Prostate Cancer Linked to Insomnia! No, it’s not a National Enquirer headline, it’s from The Daily Mail, which was based on a recent Icelandic study. After it was released, over 20 news organizations picked up and ran with the story. The experiment was conducted using 2000 men between the age of 67 and 96. The Mail showed a stock image of a man sleeping in his 20′s – somewhat of a disconnect with the title of the story. Editorially, it should have shown an elderly man unable to sleep – but that’s another issue. None the less, people ‘get the drift.’ One commenter wittily quipped, “Well that knowledge is not likely going to help them sleep is it?” Another observant commenter noted that on May 1st, there was a study which linked bowel cancer with too much sleep. The point being made by the observant ones – is that it’s sensationalist, bizarre, and could have been shouted from the beak of Chicken-Little, who believed the sky was falling because he’s been hit on the head by an acorn. Arguably, it increases awareness by being in the media. A good segue for what follows… According to Cancer.org, “about 1 in 6 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer”. According to the Canadian Urological Association Journal, “1 in 7 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer”. Nearly two-thirds of the cases are diagnosed in men aged 65 or older, and it is rare before age 40. The average age at the time of diagnosis is about 67. Most men diagnosed with prostate cancer don’t die from it. ProstateOne side of the medical establishment argues that, “Somebody who is never going to suffer adverse effects of a disease, if you label them with cancer, you’re kind of doing them a disservice,” that argument was from Dr. Philipp Dahm, a urologist from the University of Florida in Gainesville. That ‘disservice’ is based on the assumption that the individuals may worry about a disease which will never actually kill them because of their advanced age – in other words they’ll likely die of something else – like a heart-attack or stroke, the number one killer of men. On the other side or the argument, Prostate Cancer Canada, sums it up with the – get tested regular narrative. The Mayo Clinic website sums it up as follows: “Ultimately, whether you have a PSA test is something you should decide after discussing it with your doctor, considering your risk factors and weighing your personal preferences.” Cancer.net points out that “A man may have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer if two or more close relatives have prostate cancer. Other research indicates that only one close relative is enough to increase the likelihood. Familial prostate cancer is when two or more first-degree relatives have it (father, brother, son). Note the firm use of the word ‘may’ by Cancer.net. It seems there is a nervousness about getting a false positive, a nervous concern about a false negative, and nervousness of being told you have it – when you’ll very likely die of old age first.

However, on a ‘brighter note’, according to research published by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, “Worldwide, in 2008 there were estimated to be 903,000 new cases of prostate cancer and 258,000 prostate cancer deaths making it the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and the sixth leading cause of male cancer death”. This is the ‘bright spot’ ladies and gentlemen, you don’t need to be nervous because the research pointed out that most of the deaths aren’t in the developed world, “Cancer survival tends to be poorer in developing countries, most likely a combination of a late stage diagnosis and limited access to timely and standard treatment.” Plus, “The global burden of cancer continues to increase largely because of the ageing and growth of the world population […] ineconomically developing countries.” Further, ”64% of the deaths occurred in the economically developing world.” [emphasis added]. Ask your doctor.