2020 Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Most men eventually develop some type of prostate problem, and when they do there are usually no easy solutions. The three most common prostate problems are benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostatitis, and prostate cancer. Men with the same condition and symptoms might opt for very different treatments — or choose to do nothing at all.

Right now, one of the major controversies in prostate treatment involves the PSA test that is used for routine screening. This report explains why the test has fallen into disfavor and provides crucial information on how to proceed if your test results are abnormal. It also discusses the increasing use of active surveillance — a monitoring strategy that allows men with low-risk prostate cancer to delay and perhaps avoid treatment altogether — and intermediate treatment strategies for those who aren’t comfortable forgoing therapy. Plus you’ll learn about emerging tests — so called biomarkers and even genetic-based tests.

You’ll be briefed on the latest treatments that address “going” and “growing,” an outpatient laser procedure that is gaining in popularity over the traditional “roto-rooter” techniques. You will read about advances in prostate cancer treatment that are minimizing side effects, increasing longevity, and dramatically preserving — and improving — quality of life. You’ll learn about the
risks and rewards of “active surveillance,” the controversial role of robotic surgery, and more. Plus, the report will update you on treatment options for prostatitis, a medication for difficult-to treat erectile problems after prostate cancer surgery, and lifestyle changes that can improve health and lower the risk of developing prostate disease.

That’s why this unique publication is more than a primer on prostate conditions; it includes roundtable discussions with experts at the forefront of prostate research, interviews with patients about their treatment decisions, and the latest thinking on complementary therapies.

The goal of this publication is not to relate easy answers. Rather, our mission is to provide you with the information you need to understand the current controversies, avoid common pitfalls, and work with your doctor to make informed choices about your prostate health.

Prepared by the editors of Harvard Health Publishing in consultation with Marc B. Garnick, M.D., Gorman Brothers Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Physician, Oncology Division, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. 119 pages. (2020)

Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren

 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8

 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” – Mark 11:24

 “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” – Proverbs 12:25

 “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” – Luke 12:25

 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11

“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” – Matthew 7:11

 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” – Proverbs 17:22

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