <2.5

56-65 <3.5

66-75 <4.5

>75    <6.5

PSA Free and Total

While PSA is a protein that is in our blood stream it is not all existing in the same form. Some is free floating and some is bound to other proteins.

It was found that benign disease (not cancerous) tends to have higher levels of free PSA (>25%) and patients with prostate cancer tend to have lower free PSA (<15%). These numbers can help stratify the risk in some men. For example, if a patient has a PSA of 8.0 and had a negative biopsy, knowing that he has a PSA free >25% gives us more assurance that he doesn’t have prostate cancer.

PSA Density

We know that PSA rises as the prostate gets larger. Men with large prostate glands tend to have higher PSA’s. A normal size prostate is about 25 grams. We consider anything larger than 40 grams enlarged. A normal PSA density is 0.1 PSA for every gram. This makes sense as a large, 40 gram prostate would have a corresponding upper limit PSA of 4.0. This helps us in men who have had a negative biopsy and have enlarged prostates. We are less likely to worry about someone with a PSA of 6.0 if their prostate is > 60 grams. Conversely, we are more worried if the PSA is elevated in a smaller prostate (PSA of 4.2 in a 17 gram prostate).

PSA Velocity

One of the most accurate ways of diagnosing prostate cancer is looking at the rate of rise of PSA. A PSA should never go up more than 0.7 points per year. For example, it would probably be better to have a PSA count over 3 checks go from 5.0 to 5.1 to 5.2 then it would be to have your PSA count go from 1.0 to 2.0 to 4.0.


Prostate Specific Antigen is only a tool.

It is far from perfect but it is useful when the patient and their physician work together to make shared decisions. Since the onset of PSA screening the death rate from prostate cancer has almost been cut in half. Prostate Cancer is still the number two cancer killer of men in the black community. There is still much to be learned. Getting as much information as possible and making shared decisions with your doctor will help you understand the risks and benefits of checking your PSA and what to do with the information.


Dr.  Matthew Schmitz, MD has this to say about PSA Density.

The concept of prostate specific antigen (PSA) density is just one of many recent advances in more fully understanding the relationship between prostate cancer and PSA.

Learn more about PSA density and its importance to your health with this review.

The Basics of PSA Density

PSA is produced by prostate cells -- whether they are normal or cancerous. Men who have larger prostates, logically, have more prostate cells and, in general, produce more PSA regardless of whether they have cancer or not.

So raw numbers of PSA alone can't be used to determine if a man has prostate cancer.

To account for the different prostate sizes men have, the prostate’s volume is measured via trans rectal prostate ultrasound. The PSA level is then divided by the size of the prostate to calculate the PSA density.

A high PSA density means that a relatively small volume of prostate tissue is making a lot of PSA, while a low PSA density means that a large volume of prostate tissue is making relatively little PSA.
Does Your PSA Density Actually Matter?

Yes and no. On one hand, there is evidence that a high PSA density indicates a higher risk of prostate cancer. On the other, there is not quite as good evidence that this likely higher risk of prostate cancer really changes the proper diagnosis or treatment for those found to have a high PSA density.

Not all experts agree that PSA density should change the way that a physician diagnoses, monitors or treats prostate cancer.

Some doctors feel that PSA density is simply not helpful to them when making decisions and choose to ignore it.

However, you are your best advocate. And if you're concerned about density, make sure your doctor understands this or find a doctor who shares your viewpoints.

Overall, men found to have a high PSA density likely should be more vigilantly monitored for prostate cancer, and their physicians should retain a higher level of suspicion about abnormalities found on the digital rectal exam and about an increase in PSA.

PSA Density – A Relatively New Concept

In the past, physicians relied heavily on the absolute PSA level (or number) to decide whether prostate cancer had been eliminated, whether it had returned after treatment and how extensive the disease was, among other factors.

Very quickly, however, it became apparent that just the absolute PSA level failed in some important ways. For one, some men with normal or even low absolute PSA levels have been found to have prostate cancer. Second, many men with very high absolute PSA levels do not have prostate cancer but a benign, less dangerous condition such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Basically, the absolute PSA level does not always tell the whole story. That is why doctors started to use other PSA values -- such as PSA velocity, PSA density and percent-free PSA -- to get a more accurate idea of what was happening with the prostate.

If you're unsure about your doctor's views on PSA density or levels generally, ask him to explain to you.

Written By Dr. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu - With October being the Breast Cancer Awareness month, the awareness campaign does an awful lot of good. But there is much more you can do to actively reduce your risk of breast cancer, without harming your body or increasing your risk for any disease or illness.

This is what you have to do to reduce your breast cancer risk.

1. Naturally boost your cancer-killing hormone. One of your hormones’ most important jobs is telling your cells when and how they should multiply. Your breast cancer risk is largely tied to your hormones. But just as easily as hormones can increase your cancer risk, they can also slash it significantly. There is one naturally occurring hormone that has the proven ability to help your body fight cancer — especially breast cancer: melatonin. A study published in 2014 in the journal PLoS One found that melatonin put a stop to tumor growth and cancerous cell production in mice with triple-negative breast cancer. And there have been numerous other studies that have shown that melatonin can kill cancer cells, whether in a Petri dish, in a mouse or in the human body.

2. Get your share of vitamin D. Getting enough vitamin D may be the most important way to reduce this risk. It has been shown to block the growth of breast cancer tumors. Vitamin D’s active form, calcitriol, provides numerous benefits against cancer: It encourages diseased cells to die and it can limit blood supply to tumors and restrict cancer spread. Most of our vitamin D is made by the skin in response to sunlight. Only a small amount comes from diet. When choosing a supplement, get vitamin D3.

3. Stop eating this cancer-causing food. If you want to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer — give up sugar. Many studies appear to conclusively identify sugar consumption, specifically table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, as a major risk factor for breast cancer and its metastasis. And Ghanaians are especially at risk because we consume 30 percent more fructose than we did 20 years ago, and the amount has increased year after year.

4. Take oral hygiene very seriously. A recent study shows that women with periodontal disease are more likely to develop breast cancer than women who do not have the disease. And, a bit of information from the study that’s not as surprising but compounds the threat — a history of smoking significantly affected the women’s risk.

5. Lose weight. Many studies show that high levels of the hormone leptin in your body may make you more susceptible to breast cancer. Leptin actually talks to inflammatory molecules that induce breast cancer. When this “crosstalk” is cut off, it reduces breast cancer. When one has excess fat, leptin enhances breast cancer cell growth by turning off genes that kill cancer cells, and turning on genes that make cells more open to estrogens, which increases breast cancer development. Of course shedding excess fat will reduce leptin levels. But before you do that, a very easy way to restore leptin sensitivity is to eat much more nutrient-dense foods.

6. Keep exercising. In an eight-year study, older women who engaged in an exercise program enjoyed a 10 percent decreased risk of invasive breast cancer in comparison to women who didn’t exercise. On the other hand, women who had exercised when they were younger, but had stopped moving around very much as they got older, did not have a lower risk of cancer. So the important lesson here is: No matter how hard you exercised when you were younger — keep on walking.

7. Have an egg for breakfast. The choline found in eggs is not, technically, a vitamin, but it is an important nutrient for supporting your health. And, research shows, it can shrink your chances of developing tumors. A study at the University of North Carolina shows that consuming choline in eggs can reduce a woman’s breast cancer risk by 24 percent.

8. Eat more peaches. Researchers at Washington State University found that peaches help inhibit breast cancer growth and keep cancers from spreading. They recommend eating this fruit every day—up to three peaches. In laboratory studies, the researchers found that high levels of peach polyphenols prevent tumors from growing and cut off their blood supply. The chemicals also restrict the production of enzymes that help cancer spread.

9. Why should a woman be addicted to Alcohol? Cut-out or greatly decrease alcohol. Researchers at the University of Houston in Texas say recent findings suggest that alcohol exposure affects several cancer-related pathways and mechanisms, shedding light on the so-called cross-talk between alcohol and cancer-related gene pathways and networks. In other words, alcohol boosts a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer. Current dietary guidelines recommend that women keep their alcohol consumption to no more than one drink daily, but to be on the safe side — and based on this most recent information — you may want to consider cutting out alcohol consumption completely.

10. Drink either Green Tea or Hibiscus tea daily to reduce your breast cancer risk. Avoid all forms of sugars



Prostate cancer kills 26 Nigerian men daily and this is unacceptable! Through combining our knowledge of prostate cancer with that of our peers in Ghana, and the rest of the world, we’re getting to grips with how prostate cancer evolves, what it looks like at a molecular level, and how as a disease it can vary from one man to another and race matters. There is cancer disparity and behaves differently in individuals. Prostate cancer is more aggressive in black men than men of other races.

Men’s Health Foundation Nigeria - A practical plan for progress

To tame prostate cancer we will focus our attention on four priority areas:

Better diagnosis

Better treatment

Better prevention

Better support

Consulting with researchers, health professionals and men affected by prostate cancer, our strategy – Ten years to tame prostate cancer – is based on what we know now, and what we can build on using this knowledge.

These are ambitious targets, and making inroads into these areas will be expensive, but with your help in supporting us fund this research, we will be able to stop prostate cancer being a killer.

Help stop prostate cancer.

Better diagnosis

To combat the early diagnosis lottery, we will work to create a tool to assess every man’s individual risk of prostate cancer.

Men affected by prostate cancer tell us one of the biggest problems we need to fix is diagnosis. Today, in 2016, we can’t tell at the point of diagnosis if any prostate cancer found needs urgent treatment or can be left alone. It’s a bit of a lottery for men at the moment, and we want to put the odds back in their favour.

We want to increase the proportion of men whose aggressive prostate cancer is detected before it spreads outside the prostate. We also aim to reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies, as well as over-diagnosis and over-treatment of harmless prostate cancers.

We want to only diagnose prostate cancers that need to be treated, and leave non-aggressive prostate cancers alone.

To do this we will invest to crack the problem of inaccurate diagnosis, which is blamed for many of the Nigeria prostate cancer deaths. We'll work with top international researchers to develop a new risk screening tool. Combining known risk factors, this tool will establish a man's risk of getting aggressive prostate cancer, to help men and their doctors decide whether further investigation (and treatment) is required.

The risk screening tool will revolutionize diagnosis, and is expected to be in the hands of GPs in five years. You can help fund this groundbreaking tool.

But that's not all we're up to. With your support, we'll also fund research into new tests and drag them out of the lab and into hospitals and GP surgeries across the country.

Better treatment

Men need better treatment than a one-size-fits-all approach. We will create better, targeted treatment, without the life-changing side-effects.

With treatments available we couldn't even dream about 20 years ago and more in the pipeline, researchers are making massive progress. But there's still much to do.

Many of these new treatments offer improvements, but are still nowhere near what men should expect. Although they may save your life, many leave men with life-changing side-effects, including incontinence, erectile dysfunction, and affected mental well-being.

What we really want to see are better treatments with hugely reduced side-effects.

In the next 10 years, we’re likely to make the biggest difference to men by making the most of those treatments we already have.

This includes optimising drug dosage and delivery, finding the most effective treatment combinations, and clarifying the benefits (or otherwise) of a fixed pathway of drug or treatment use. We’ll continue to fund high-quality early stage research focussed on discovery and development of new treatments.

We still don't know which treatments work best for each individual man. Your support will fund research to find the answers, so treatment is tailored for men according to what works best for them.

There’s increasing evidence that this personalized approach to medicine will come from using knowledge of variations within and between prostate tumours. Ensuring this evidence is translated from the lab and into practice as early as possible will be a priority.

There are also questions about whether some treatments could work even better if given earlier in the treatment pathway, such as those designed for treating advanced prostate cancer only. We need to find out whether giving these treatments to men with high risk disease that hasn't spread outside the prostate can help increase cure rates. You can help fund this research, and potentially save lives.

We also need to investigate new treatment pathways for prostate cancer, and to exploit ongoing work in other cancer types or disease areas that will help us introduce effective treatments more quickly and more cheaply than just developing new treatments completely from scratch.

Better prevention

Working out what makes prostate cancer tick is the first step on the path to prevention.

We need to better understand how prostate cancer starts, grows, and develops. Understanding what makes prostate cancer return, and how to stop this, is another priority area.

We need firmer evidence behind the countless headlines on cancer prevention.

Can a man control his risk of prostate cancer through diet, exercise or drugs? What role does the environment play? As conclusive evidence emerges, we’ll work in partnership with other funders, governments and industry to help men adopt appropriate diet and lifestyle changes that could minimise their risk.

With your help, we will invest in research into the basic biology of prostate cancer, but only if it will significantly increase our understanding and, most importantly, inform future work in prevention.

Further research into prostate cancer prevention is a longer-term priority, and we will target men who are at highest risk of aggressive prostate cancer.

Better support

Our focus on the future does not mean we'll forget about men living with prostate cancer in the present.

With your support, we’ll provide award-winning support to men with prostate cancer through our Specialist Nurses, peer support, and information provision.

We’ll also be working with health professionals at every level of care. We know that their relationships with men will be key to identifying what needs to change, and making it happen, and we’ll be with them every step of the way.

 We know what the best care looks like and where it is lacking.

We'll highlight what needs to change, including some of the solutions we’ve already pioneered. And we want men to understand what the best care looks like for themselves and how to get it.

We'll work in partnership with health services across the Nigeria, urging them to pick up the baton when innovative care that makes a difference is discovered and we'll make sure prostate cancer is right at the top of the priority list for decision-makers.

Hitting the ground running

At the moment, men with advanced prostate cancer follow a winding path of one treatment (to the point where it stops working) followed by another (until that too fails) then another, then another.

Researchers in Belfast and Manchester are looking to answer a simple question – rather than giving men with advanced prostate cancer these treatments one at a time until they stop working, would they respond better if they received them all at the same time?

This small trial to test this hypothesis – and show that combining these treatments are safe – is just one example of the scope of our ambition, and the progress we are already making to stop prostate cancer being a killer.

Innovative and groundbreaking research like this never comes cheap. We will need the help of all Nigerians to keep funding these projects over the next 10 years after the launching of Men’s Health Foundation Nigeria on the 19th of November 2016.

Men’s Health foundation Nigeria, we are here to transform lives in Nigeria.


Raphael Nyarkotey Obu is a research Professor of Prostate Cancer and Holistic Medicine at Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine, Larnaca, City, Cyprus and the Director of Men’s Health Foundation.

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Men’s Health Foundation Nigeria: We’re here to stop prostate cancer being a Killer in Nigeria

We can stop prostate cancer being a Killer.

This is a Man and the Prostate is part of all men

1 in 4 black men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime

It can strike any man

And affect the lives of million people

The good news is prostate cancer can be cured if caught early

The bad news is early prostate cancer has no warning signals

And test are unreliable

Health services are patchy across the country

Too many diagnosed late

Even worse prostate cancer is already common in men

And the most common among all cancers in Nigeria men

Over 80% of Nigerian men diagnosed die of it annually

Over 50,000 men diagnosed yearly in Nigeria according Busayo 2014 reports.

But Men’s Health Foundation- Nigeria:  We have a plan

In order to get better diagnosis

Better treatment

Better prevention

Better support

For Men in Nigeria

We will fund the best research in the black community

We will guide improvements in healthcare

We will train health professionals

We will provide quality supports

We will drive change with policy makers

So that Babaloa, Ariyo, Okocha et al

Wont fear prostate cancer

We will stop prostate cancer being a killer

But we need your help

Join Men’s Health Foundation Nigeria

We can stop prostate cancer being a killer

Men’s Health Foundation Nigeria is leading the fight against prostate cancer. We will fund groundbreaking research, drive improvements in treatment, and fight injustice in care. Now we’ve set ourselves the toughest challenge yet: to stop prostate cancer being a killer.

There are new life-prolonging treatments for advanced disease, and health authorities at last see the importance of consistent, quality care for men living with and after prostate cancer.

But there’s still so much more we need to learn, and we’re not going to stop until we’ve got the answers to all our questions. That’s why we’re in Nigeria, focusing on five areas:

 Better Awareness Messages

We’ll send the message of prostate cancer to the men in all the states using every available medium in Nigeria and train prostate cancer ambassadors to send the message.

Better diagnosis

We’ll fund research that will pick up on aggressive prostate cancer sooner, predict and manage the impact it will have, and reduce today’s number of biopsies and unnecessary treatments for cancers that are harmless.

Better treatments

We’ll invest in putting effective treatments, with fewer side effects, into the hands of the men who need them, wherever they live in the Nigeria.

Better prevention

The first step in stopping prostate cancer is to understand what starts it and what makes cancer cells tick. The second is blocking its return following primary treatment. For us, both are a priority.


Looking out for men now and in the future

Planning a future from prostate cancer doesn’t mean that we’re going to leave men already living with and after this disease standing alone. We’ll continue to provide award-winning support to men with prostate cancer through our Specialist Nurses, peer support, and information.

But we’re not going to keep plugging the gaps in healthcare provision that are the responsibility of health services. We know what the best care looks like and where it is lacking. We will highlight what needs to change, including some of the solutions we’ve already pioneered. And we want men to understand what the best care looks like for themselves and how to get it.

We’ll also be working with health professionals at every level of care. We know that their relationships with men will be key to identifying what needs to change, and making it happen, and we’ll be with them every step of the way.

10 years to tame prostate cancer

You can help stop prostate cancer being a killer.

Deaths from prostate cancer are set to soar over the next decade.

If we don't act now

In 2014 Busayo says over 50,000 men are diagnosed yearly in Nigeria which is unacceptable

Based on current trends, this number will rise to over 500,000 men a year by 2026.

Prostate cancer is currently the most common cancer in men in Nigeria.

But we’ve got a plan, one we hope will stop prostate cancer being a killer.

And we need your help, every step of the way with Men’s Health Foundation Nigeria

Raphael Nyarkotey Obu is a research Professor of Prostate Cancer and Holistic Medicine at Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine, Larnaca, City, Cyprus and the Director of Men’s Health Foundation.

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.











Dr. Klein is Chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute, the nation’s No. 2 urology program as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. He has this to say on the PSA test.

When I was training to be a urologist in the 1980s, the PSA blood test we now use to screen for prostate cancer didn’t yet exist, and finding a prostate tumor was mostly a matter of chance.

Physicians either happened upon a suspicious lump while probing their patient’s prostate with an index finger during a routine checkup (the notorious digital rectal exam), or made the diagnosis after symptoms eventually prompted a man to schedule a doctor’s appointment to find out what was wrong.

Neither scenario was ideal for catching prostate cancer in its early, highly treatable stage.
Thirty years ago, half of newly-diagnosed cases involved prostate cancer that had already spread to other parts of the body by the time it was detected. The most common prostate cancer surgery I did as a urology resident was removing patients’ testicles—an attempt to treat advanced cancers by starving them of the testosterone that tumors use as fuel.
PSA Pluses

The advent of the PSA test in the 1990s allowed us to do widespread screening for prostate cancer in the same way that we look for high cholesterol levels as an early indicator of heart disease. Millions of men have been tested, and the results have helped us identify harmful tumors that can be successfully treated, as actor Ben Stiller’s experience showed.

A “benchmark” PSA test at age 50 can indicate a man’s lifetime risk of developing prostate cancer and help him and his doctor decide how often repeat tests should be done.

If the reading is less than 0.7 nanograms/milliliter (the population average for 50-year-olds), the lifetime risk of prostate cancer is less than 10 percent and future PSA screenings probably are only needed every five years. If the level is less than 2 nanograms/milliliter at age 60, the risk of getting life-threatening prostate cancer or dying of it is only about 2 to 3 percent, and follow-up PSA testing can be reduced or eliminated.
PSA Minuses

While the PSA test has value, it is hardly perfect. It measures the amount of a protein called prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, circulating in the bloodstream. PSAs are made by cells in the prostate gland. While an elevated PSA level may be due to cancer, the numbers also can be raised by other medical conditions, such as infections and the benign enlargement of the prostate that happens as men age. Even a sudden, large PSA increase from one test to the next—a measurement called PSA velocity—isn’t a reliable indicator by itself of the presence of prostate cancer.

In addition, there’s no clear-cut, universal “normal” PSA level. Many men with high levels of PSA in their blood don’t actually have prostate cancer, while some with low PSA levels do. There’s also evidence that PSA levels and other PSA characteristics are different in African-American men than in whites.

As a result of this imprecision, some men needlessly undergo a surgical biopsy of their prostate and may end up getting cancer treatments that aren’t necessary, while other men who need treatment aren’t promptly diagnosed.
The Prediction Problem

Finally, PSA results alone can’t predict prostate cancer’s future course. Many prostate tumors are low-risk, grow very slowly, cause few or no symptoms, and don’t require treatment. Other tumors are fast-growing and can aggressively spread to other areas of the body. Obviously we’d like to know which type of cancer a patient has so we can make the right treatment recommendations, but PSA levels don’t help us with that judgment.

A prostate biopsy, which samples tissue from suspicious areas for laboratory examination, can help classify tumors as low, medium, or high-risk using a ranking called a Gleason score, but it’s subjective and doesn’t always represent the cancer’s actual aggressiveness. And the point of a good screening test is to reduce the need for biopsies, since they’re uncomfortable, cause anxiety and can have side effects.

The good news is that improved screening tests and other diagnostic tools are becoming available, which should help us with the “cancer/not cancer” and “slow-growing/aggressive” determinations. Let’s take a look.
Smarter Screening Tests

Several screening tests on the market have been shown to be considerably more accurate than the PSA test at detecting the presence or absence of prostate cancer, and at detecting high-risk cancers that should be treated. They’re used in conjunction with—not instead of—PSA testing, and are meant to help patients and doctors decide whether a biopsy is needed after an elevated PSA test result.

The blood or urine tests include the 4Kscore™, Prostate Health Index, Mi-Prostate Score, and ExoDx® Prostate (IntelliScore). Each analyzes a unique, proprietary combination of biomarkers, or biological indicators, of cancer. Some also measure PSA, but in different ways than the standard test. For example, a test (not yet commercially available) called IsoPSA™ developed by Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Diagnostics, Inc., looks for distinctive changes in the molecular structure of the PSA protein.

Although the new screening tests reduce unnecessary biopsies, neither Medicare nor private insurers currently will pay for them on a routine basis (some carriers may cover them in local markets)—a carryover, perhaps, from their previous concerns that the PSA test was finding too many low-grade cancers that didn’t need to be treated. Patients may have to bear the cost, which can be several hundred dollars.

These tests are useful in cases where it isn’t clear if a rising PSA is indicative of cancer, and in patients with a rising PSA and a previously negative biopsy.
A Better Biopsy Method

For men with abnormal results from any of these tests, the next step is a biopsy. In this procedure we take samples of prostate tissue for a pathologist to examine under a microscope to determine if cancer is present. There have been recent, welcome advances here, too.

To get the tissue samples, we poke a series of needles (from 12 to 24) into different parts of the gland, guided by an ultrasound scan. We’ve used this method since the 1980s. The prostate is small, about the size of a walnut, so ultrasound images help us place the needles properly. But the images aren’t detailed enough for us to tell suspicious, potentially cancerous areas from normal tissue.

The truth is that we’re using a scattershot technique, hoping that, if a tumor is present, at least one of the needles will encounter it. These random biopsies can miss some harmful tumors, while revealing others that are inconsequential and may end up being treated unnecessarily.

Fortunately, a souped-up MRI scan called multiparametric MRI can distinguish between malignant and benign prostate tissue.

It would be difficult to do the biopsy while the patient is inside the MRI scanner. But we don’t have to. New software lets us combine, or fuse, those detailed multiparametric MRI scans with live, real-time ultrasound images to guide the biopsy needles. The patient first undergoes the MRI. A radiologist reviews it and highlights suspicious areas. Later, in an outpatient surgery setting, we insert an ultrasound probe into the patient’s rectum, next to the prostate.

The fusion software blends the pre-existing MRI and live ultrasound images. As we move the ultrasound probe around the prostate, the software shifts the MRI image accordingly, giving us a detailed, 3-D view. We can used this fused image to target the biopsy needles to the lesion we want to sample instead of poking around and hoping we find something. It’s like using your smartphone’s GPS to reach a destination rather than driving without directions.

The challenge with this approach, called MRI/transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) fusion-guided biopsy, again is cost. The scan is about $1,500 and insurance companies generally won’t pay for it in patients who are having their first biopsy. They will cover it if used for a repeat biopsy or in patients who’ve previously been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Fusion-guided biopsy isn’t perfect. One study found that it misses almost as many prostate tumors as does standard biopsy. But the cancers it misses are far more likely to be clinically insignificant ones that don’t need to be treated. And fusion-guided biopsy is very good at spotting potentially aggressive tumors.
Predicting Aggressive Cancers

To help us even more with that assessment, there are newer tests that can analyze biopsy tissue for signs of high-risk cancers. These genomic tests—Oncotype DX® Genomic Prostate Score, Decipher® Prostate Cancer Classifier, ProMark® Proteomic Prognostic Test and the Prolaris® test—look for DNA instability that is a hallmark of aggressively growing tumors.

In addition, the Oncotype DX and ProMark tests can predict whether there is high-risk cancer hiding elsewhere in the prostate, in areas that weren’t sampled with the biopsy needles. (Cleveland Clinic helped develop Oncotype DX and participated in research that validated Decipher and ProMark.)

Medicare and some insurance companies cover the cost of these predictive tests for patients whose pathology results (the Gleason scores I mentioned earlier) indicate the presence of very low- or low-risk tumors. They typically don’t pay for predictive testing in cases where Gleason scores show intermediate- or high-risk tumors.

With the results of these genomic tests, doctors and patients can make more informed decisions about how to proceed—either immediate treatment such as surgical removal of the prostate, or active surveillance, which means periodic checkups and re-evaluation of the cancer’s status.

By Raphael Nyarkotey Obu

City of Hope


Best Natural Remedies for Prostate Health

prostate health

1. Diet and Lifestyle Changes

Consume the following foods and supplements and make the following lifestyle changes to help maintain optimal prostate health.


Tomatoes (especially when cooked) provide lycopene, which is critical for prostate health. Research shows that high consumption of cooked tomatoes, thanks to tomato nutrition providing lycopene and other antioxidants, may play a modest role in the prevention of prostate cancer.

Wild-Caught Fish

Omega-3 foods, like wild-caught fish, reduce inflammation of the prostate. A systematic review published in Integrative Cancer Therapies indicates that researchers have found an association between higher intake of fish and decreased risk of prostate cancer-related death.

Green Tea/Hibiscus Tea
Green tea is the No. 1 beverage for anti-aging because it contains the highest level of antioxidants but now we know Hibiscus beats it. It helps promote detoxification and prostate health. Detoxification can help to treat or relieve the symptoms of prostatitis.

A study conducted at the Research Center for Cancer Prevention and Screening in Japan involved 49,920 men aged 40–69 who completed a questionnaire that included their green tea consumption habit for four years. The data showed that green tea consumption was associated with a dose-dependent decrease in the risk of advanced prostate cancer. The men with the lowest risk of developing prostate cancer were drinking five cups of green tea a day.
Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil aid prostate health thanks to their high content of carotenoids and liposoluble vitamins. Pumpkin seeds contain zinc, which acts as a diuretic to help empty the bladder, and they reduce inflammation. This can be helpful with dealing with an enlarged prostate that causes issues with urination.

Avoid High Consumption of Meat and Dairy

According to research conducted in Sweden, high consumption of dairy products and meat has been linked to a greater risk of prostate cancer. Research shows that men with higher calcium intakes had a 4.6-fold increase in prostate cancer risk compared to men with low total calcium intake. This may be due to high calcium intake suppressing levels of vitamin D, which has exhibited anticancer properties.
Studies of red meat intake are relatively consistent in showing risk ratios of 1.5 to 2.0 when comparing the highest to lowest categories of intake. This may be due to the effects of meat on hormone profiles and the possible carcinogenic effects of the compounds generated when cooking meat at high temperatures.

Physical Activity

A review conducted at Stanford University states that of all studies performed between 1976 and 2002, 16 out of 27 studies reported reduced risk of prostate cancer in men who were most active. Furthermore, in nine of those 16 studies, the reduction in risk was statistically significant. The average risk reduction ranged from 10 percent to 30 percent. Researchers believe that it’s the ability of exercise to modulate hormone levels, prevent obesity, enhance immune function and reduce oxidative stress that explains the protective benefits of exercise.



Food for prostate health

2. Supplements

Vitamin E

Vitamin E plays a role as an antioxidant in the body. Research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute indicates that there was a 32 percent decrease in the incidence of prostate cancer among participants receiving 50 milligrams of vitamin E for five to eight years.

Vitamin D

According to research conducted at Boston University School of Medicine, the association between either decreased sun exposure or vitamin D deficiency and the increased risk of prostate cancer at an earlier age, and with a more aggressive progression, indicates that adequate vitamin D nutrition should be a priority for men of all ages.


There are a number of selenium benefits, including its ability to increase immunity, reduce the risk of cancer and increase longevity. A study conducted at the University of Arizona evaluated the effects of selenium supplementation for skin cancer prevention, and while the effects turned out to be limited, 200 micrograms of selenium a day led to a 67 percent reduction in prostate cancer.


Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that gives fruits and vegetables their red color. It’s most strongly activated by cooking tomatoes, but the lycopene in supplements is about as easy for the body to use as the lycopene found in food. A systematic review and meta-analysis conducted in 2015 indicates that higher lycopene consumption or circulating concentration is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer.

An important zinc benefit is the role it plays in prostate health. Infection, stress and diet influence zinc levels, which are greatly reduced in those with prostate problems.
In a 2011 study published in the Indian Journal of Urology, researchers found that in prostate cancer cases, the mean tissue zinc was decreased by 83 percent as compared to normal tissue, and in BPH cases, there was a 61 percent decrease in mean tissue zinc as compared to normal tissues. Similar values were present in plasma zinc and urine zinc data, suggesting that both prostate cancer and BPH may be associated with zinc deficiency.

Fish Oil

Fish oil is known to reduce inflammation, and inflammation may lead to prostatitis and prostate cancer. A 2013 study involving 2,268 men aged 67–96 years old found that men consuming fish oil in later life had a lower risk of advanced prostate cancer.

Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto can improve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostatitis, which is why it’s one of the most commonly consumed supplements by men with prostate health issues. A 2009 study published in Nutrition Research and Practice found that saw palmetto (along with pumpkin seed oil) is clinically safe and may be effective as complementary and alternative medicine for the treatment of BPH.

Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle has anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and antiviral effects. It also boosts immunity and relieves symptoms of BPH due to the compounds it contains, such as phytosterols, lignans and polysaccharides.

According to research published in the Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, in three clinical trials on BPH patients, nettle had a better impact in reducing patients’ clinical symptoms than the placebo. Researchers recommend nettle to be used in the treatment of BPH because of its beneficial effects in reducing symptoms and its safety in terms of its side effects.

Credit: draxe.com


Founder and President of Men’s Health Foundation (MHF) - Ghana & Nigeria, Professor Dr. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu, has revealed that twenty six (26) Nigerian men die daily of prostate cancer. According to him, the rate at which men diagnosed with prostate cancer die in Nigeria is very alarming.

Prof. Nyarkotey Obu, who is a prostate cancer researcher and a policy maker, made the revelation.
He said what is even more worrying about the Nigeria problem is the fact that awareness level of the disease (prostate cancer) is very low.
“In fact there is little awareness of prostate cancer in Nigeria compared to the kind of publicity my NGO - Men’s Health Foundation-has created in Ghana,” Prof. Nyarkotey Obu disclosed.
The low awareness of prostate cancer in Nigeria, Prof. Nyarkotey Obu, disclosed has compelled his non-governmental organisation (MHF) to spread it wings into Nigeria and help prevent more prostate cancer deaths.
“…In fact the rate at which men diagnosed with prostate cancer die in Nigeria is very alarming, and that is why MHF has formed the Nigerian branch. And through our Nigerian branch we aim to create awareness on the disease in all the States of Nigeria and also help prevent prostate cancer deaths in Nigeria,” Prof. Nyarkotey Obu emphasised.
The prostate cancer researcher further hinted that his NGO will also lobby the powers-that-be in Nigeria and push for Father’s Day to be recognised as National Prostate Cancer Day in Nigeria “like we are hoping to achieve in Ghana.”

According to Prof. Nyarkotey Obu, the launch of the Men’s Health Foundation Nigeria will come off on November 15, 2016 in Lagos.
The Coordinator of MHF-Nigeria, Samuel Larbi Ariyo, who was with Prof. Nyarkotey Obu, disclosed that since his branch was making inroads after a month of being in operation.
“…More prominent Nigerians including politicians, government officials have expressed interest in the project and are willing to support the NGO,” he noted.
He went on to reveal that the Nigerian branch of Men’s Health Foundation has an 8-member committee which is headed by Mr. Samuel Babalola.
“For now what we are basically doing is that we are feverishly preparing towards the official launch of the Nigerian branch of Men’s Health Foundation in Lagos which is slated for November 15, 2016,” Mr. Ariyo averred.

Dr. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu who is a research Professor of Prostate cancer & Holistic Medicine at Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine, Cyprus, further revealed that, prostate cancer is the number one cancer killer of Nigerian men! In Nigeria, prostate cancer has a mortality rate of over eighty percent (80%)! A recent report by World Health Organization (WHO) shows that within a period of four years, deaths from prostate cancer in Nigeria increased by almost 100 per cent. The report showed that Prostate cancer now kills 26 Nigerian men every day (up from 14 men every day).

This increase is evident from frequent reports in the media of prominent Nigerians that have died of the disease in recent times out of ignorance. The Nigerian prostate cancer statistics is alarming and outrageous, given the fact that prostate cancer is curable if detected early. He added.

Explaining what is responsible for the high mortality rate of prostate cancer in Nigeria and the black community, he explained that the answer is not far-fetched - lack of awareness and inadequate infrastructure and manpower for cancer prevention and treatment in Nigeria. We have relied too much on foreign research which is not beneficial because there is cancer disparity and until black scientist, Physicians, government, policy makers and researchers rise up we are unlikely to see any further headway. To improve prostate cancer survivorship, it is important for every man to know his risk of prostate cancer as well as the signs and symptoms.

We will work with policy makers and other organizations to improve services delivery. We will research into the disease locally, provide support to those diagnosed, and provide training to health professionals and research into evidence based holistic medicine to address the side effect of conventional treatment.

There is urgent need to make prostate cancer screening widely available and accessible to all Nigerian men:

“We cannot treat our way out of the prostate cancer problem. We need commitment to prevention and early detection is desperately needed in order to complement improved treatments and address the alarming rise in prostate cancer burden in the black community, the mortality rate is very high in Nigeria, for every six men diagnosed 5 will die leaving only one and it appears prostate cancer is a death sentence in Nigeria.”

On moving forward, Dr. Nyarkotey added, “An excellent way of providing easily accessible prostate cancer screenings would be the deployment of Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC) which would take holistic health promotion to the grassroots of Nigeria and we have a plan in Nigeria as we expand our wings and services to other African countries to stop prostate cancer before it strikes as ignoring prostate cancer won’t beat it.

A Delta airline flight attendant got more than she had bargained for on what female doctors, particularly, black female doctors look like when she prevented a black female passenger who happened to be a fully qualified OB-GYN from responding to a fellow passenger’s mid-flight health crisis. 

News wires


Japan's Yoshinori Ohsumi Wins 2016 Nobel Medicine Prize for Work in Autophagy

Japan's Yoshinori Ohsumi was awarded the 2016 Nobel prize for medicine or physiology Monday for his discovery of how cells break down and recycle their content, which could lead to a better understanding of diseases like cancer, Parkinson's and type 2 diabetes.

"Ohsumi's discoveries led to a new paradigm in our understanding of how the cell recycles its content," the Nobel Assembly at Sweden's Karolinska Institute said in a statement on awarding the prize of $933,000.

"His discoveries opened the path to understanding ... many physiological processes, such as in the adaptation to starvation or response to infection," the statement added.

Ohsumi's work on cell breakdown, a field known as autophagy, is important because it can help explain what goes wrong in a range of diseases.

"Mutations in autophagy ('self eating') genes can cause disease, and the autophagic process is involved in several conditions including cancer and neurological disease," the statement said.

Ohsumi, born in 1945 in Fukuoka, Japan, has been a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology since 2009.

"I am extremely honored," he told Kyodo News agency.

The prize for Physiology or Medicine is the first of the Nobel prizes awarded each year. Prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace were first awarded in 1901 in accordance with the will of dynamite inventor and businessman Alfred Nobel.

This year, the Karolinska Institute, the institution that awards the medicine prize, has been immersed in a scandal over the hiring of a controversial surgeon. The Swedish government dismissed several members of the board in September.

News wires


Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wants to wipe out disease by the end of the century.

The billionaire CEO and his wife, Priscilla Chan, said they are giving $3 billion over the next ten years to advance research toward that end.

A huge chunk, $600 million, will be dedicated to a new research center at the University of California, San Francisco that will collaborate with the University of California, Berkeley as well as Stanford University.

"Mark and I spent the past two years talking to scientists ranging from Nobel Prize laureates to graduate students," Chan said during an emotional talk at UCSF. "We believe that the future we all want for our children is possible. We set a goal: can we cure all diseases in our children's lifetime? That doesn't mean that no one will ever get sick. But it does mean that our children and their children should get sick a lot less. And that we should be able to detect and treat or at least manage it as an ongoing condition. Mark and I believe this is possible within our children's lifetime."

The center will be run by Cori Bargmann, a noted neuroscientist.

Zuckerberg and Chan made the announcement Wednesday.

"It's going to take years before the first tools are built, and years after that before the first diseases are treated," Zuckerberg said. "We have to be patient."

Zuckerberg and Chan are part of an initiative called The Giving Pledge, where billionaires pledge to donate more than half of their wealth to charity. Others who have made that promise include Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, and Richard and Joan Branson. Zuckerberg and his wife have pledged to give away 99 percent of their wealth.

Facebook was founded in 2004 and has since grown into a company that reported $4.5 billion in revenue in its latest quarter. The company says more than 1 billion people go on Facebook every day, and more than 80 percent of them live outside the United States and Canada.



Source: voanews

Latest in Category