How Science is Cutting Prostate Cancer Mortality in Older Men

Dr. Bevan-Thomas talks about cutting prostate cancer mortality in older men

178417907In this video, Dr. Bevan-Thomas discusses about a recent study that came out talking about prostate cancer in older man.

But first, who is who is an older man? Generally, we are talking about men who are 70+ years old.

When older men are diagnosed with lower-risk prostate cancer, it can often not be treated, as the men will likely die before the disease spreads. But when it comes to intermediate and high-risk prostate cancer, treatment is certainly the best route.

Watch this video to see Dr. Bevan-Thomas discuss how a combination of radiation treatment and hormone therapy can cut prostate cancer mortality in older men.

Video Transcript

Dr. Richard Bevan Thomas:  Hey, folks this is Dr. Richard Bevan Thomas at prostate cancer live and we are going to be talking about a recent study that came out talking about prostate cancer in older man.  Well, first question is who is an older man?  Of course, if you are asking older man then he says you know I am not an older man, but by definition we are really looking man actually start getting older above the age of 70.  In this particular paper again, we are going to have link to this, so you guys if you are interested to looking at it, I would suggest this. 

It talks about men between ages of 76 and 86, so men above the age of 75 you know that I have prostate cancer and so what’s happened in the prostate cancer realm is that for men older the age of 75, there has been this argument that it says well this man will potentially die of something else before they die of prostate cancer and I am going to argue that that is false, okay.  Now, that made very well be the case for men with low grade prostate cancer, but for men with intermittent and high grade prostate cancer, I am going to tell you that’s a different story.  Now, this is the paper that was actually written talking about these men and what we should do for these men who actually are older and I think that you know if we look at the tradition that’s happened in the past is that as these men have gotten older and we see the PSA rise and continue to increase and we worry about these men potentially getting metastatic disease again the cancer gets outside, we will give them hormone therapy. 

In hormone therapy is where we just give them a shot and that actually sinks that testosterone down by sinking the testosterone down, it causes the prostate cancer to slow down.  It does not cure those patients.  Here is the problem, we are not curing those patients, so this recent study that talked about this actually looked at these men and looked at them in terms of the patients that just got hormone therapy okay, so we just gave them a shot when they had either intermediate or high grade disease or the patients actually have hormone therapy with radiation therapy and guess what like many of us would actually understand is that we actually decrease the mortality.  We decrease the death rate of these patients by 50% within those first 10 years and that’s a big deal, so we have to stop writing of those men that are older with intermittent and high grade prostate cancer because there is the risk that these men can potentially die of this disease. 

This is a little bit of a controversial topic, but I think this is a great paper and I think we should educate ourselves.  If you or a loved one your elderly man above the age of 76, I think it’s a good idea to chat with your doctor and certainly your urologist about hey would I potentially benefit from some type of therapy again this talks about hormone and radiation therapy, but again we are decreasing the death rate and every life we save on prostate cancer surely with the prostate cancer diagnosis is another life we are saving.  This is Dr. Bevan Thomas signing out. Thanks.


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