The Palpable Prostate

Prostate cancer topics, links and more. Now at 200+ posts!

News: Health Day, Medical News Today, ScienceDaily, Urol Times, Urotoday, Zero Cancer Papers: Pubmed (all), Pubmed (Free only), Amedeo
Journals: Eur Urol, J Urol, JCO, The Prostate Others Pubmed Central Journals (Free): Adv Urol, BMC Urol, J Endourol, Kor J Urol, Rev Urol, Ther Adv Urol, Urol Ann
Reviews: Cochrane Summaries, PC Infolink Newsletters: PCRI, US Too General Medical Reviews: f1000, Health News Review

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Blog Updates for July 2019

July 6, 2019. In Metformin and Prostate Cancer we added: A 2019 review and meta-analysis by Chinese researchers based on 30 research studies reported on between 2012 and 2017 concludes that metformin improves overall survival, cancer specific survival and recurrence free survival for those with prostate cancer but does not reduce the risk of getting prostate cancer for those without prostate cancer. Patients who also had radiation had even more dramatic improvements in survival. [PMID: 30778081] [Full free text]

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Blog Updates for April 2018

April 1, 2018. In Metformin and Prostate Cancer we added: Since then a 2016 paper found, in a cross sectional study of 326 cancer-free diabetic men, that metformin lowered PSA; however, in contrast other blood glucose lowering medications (sulfonylureas, thazodlidinediones) they looked at did not lower it. This suggests that other mechanisms than blood glucose lowering are responsible.  These might be  androgen receptor (AR) down-regulation, other non-AR mechanisms or reduction of inflammation or reduction of lipid levels. This study also found a dose-response effect between metformin and PSA -- those who used more than 2000 mg/day of metformin had 37% lower PSA than those who used less than 1000 mg/day. See [PMID: 27403913] [Full Free Text].

A second study, this one reporting in 2017, of 1363 diabetic cancer-free men also found that metformin users had lower PSA than non-users. [PMID: 29390570] [Full Free Text].

Monday, August 7, 2017

Blog Updates for July 2017

July 14, 2017. The 2017 Miror Mirror report providing international comparisons of health care systems is out and freely available [here]. The Benchmarking line under Links in the right panel of this blog has a link to it as well as links to some of their past reports.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Blog Updates for June 2017

June 6, 2017. In Metformin and Prostate Cancer we added: A June 2017 review paper by Whitburn et al on metformin and prostate cancer is available here:  [PMID: 28444639] [Full Free Text]

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Eat your carrots

A December 2014 Chinese meta-analysis of prior studies on carrot consumption and prostate cancer reported that while there were some inconsistent results it nevertheless found an inverse relationship, i.e. eating more carrots cut the risk of getting prostate cancer.  Importantly, it found a dose-response relationship -- for every 10 grams of carrots per day consumed there was a 5 percentage point reduction in relative risk. If this holds for sufficiently large increments of consumption and if the association is causal then given that a small/medium/large carrot weights 50/61/73 grams (see [hannaone]) one could reduce one's risk by 25%/30%/36% by consuming a small/medium/large carrot per day. The abstract of the study can be found here: [Pubmed: 24519559]

The existence of a dose-response relationship is one of the Bradford Hill criteria of causation. See: Bradford Hill Criteria of Causation on this blog.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Finding freely available research articles

A new Firefox and Chrome browser extension creates a small button on the right side of the screen whenever you visit a journal article's web page. If it is green then it found the article freely and  legally available on a pre-print server or the article was not pay-walled in the first place.

To install the extension simply go the site using Firefox or Chrome and click on the large button.

Once it is installed any time you visit an article it will place the aforementioned button on the right side of the screen. If green click the button to get to an open access version of the article. If the button is grey then it was unable to find a free legal source.  The FAQ also refers to Gold and Blue buttons but none of the sites I visited had those.

This article discusses as well as some other similar sites for uncovering open access material:

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Female physicians, saunas

Female vs. Male Physicians In a recent study that Harvard researchers published in JAMA, it was found that patients over 65 years old had lower death rates and lower hospital re-admission rates if they were treated by a female physician rather than a male doctor. The difference was small (11.07% vs 11.49% in adjusted 30-day mortality and 15.02% vs 15.57% in adjusted re-admissions) but if applied to the entire US population would represent a potential 32,000 fewer deaths. The study was done over the period January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2014 using a 20% random sample of all Medicare patients in this category. This represents over 1.5 million hospitalizations. Their results are consistent with a previous study [PMID: 8769910] that found that female doctors were more likely to provide preventative tests and counseling. See this [NPR article]. [PMID: 27992617] [Full Text].

Saunas A recent 20 year follow up study out of Finland found that men taking a sauna 4-7 times a week were 66% less likely to be diagnosed with dementia than those taking a sauna once a week. Not only was the effect very large but a dose response relationship was found increasing the likelihood that the effect is meaningful. (This is one of the Bradford Hill criteria for assessing studies). This follows a long list of other [claimed benefits] from saunas. See [Science Bulletin] [Abstract]