Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Sex Ed: Prostate PR
The prostate, man’s anatomical centerpiece is, once again, making medical headlines. Doctors at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London have discovered that Radium-223 Chloride, also known as Alpharadin TM, is a far greater weapon than beta treatment against prostate cancer cells.
“It’s more damaging. It takes one, two, three hits to kill a cancer cell, compared with thousands of hits for beta particles,” claims Dr. Chris Parker, lead researcher on the project. “They have such a tiny range, a few millionths of a meter, so we can be sure that the damage is being done where it should be.”
Cancer Research UK is touting this alternative therapy as a very important and promising discovery. For more than a century, radiation has been used to eradicate tumors by damaging genetic code within cancerous cells. But alpha particles, which consist of a barrage of helium nuclei that are far bigger than beta radiation, are like a much more powerful radiation ally against cancer cells.
Of the 922 cancer patients involved in the study, those who received the alpha radiation treatment experienced less pain, only minor side-effects and had a 30 percent lower death rate than those taking placebos.
It turns out that results of the trial were too good to continue. Medics postponed testing the life-extending supplement because it was considered a violation of humanitarian medical code of conduct to avoid offering the treatment to all 922 cancer patients taking part in the study.
It would have been unethical not to offer the active treatment to those taking placebo,” Dr. Parker claimed at the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress in Stockholm.
If you’re over 50 years of age, hopefully you’re already having your prostate examined on a regular basis. Health experts recommend getting both the blood test and the old-fashioned, intrusive digital exam every year for those over 50 years of age.
But if you’re among the younger set, and therefore you don’t think prostate cancer has a place in your closet of concerns, consider some of the following statistics.
+ Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men, and the disease is the second leading cause of cancer death among white, African-American, American Indian and Hispanic men.
+ One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime.
+ In 2007, new cases of prostate cancer in the U.S. capped out at 218,890.
+ A study conducted by the Cancer Treatment Center of America between 2004 and 2008 found that patients had a 38 percent survival rate four years after initial diagnosis with advanced-stage prostate cancer.