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In 2008, the United States Services Task Force (USSTF) recommended discontinuing routine Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood testing to evaluate prostate health for men. PSA is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. The PSA test measures the level of PSA in a man’s blood.
The thinking was that what happens in the prostate stays in the prostate, and over-screening can subject men to over-diagnosis and over-treatment, such as painful biopsies and treatments with significant side effects. (1)
On the other hand, new surveys show that 1 in 7 men get prostate cancer in America, and it is the second leading cause of malignancy in men. (4) Regular screening with the PSA test reduced metastatic disease by 30 percent and prostate cancer-specific mortality by up 21 percent. (1)
In 2013, a group of prostate experts gathered in Melbourne, Australia and created a new set of guidelines called the Melbourne Consensus, which has re-instated the need for regular prostate screening.
Since 2008, there have been great strides in prostate cancer treatments, such as the revolutionary focal laser ablation therapy pioneered by Dr. Gary Onik. This is where advanced diagnosis imaging locates the precise location of the cancer, and then those cells are frozen. With these new therapies, early detection using tools like the PSA test makes a difference.
The PSA test, however, is not the only tool for a comprehensive prostate screening. Your medical doctor should be evaluating numerous factors, such as:
- A Digital Exam
- Prostate volume
- Family history
- New tests, such as the Prostate Health Index (phi) test
- Risk calculators, such as:
GREAT PROSTATE NEWS
In 2005, the effects of a healthy lifestyle were evaluated on change of PSA levels and prostate health. The group that made lifestyle changes such as: low-fat diet, diet high in fruits and veggies along with regular exercise had a staggering benefit. When they took the serum of the blood from the lifestyle-change group, tumor growth was inhibited by a whopping 70 percent. The serum from the control group inhibited tumor growth by only 9 percent. (2)
In another study, the diets of 926 men with prostate cancer were followed over a 10-year period. Their diets were classified as either:
- Western – which included processed foods, red meats and high-fat dairy along with refined grains.
- Prudent – which included higher intakes of fruits, veggies, fish, legumes and whole grains.
The Western group had a 2.53-fold increase in prostate-related death compared to the Prudent diet group. (3)
Further evaluation suggested that men who consumed more than 3 servings of high-fat dairy per day had a 141 percent increased risk of prostate-specific death. (5)
Note: The dairy used in this study was most likely ultra-pasteurized, non-organic and homogenized, which is completely different than vat-pasteurized (or raw) non-homogenized, organic dairy. Read more on how to choose the best dairy here.