Prostate cancer can only be cured if diagnosed early, while the tumor is confined to the prostate gland. It is second only to lung cancer as a cause of death in American men. One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer; one in 36 will die from the disease.
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A patient was referred to HMO, although his physician said he was beyond medical help: his prostate cancer had spread to his pelvic lymph nodes. His prostate-specific antigen level (PSA), normally less than 4, was 273. The oncology team combined high-dose radiation and limited-duration hormonal treatment. Three years later, the patient is active and healthy, his sexual function has returned, and his PSA is less than 1.
The survival rate for lung cancer is only 20 percent after five years. HMO's Sharett Institute of Oncology is a referral center for cancer patients from all over the world.
HMO researchers recently discovered a compound that has successfully shrunk lung cell tumors by 50 percent on cell samples and laboratory mice. When the compound was used in conjunction with radiation therapy and chemotherapy, the pace of cancerous cell growth was reduced by about 90 percent. Theses are first steps in what may become a treatment or cure for lung cancer.