Frank delaRama is an Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist who works with cancer patients at Palo Alto Medical FoundationOpens new window. His focus is on prostate cancer. Frank shares his expertise with this prevalent disease, treatment options available, and the impact of prostate cancer on the men who discover it – as well as their families.
I have to admit…whether I’m reading the newspaper or magazines, or even while checking my Facebook, Twitter, or BuzzFeed, I love reading lists. Articles that start with “Top ten…” or “25 ways to..” spark my interest right away.
Almost every day, I counsel men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer, along with their families, answering questions that often have no simple answers. A right answer for one man may not be the right answer for another. It all depends on the individual situation, plus their personal priorities. My goal is to give them information about all the aspects of their question, so they can find the answers that best fit them.
Differing Views of Prostate Cancer Genomics
Recent attention has turned once again (mainly in the UK for some reason) to prostate cancer genetics. The utility of this type of testing is still up in the air, based upon a sampling of news articles out there now:
Once you have decided that the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test is right for you (if still on the fence, see this helpful decision aid from the American Society of Clinical Oncologists. It is crucial to get an accurate number, as we know many factors can significantly affect the results. For those of you on active surveillance for diagnosed prostate cancer, you already know how important it is to get a consistent reading. Just like many other medical tests, the preparation for PSA testing involves some time-sensitive “dos and don’ts.”
A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shed some new light on finasteride as a potential tool in prostate cancer prevention. This cheap, generic pill seems to lower risk by 30 percent without raising the risk of dying from aggressive prostate cancer, as initially thought in previous studies.
Full details on the study here:
Summer’s here and most of us are dealing with heat waves to some degree. We need to be drinking plenty of water. I usually give little thought to bottled water, but a recent study shows a connection between drinking water from plastic bottles to the risk for getting prostate cancer later in life.
Some details here: http://www.cancernetwork.com/prostate-cancer/content/article/10165/2147571
Frank dela Rama is the Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. He created the Prostate Cancer Nurse Navigator role at PAMF in 2004, and has helped many men and their families along the cancer care journey, from diagnosis, through treatment, and into survivorship.