Black Men with Prostate Cancer Do Better with Radiation Than White Men

Recently released and unexpected findings have been announced, contrary to previous understandings, black men who received primary radiation therapy to treat their prostate cancer had lower rates of biochemical cancer recurrence than white men.  They also had a lower rate of developing distant metastasis.  These findings are from data coming from the randomized RTOG trials and were reported at the American Society of Radiation Oncology by Daniel Spratt, MD, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  

Making this finding even more interesting is the finding that Black men do better when they receive Provenge than white men      

Both of these findings point out that there are likely differences in the underlying prostate cancer disease between Black and White men.  However, this conclusion does not negate the fact that Black men have less access to treatment than White men, a fact that needs to be corrected, especially given the circumstances indicated in these two conclusions that Black men do well when given treatment.      

By Joel T. Nowak

Robotic v Open Prostate Cancer Surgery

A recent study, published in the Lancet Oncology compared robotic to open prostate cancer surgery (prostatectomy). The study found that over a two-year period both forms of surgery produced equivalent results for preserving erectile function and urinary continence.   However, there were some differences.

Cancer Insurance & Family Leave News

There are a number of items of news about state expansion of Medicaid, Family Leave and some attempts by certain states to screw their citizens who have cancer or chronic illnesses go around the federal medical insurance laws by

Hypofractionation and Hydrogel Spacer – Two New Important Changes in the Delivery of Primary Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer 

How radiation is delivered as a primary treatment for prostate cancer therapy has been changing, mostly since 2017.  The change involves two different items, one the method of delivery of the radiation and the increasing use of a newly developed “safety” product that lowers the adverse side effects of the radiation treatment.

The Prostate Health Index (phi) Limits the Need for Additional Biopsies

The Prostate Health Index (phi) that is used to detect prostate cancer can limit the number of repeat biopsies that Urologists recommend. It also reduces the risk of over diagnosis, saves money and cuts down on the risk of biopsy-induced infections. 

Shingrix – A new and Better Shingles Vaccine

An article in the New York Times describes a new and more effective vaccine against Shingles, which you should consider getting. 


Shingles can be a very painful and debilitating disease which most of us are at risk to get.  The FDA has approved this new vaccine; Shingrix and it should be generally available within the next month. 


There does seem to be an “ouch” factor involved in receiving the vaccine and it does require two separate injections, but getting Shingles is much worse.


We urge that you speak with your doctor and ask if you should be getting this vaccine.  Having Shingles is no fun.


Joel T. Nowak, MA, MSW wrote this Post.  Joel is the CEO/Executive Director of Cancer ABCs.  He is a Cancer Thriver diagnosed with five primary cancers - Thyroid, Metastatic Prostate, Renal, Melanoma, and the rare cancer Appendiceal cancer.


Hormone Therapy Negatively Impacts African American Men

  A study found that African American men had a higher rate of death from non-prostate cancer problems than non-African American men after receiving short-term hormone therapy (ADT) prior to having brachytherapy (seeds). There are significant implications beyond this research.