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.
Most men that I meet in practice are dealing with localized, newly diagnosed prostate cancer, for which treatments are very successful. I often work with these men and their families quite frequently from diagnosis through treatment, and, although I continue to be a resource to them, I rarely hear much from them once treatment is completed. This usually means that treatment was successful, and follow-up tests show no sign of the cancer. Frankly, I don’t mind losing touch with my patients, if this is the case!
Here's a nice review article covering recent findings in prostate cancer risk and diet:
One of the studies found that a diet filled with complex carbohydrates, as well as low in protein and fat, reduced the risk for prostate cancer 60 to 70 percent. Adding in high-fiber seemed to reduce the risk for aggressive prostate cancer as much as 70 to 80 percent.
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.”
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.