Study: Men often die of other causes after prostatectomy

In my clinical practice, I often encourage my post-protatectomy patients to practice an CaPLESS lifestyle not only to prevent prostate cancer recurrence which can happen up to 40% of the times within 10 years (Ward et al. 2005) but to prevent formation of other cancers and heart disease.

An CaPLESS lifestyle program is also a good heart health program – you can’t have one without the other. A cancerous prostate (CaP), with or without treatment is a cancerous body. A cancerous body is one that typically has high inflammatory markers like Nuclear Factor kappa-b (NF kappa b) that also contributes to heart disease.

READ ABOUT NF Kappa b and Omega 3’s on

Well, a recent large study proves that men with prostatectomies die more often from other cancers and heart disease than prostate cancer regardless of CaP stage or risk.

Nuts and bolts of the study:

  • The Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) is a medicare database used to identify 120 392 men undergoing RP for clinically localized prostate cancer between 1988 and 2003.
  • 80% Men studied initially had a Gleason 7 or less.
  • Overall, 19 142 (16%) of patients had died at last follow-up (15 –years after prostatectomy).
  • Of these, 2965 (15%) died from prostate cancer, 5283 (28%) from other cancers, 5721 (30%) from cardiovascular diseases, and 5173 (27%) from other causes.
  • From  the 120 392 men studied at 15 years following prostatectomy, ~5% will die from prostate cancer and 30% from other causes.
  • Other cancers and cardiovascular disease is the bulk of the cause of death in this group of men.
  • Even among men <65 years and those with high-grade or high-stage tumors, the risk of non-prostate cancer death remained at least fivefold higher. (Shikanov et al. 2012)


My take on this:

PSA can easily be an acronym for “ Patient Stimulated Anxiety.” The anxiety and frustration of the PSA test, which does have some value, can lead to a level of stress that can be detrimental. This study points out that men with even higher grade of prostate cancer (Gleason 8 or higher) most often die of heart disease or other cancers. Of course, it begs the question: did men who died of heart disease with higher grade CaP encountered heart disease from Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT)? The association between ADT and cardiovascular risk have been suggested in some studies (Tsai et al. 2007) but not in all (Wilcox et al. 2012).


Doggy bag message:

Start a CaPLESS lifestyle that will not only be protective against prostate cancer recurrence but also create an overall hostile cancer environment in your body. CaPLESS program is also cardiovascularly protective.

Those that are on ADT (also known as hormone therapy) can benefit from weight resistance exercise – 3 times a week for bone protection and ADT support supplements specific to protect the heart, brain and bone function. You should not have to be on hormone therapy for a lifetime – only intermittently. Talk to your doctor about this.





Shikanov S, Kocherginsky M, Shalhav AL, Eggener SE. Cause-specific mortality following radical prostatectomy. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2012 Mar;15(1):106-10.

Ward JF, Moul JW. Rising prostate-specific antigen after primary prostate cancer therapy. Nat Clin Pract Urol. 2005;2(4):174–182

Tsai HK, D’Amico AV, Sadetsky N, Chen MH, Carroll PR. Androgen deprivation therapy for localized prostate cancer and the risk of cardiovascular mortality.J Natl Cancer Inst. 2007 Oct 17;99(20):1516-24.

Wilcox C, Kautto A, Steigler A, Denham JW. Androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer does not increase cardiovascular mortality in the long term. Oncology. 2012;82(1):56-8.

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