Posts Tagged ‘personal prostate cancer stories’

take the pain, burn it as the fuel to overcome adversity

Mushroom Compound Suppresses Prostate Tumours, Australia

23 May 2011

A mushroom used in Asia for its medicinal benefits has been found to be 100 per
cent effective in suppressing prostate tumour development in mice during early
trials, new Queensland University of Technology (QUT) research shows.

The compound, polysaccharopeptide (PSP), which is extracted from the
‘turkey tail’ mushroom, was found to target prostate cancer stem cells and
suppress tumour formation in mice, an article written by senior research fellow
Dr Patrick Ling in the international scientific journal PLoS ONE said.

Dr Ling, from the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre-Queensland
and Institute for Biomedical Health & Innovation (IHBI) at QUT, said the
results could be an important step towards fighting a disease that kills 3000
Australian men a year.

“The findings are quite significant,” Dr Ling

“What we wanted to demonstrate was whether that compound could
stop the development of prostate tumours in the first place.

“In the past, other inhibitors tested in research trials have been shown to be up to 70
per cent effective, but we’re seeing 100 per cent of this tumour prevented from
developing with PSP.

“Importantly, we did not see any side effects from
the treatment.”

Dr Ling said conventional therapies were only effective
in targeting certain cancer cells, not cancer stem cells, which initiated cancer
and caused the disease to progress.

During the research trial, which was
done in collaboration with The University of Hong Kong and Provital Pty Ltd,
transgenic mice that developed prostate tumours were fed PSP for 20 weeks.

Dr Ling said no tumours were found in any of the mice fed PSP, whereas
mice not given the treatment developed prostate tumours. He said the research
suggested that PSP treatment could completely inhibit prostate tumour formation.

“Our findings support that PSP may be a potent preventative agent
against prostate cancer, possibly through targeting of the prostate cancer stem
cell population,” he said.

He said PSP had previously shown to possess
anti-cancer properties, and ‘turkey tail’ mushrooms (known as Coriolus
versicolor or Yun-zhi) had been widely used in Asia for medicinal benefits.

However, Dr Ling said it was the first time it had been demonstrated
that PSP had anti-cancer stem cell effects.

Although ‘turkey tail’ mushrooms had valuable health properties, Dr Ling said it would not be possible
to get the same benefit his research showed from simply eating them.

A fundraiser has been organised in September to support further tests for the
therapeutic potential of PSP against prostate tumours either alone or in
combination with other anti-cancer compounds.

University of Technology

Article URL: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/226143.php

I am in a seventies mood. Just watched a Captain Beefheart documentary on Youtube that was facinating.

I was in high school in the early seventies and was aware of all the “Grateful Dead” stuff going on but was not partaking. I was somewhat “unaware” and afraid to try stuff…then. My oldest brother was the first hippie in Troop County in Georgia. Bellbottoms, long hair, and making pot available to my classmates for a price legitimized him as a hippie. The music I was exposed to at that time was his influence and my next older brother. I remember distinctly a Captain Beefheart album cover (deep red and black coloring, I don’t know which one…very Frank Zappa looking) on the floor in the room of our house closest to the street…the television room. (See author page for picture of my grandmother’s house.) My older brothers were cutting edge music wise. I remember Rushton bringing home one of the first  Allman Brother’s album from the Bryon Music Festival (look at the bands that where there…amazing.) Poco, The Dead, Bowie, Traffic, of course The Beatles, The Kinks, Stones, CSN. were albums they were listening to at the time. I liked Elton John’s Tumbleweed Connection and James Taylor’s Mudslide Slim…my brothers did not quite get my liking that stuff at the time. One of my finest moments was when many years later Rushton said, ” John, I’ve been listening to some Taylor. It’s good…you were on to something back then in high school.”

Now the mushrooms. My brothers and their friends apparently figured out how to make a hallucinogenic mixture out of mushrooms that they called “Mushroom tea, or mushroom koolaid.” As I recall the mushroom they used had a thin blue line making a circle on the under surface of the top of the mushroom. I guess they crushed up the mushroom and then put in koolaid and then drank it. All of this was done under the radar of my mother, grandmother and of course me…I was clueless and of course was not invited or included in any of my older brothers activities. “Where’s John,” they would be asked. Rushton loved to say in reply, ” He’s at an Algebra party.”

You may not remember this “social syndrome” by which a person in high school in an attempt to be included will associate with others in whom he really doesn’t fit. I did it. I asked a girl to a dance who was thought to be one of the wildest students in the school. We were quite the mismatch. I don’t know what I was thinking…well I do… and nothing came of it and I did not benefit from her wildness. But alas…there was this guy who loved my older brothers and wanted to be in their circle. He was rather straight-laced, an athlete ( all my brothers were athletes) and wanted to do stuff with them. Usually it was the benign stuff, i.e. going to get a hamburger, a movie, etc. He was that type of friend for those type of events…not the hard stuff. I know of what I speak…I was that type of friend to others. They’d call me to play tennis or go fishing…but did not call me for parties.

So somehow the ground rules got broken when it came to this particular friend “gettin in with” my brothers in the “mushroom tea” affair. I don’t know where or how but this straight laced guy from a straight-laced family “fell in” with my brothers when they had made and decided to partake of the koolaid. I think they all drank it and they dropped him off at his house either that evening or the next day. That was just the start of it.

“Jennie, what in the world have your boys done to my son?”

My mother was a special person. I never feared, nor did any of us, a spanking or punishment. That was not how she rolled. My relationship and that of my brothers toward her was a sort of unfearful respect. I got in trouble one time in 6th grade and the principal asked me would I like a paddling or for him to call my parents. Well, my parents were my mother. It was a no brainer…”Call my mother.” My mother comes to get me playing the part of the disappointed and strict parent and making all sort of feigned and threatening faces at me and a concerned look to all the principal was saying and why I had to go home for the day.

As we are leaving the school my mother’s demeanor expectantly changed to a soft glowing smile with a smirk. “Where do you want to go eat for lunch Johnny boy?” I knew what I was doing.

My mother is told that the lady’s son has been “crazy” for three days and the last people who saw him normal were “her boys.” After some investigation it came out that he’d been “running” with the McHugh boys and had partaken of the psychogenic elixir they had concocted.

To the best of my knowledge this particular guy never got prostate cancer and neither have any of my brothers.

I never “drank the koolaid” and lo and behold….I got prostate cancer. Go figure, the above study from Australia is right!

As with many psychedelic substances, the effects of psychedelic mushrooms are subjective and can vary considerably among individual users. The mind-altering effects of psilocybin-containing mushrooms typically last anywhere from 3 to 8 hours depending on dosage, preparation method, and personal metabolism. However, the effects can seem to last much longer because of psilocybin’s ability to alter time perception.[13][14]

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when you say your are sorry...stop right there....no need to say "but.....

What makes my book special ( I think ) is the attention that only a urologist who has been through the prostate cancer process and treatment could make of the voiding issues. That’s what urologists do…we are human plumbers. We understand how men void, the difference between obstructive (slow stream) and irritative (frequency, urgency, getting up at night) and the medicines and surgeries used for each. It is confusing. In my book there is a very large chart showing the differences in each and how all the treatments affect each.

I once wrote on a prescription pad the symptoms and the meds for each for another doctor. A year later, he pulled it out of his wallet to use to treat a patient in my presence and said, ” John, you just would not believe how many times I have used your little cheat sheet!”

Back to the question. Obstructive…i.e. an  enlarged prostate, slow stream, secondary frequency and nocturia, stop start stream, no pressure, small caliber…….”You can’t piss and run under it.”

If you have obstructive symptoms and want to do radiation you had better beware!

If you want radiation and you have obstructive voiding symptoms…you can fix the symptoms before but not after. Things don’t heal well after radiation.

So….you have big prostate and obstructive symptoms and you want radiation, particularly seeds….

  • Microwave therapy
  • Laser prostatectomy
  • TURP
  • Maximum medical therapy if with very good response

After the above…then seeds…in most cases of prostate cancer with favorable pathology, the delay of a month or so is not a medical issue.

When  it comes to obstructive voiding symptoms and a male that want to do radiation…..

“It is better to cure at the beginning, than at the end.”

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it is amazing what can be accomplished if it doesn't matter who gets the credit


So…A dream I had as a child was a pool with a lap lane. I love to swim and when I  was younger , I was actually quite the swimmer. I rarely lost a race in any stroke. There was a boy in Columbus, Georgia who regularly beat me…but no one else. I ruled the swimming world when I was eight in Columbus, Georgia. I remember winning every event in every stroke at the Green Island Country Club on a day when there was a total eclipse. We were swimming and at the same time looking at these tin foil card board boxes that allowed one to see the eclipse without looking directly into the sun. I remember it as if it were yesterday.

So, I get to be a doctor, I chose to be a urologist and then with some success, I get to build a new house with a swimming pool with a lap lane. My dream come true…right? Well…. what if the pool turns out to look like a penis? What?  All these years and hopes and dreams and a pool that looks like a penis?  Tell me it isn’t so.

It was. A regular oblong pool with a lap lane looks like a penis and a scrotum.  We also had two dachshunds and so I became the urologist with a dick pool and two weinner dogs. Who’d thought? My kids got ribbed about it all the time. I thought I was successful but now this?

I will say I love my pool. I love my chocolate lab chasing balls and sticks in it. I love taking pictures of her chasing balls and sticks in it and swimming in it. I absolutely love my lab in the pool.

Now the question. Can a man with prostate cancer “spread something” to his wife by having sex?


So….good try girls….be more creative next time…you are not getting out of it for this reason or this time…………….have at it.

Guys…You are welcome….no charge.

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it takes about three years for a fisherman to know a river.....more than that to understand the nuances of prostate cancer.....

Palo Alto Medical Foundation Prostate Cancer Buddy Program– Watch….but watch with a “grain of salt.”

I have not watched this assortment of videos. Here is what I’d tell you as a patient and as a urologist about this if you choose to watch. People in general and patients in general tend to “romance” their treatment choice, particularly if they happen to do well.——Well, I watched Part I and thought it was very good. I feel they downplayed the potential for side effects of radiation and played up the ease of  it. On whole..I liked it because it spoke to the emotional and mental side that the diagnosis evokes. I relived a few emotions while watching. I love that different people choose different therapies and they did not villainize the medical community. And of course the quote,” the side effect of living”  that was poignant.   Note how many times “the decision” is mentioned….that’s the issue not books on unnecessary this or radical life changing treatment that…..I liked it and am going to send Palo Alto some of my books tomorrow.

From “The Decision”


It goes without saying that an important and vital aspect of your journey is to share your situation with friends and loved ones. As we have discussed, their input will be important in helping you make your decision. The focus of what I want to discuss with you now, however, is how you choose to help others now that you are an expert and have “been there, done that.” What most patients tell others who have been newly diagnosed depends a lot on how they did with the treatment they chose.


Patients who do well and have a good result tend to take ownership and pride in their decision, the method of treatment they chose, and the doctor who did it. In this case, when this patient learns of a friend who has been recently diagnosed, he will usually search him out and most likely advise him to do what he did. I’m not sure from where this particular attitude originates; it is almost as if having had a good result by a certain physician reflects well on the patient’s decision making. Imagine in your mind’s eye, the patient with a puffed up chest saying to the newly diagnosed patient, “I chose to do this, and I used so and so, and he was wonderful. I am doing great.” I, as the physician, have benefited from this type of “advertising” and am very much aware of the need to “re-educate” the new patient of all the pitfalls of the various treatments. I make it clear that if another patient did well with surgery, it doesn’t mean that he will or that it is the best and most appropriate method for him. This is analogous to the chance of flipping a coin and getting heads three times in a row. The odds of getting three heads in row are very low, but the odds of a head on the last flip are the same as each of the other flips: 50-50. In other words, you will have the same initial risk as your friend; the fact he did well does not improve the chances that you will. All the potential risks begin anew when it is you undergoing the procedure, regardless of who is doing the procedure or how your friend did.


In the opposite situation, you have the patient who chooses a well- thought-out treatment plan and has a bad result. This patient is often hard on himself for making a decision that resulted in having a particular complication and begins to wish he’d done something different. “I’d have never done it this way if I had known this was going to happen,” is something I hear often. I do believe I hear this more often from patients who elected to have radiation than from those who have had surgery. I am not being critical of radiation; I believe this is because patients understand the risks associated with surgery, but don’t fully comprehend how radiation affects voiding, sexual function, or the potential for issues down the road. Unhappy patients tell others not to do what they have done. There is a saying that “a happy patient will tell 20 people, an unhappy patient will tell a hundred.” The unhappy situation and the patient’s retelling of it do not tell the whole story either, and this is not fair to the treating physician or helpful to the newly diagnosed patient. The bad result is reported without attention to all of the other issues previously discussed, and, of course, don’t forget the luck factor.


So how should you help others? First of all, become an advocate for early detection. Tell your friends to be sure to have a rectal exam with a PSA each year starting around age 40. Some may tell you that 40 is too young. It is uncommon to have prostate cancer at that age, but it does happen. There is also a benefit to having a history of PSA trends over time, which will help the urologist in evaluating the need for a biopsy. The increase in my PSA over time is what prompted me to have a biopsy. If you want to share your experiences with the treatment you chose with a newly diagnosed patient, feel free to tell him your story, but for the reasons I have delineated, don’t advise them on what to do. Explain that the options are complicated and the risks varied, and that what was best for you may not be the best for them. Encourage them to work through the “who are you” scenarios, the specifics of their disease, and seek the counsel of their physician.


Your story becomes part of their database of what they could do, not the template for what they should do.


Determining who you are, what is important to you, and where you are in life, as well the specifics of your cancer, all play a role in arriving at your decision. Use your family physician, urologist, or radiation therapist to help sort through all you have gleaned from research, friends, family, and your own soul searching. Ultimately the decision will be a culmination of your assessment of this knowledge in the context of what is important to you and your particular situation. In time, as I did, you’ll arrive at a decision that just feels right for you, a “gut feeling” so to speak. Then just go with it, don’t look back, and hopefully the stars will be aligned for you. I hope that my journey, told through an eclectic mix of medical and personal experience, stories, and humor, will be of help to you in your journey to “the decision.”


You have to do and decide what is best and what is peculiar to you and your disease. Let me ask you this…..do you know your disease? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

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Doctor Settles For $600,000 For Not Informing Man Tests Suggested He May Have Prostate Cancer- By: Joseph Hernandez

Description : Men often possess a scant understanding of prostate cancer, their own chances for the cancer, and the methods available for detecting if they have prostate cancer. Many men have limited, if any, understanding of the value of screening for prostate cancer or of the guidelines for when they should start testing, how frequently to screen, and how to interpret the test results. Unfortunately doctors sometimes fail to screen male patients or do not order diagnostic testing given an abnormal result from a screening test.

Delayed diagnosis of prostate cancer cases are all too common. This article will consider the following pattern: the doctor (1) actually screens the patient for prostate cancer by keeping track of the level of PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) in his bloodstream, (2) discovers that the patient has a high PSA level, however (3) does not notify the patient, fails to refer the patient to a specialist, and fails to order a biopsy to determine if the elevated PSA is due to prostate cancer. The case below is an example of this situation.

A doctor, an internist, found out that his male patient had a PSA of 8. (a level above a 4.0 is generally viewed as high). The physician said nothing to the patient. The physician failed to refer the patient to a specialist. The physician did not order a biopsy. Two years later the doctor repeated the PSA test. This time the PSA level had gone up to 13.6. Once again, the doctor said nothing to the patient. Again, the doctor did not refer the patient to a urologist. And again, the physician did not order a biopsy. Two years later the physician repeated the PSA test. It was not until three years after first learning of the patient’s raised PSA level that the doctor finally advised him that he probably had cancer. More testing uncovered that at this point the patient had advanced prostate cancer. A prostatectomy was no longer an option. Treating physicians alternatively advised radiation therapy and hormone therapy. Neither of these would eliminate the cancer but they might decrease the cancer’s progress and additional spread. The law firm that handled this matter reported that they took the lawsuit to mediation where they achieved a settlement of $600,000.

If they do not do anything in the presence of abnormal test results and the man later learns that he had prostate cancer and that the lapse of time lead to it spreading beyond the prostate gland therefore decreasing treatment alternatives and lowering his possibility of surviving the cancer, the person may have a claim for malpractice against the doctor.

At a minimum they ought to inform the patient that the results of the screening tests are abnormal and refer the person to a urologist. In addition, the doctor can recommend diagnostic testing, like a biopsy.

As the above claim illustrates physicians sometimes comply with the guidelines by performing screening for prostate cancer but if the test results are abnormal they do not follow through.

Article Source : http://www.articlehealthandfitness.com/

Author Resource : As an attorney Joseph Hernandez accepts medical malpractice matters. Visit his website to learn more about advanced prostate cancer cases visit the website at for a free attorney consultation with a cancer lawyerDistributed by ContentCrooner.com

This is the problem with everybody, doctors and patients, reading headlines about not ordering PSA’s on patients over a certain age and as well high false positive PSA patient’s having a negative biopsy or diagnosing a cancer that doesn’t need to be treated. If you read the previous post then the doctor did the patient a favor by not subjecting him to the inconvenience of a referral to a urologist, a biopsy, and the potential for a life-altering treatment. You can’t have it both ways. For better or worse, the best we have is a PSA and high values have to be thoroughly vetted with options for subsequent management. I would imagine you could be sued for not ordering a PSA in the first place. Ps… how about the last line about a “consultation with a cancer lawyer.” How appropriate. The American Cancer Society’s recent update on PSA could have been  used in the defense here. I’ll ask Mr. PSA’s spokesperson Pepe the Prostate at the next interview.  

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In betting on horses, a trifecta is when one not only picks the top three winners, but picks them in order as well. It now has been adapted to prostate cancer and relates to three important post treatment variables.   That is, how did the patient do in terms of continence, potency and cure of prostate cancer. It is a good analogy because it boils the issues down to the essence of what a patient should be thinking about when making his decision. All of the treatment options should be considered with each of the trifecta in mind and in addition value you them in order of importance. Then which treatment the patient feels will best give him the order of the trifecta most iimportant to him. The complexity of this is clearly delineated the book, ” The Decision.”    theprostatedecision.com

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