Category Archives: Blog

Bladder Cancer Linked To Breast Cancer Gene

Breast cancer drug might help treat a type of aggressive bladder cancer

A gene found in fast-growing breast cancers has also been found in an aggressive type of bladder cancer. The discovery has prompted some to theorize that a drug used to treat HER2 breast cancers — trastuzumab — might be successful one day in treating an aggressive bladder cancer called a micropapillary urothelial carcinoma (MPUC). Presently, treatment options for patients with MPUC are early detection or a major surgery called a cystectomy. A cystectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the bladder to treat bladder cancer

A pathologist and his associates at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, found that women with the HER2 breast cancer gene had a nearly three-fold increased risk of bladder cancer death. The researchers reached this conclusion after they reviewed the pathology reports of patients undergoing a cystectomy at the Rochester-based medical center from 1980 to 2008. Results of the study were published in Modern Pathology.

Testosterone Supplements & Heart Attacks

1969188_547347265373247_398680175_nLarge study links testosterone supplements with heart attacks.

UCLA researchers found that testosterone-enhancing supplements doubled the risk of heart attacks in men less than 65 years of age with a history of heart disease, and in men over 65  — with or without heart disease. Researchers came to this conclusion after they examined the health care records of over 55,000 men in the retrospective study. It’s the largest study to date examining the relationship between heart disease in men and testosterone supplements, which are approved by the FDA to boost testosterone levels in men who have documented “low T.” However, some older men seek the supplements for off-label use. They use it to battle fatigue and improve their sex drive.

According to, the sales of AndroGel, a testosterone supplement, exceeded Viagra sales in 2013. Axiron is another popular testosterone supplement. Although researchers found an association between the supplements and heart attacks in men, they did not establish a direct cause-and-effect. The study was a joint effort that included UCLA, the National Institutes of Health and Consolidated Research Inc., which supplied the health care data.

There is now a push to re-label testosterone supplements to include a warning about its potential for cardiovascular events. The study was published online in the Public Library of Science journal, PLOS ONE.

Coffee, Tea & Prostate Cancer

1779114_545429685565005_577986635_nDrink up. That extra ‘cuppa Joe’ may be good for your prostate.

A study conducted at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found that coffee drinkers who consumed four or more ‘cups of Joe’ experienced a 59 percent reduction in prostate cancer recurrence and progression, compared to men who drank one or fewer cups of coffee per week. However, researchers found no association between drinking tea and a reduction in prostate cancer mortality.  There were too few regular tea drinkers in the study.

The study examined the coffee and tea consumption habits of 630 men with prostate cancer from King County, Washington, and tracked their outcomes for at least five years.

Results were similar to findings of the Harvard Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which found that men who drank six or more cups of coffee each day had a 60 percent decreased risk for metastatic prostate cancer compared to men who drank no coffee.   Although both studies show a link between higher coffee consumption and reducing prostate cancer recurrence, increasing one’s caffeine intake can be harmful for some men, such as those with high blood pressure.


Aspirin & Prostate Cancer

Higher aspirin dose may reduce prostate cancer mortality

Irish researchers have found that men who take above 75 mg of aspirin had a 39 percent decreased risk of death from prostate cancer when compared to men not taking aspirin. Researchers at the University of Dublin studied 2,936 men with localized prostate cancer; 1,131 of them were aspirin users. A low-dose aspirin is considered 75 mg.

Doctor’s Orders: Watch television following procedure.

Thinking about a vasectomy? March Madness is a great time to schedule procedure.

Been thinking about getting ‘snipped? A lot of men schedule their vasectomy during the NCAA March Madness games so they can watch relax, lounge on the couch and watch basketball — doctor’s orders. In fact, the Cleveland Clinic has notices a significant uptick in the outpatient procedure during the three-week tournament. So do many other urologists throughout the nation.

About a half million vasectomies are performed in the United States each year. The procedure is performed by cutting the vas deferens tube in each testicle, where sperm passes through to form semen. A “no-scalpel vasectomy” uses small puncture holes that don’t require stitches.

The 2014 tournament begins March 18th. Final Four Friday is April 4th.

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