Friday, October 27, 2023

University of California San Francisco study examines trans prostate cancer risk for first time

A first-of-its-kind study by UCSF researchers finds that transgender women face an increased risk of prostate cancer.

According to a story by Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle a while back, the peril is "small but meaningful."

The article also cautions that "traditional screening tools may not work well for them, especially if they're taking estrogen for gender-affirming care."

The study, published in the journal JAMA last Saturday, is the first in the United States to look at prostate cancer in transgender women., who were born with male sex organs. The Chronicle story indicates that transgender people are "underrepresented in medical research and…experience worse outcomes than cisgender parents for all kinds of health issues."

Stephen Freedland
Allday's piece quotes Dr. Stephen Freedland, an author of the paper and a urologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, to the effect that "there's a misperception, both by patients and clinicians, the because these are women — they identify as women, they look like women — you don't necessarily think you should check for prostate cancer."

The story also quotes Dr. Farnoosh Nik-Ahd, a University of California San Francisco urologist and the lead author of the paper, as saying, "We're still very much at the beginning of how best to care for this population — and it's a population nation that will probably increase, in terms of the number of people owning identifying as transgender."

Allday's article notes that transgenders "remain a highly vulnerable population, a situation potentially made worse with anti-trans legislation being pushed across the United States that could further limit health care access."

Transgender people, who "are thought to make up less than 1% of the [general] population," the story continues, "have been mostly left out of large studies of all kinds of health issues."

More information about prostate research can be found in Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer, a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Younger women are now getting lung cancer at higher rates than men, new study ascertains

According to a story by Dani Blum in editions of The New York Times a few days ago, younger women are now getting lung cancer at higher rates than men — despite an overall drop in the rates of new cases over the last several decades.

The Times piece cites a new study by the American Cancer Society noting that "lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death in the United States" and that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "estimates that, nationwide, around 197,000 are diagnosed with the disease each year."

Ahmedin Jemal
Blum's story quotes Ahmedin Jemal, an author on the study and senior vice president of surveillance and health equity science at the ACS, as indicating that cigarette smoking "remains the leading cause of lung cancer, and while there have been widespread efforts to reduce smoking, women have generally been slower to successfully quit."

Regardless, "about 15 to 20 percent of lung cancer cases in women are among those who have never smoked," Jamal reportedly added.

He suggested that those women may have been exposed to second-hand smoke.

Dr. Jyoti Patel, medical director of thoracic oncology of the Lurie Cancer Center at Northwestern Medicine, also believes that, according to the story, "women might metabolize carcinogens differently from the way men do."

Furthermore, Blum's piece says, Dr. Patrick Forde, an associate profession of oncology at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, thinks that "air pollution has been linked to lung cancer and it's possible that women could be particularly susceptible to it, for reasons researchers are still working to understand."

The story also contends that ultimately there is no clear-cut explanations for the disparities. "The differences are really not obvious," Dr. Humberto Chi, a pulmonary median doctor at the Cleveland Clinic is quoted. "This is definitely an area for future studies."

Additional information regarding a multiplicity of cancers can be found in Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer, a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Saving sperm can overcome infertility in men who get testicular cancer, Mayo Clinic doc says

Should men diagnosed with testicular cancer worry about having children in the future? Yes, says a doctor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Dr. Bradley C. Leibovich
Bradley C. Leibovich, MD, a urologic oncologist there and the medical director of the Center for Digital Health, notes that "the first thing we do with men that are interested in preserving fertility is talk about sperm banking."

One side effect of chemotherapy, radiation and other cancer treatments can definitely be infertility, Leibovich told Jason Howland of the Mayo Clinic News Network online a while back, so saving the sperm should be a priority before starting treatment.

Another concern is "lower levels of testosterone, a hormone produced primarily in the testicles," the News Network story says.

The article also quotes Leibovich as saying, "Most men have normal testosterone levels with just one testicle. For men that do wind up with a lower level of testosterone, it's really easy to replace." 

The piece then says that under the "guidance of a healthcare professional, testosterone replacement therapy, in the form of injections, pills, patches or gels, can restore normal testosterone levels in men."

In an earlier story in the News Network also written by Howland, it's noted that "the disease is not common. Just 1 in 250 men will develop testicular cancer at some point in their lifetime, according to the American Caner Society. Most of those cases are in young and middle-aged men."

Leibovich explains that "we like men to do monthly testicular self-examinations. Because if you find that testicular cancer early, the amount of treatment people need to get that cure is significantly less." 

More information about dealing with side effects of treatments can be found in Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer, a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.