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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
Welcome to Ask Dr. Kennedy. We encourage you to post your comments and questions here. We look forward to challenging questions as they are an education for us as well as for you. Please consider the following guidelines when posting:

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Testing for Prostate Cancer
Posted by: Phil
Date: November 10, 2000 5:58 PM

I am 63 years old and have been told by my doctor that I should have a prostate biopsy. I don't like the idea of seven days on antibiotics and then the intrusion on my body. My PSA is 5.1. It has been 4.2 to 6.2 for about 3 years. Just recently he found a small nodule on the prostate. Is there another way to test for cancer other than the Biopsy? What would you recommend?

RE: Testing for Prostate Cancer
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, MD
Date: November 12, 2000 5:00 PM

Many doctors believe a biopsy is never indicated for prostate nodules. Prostate cancer is very slow to metastasize and it may be that breaking the capsule with a biopsy needled promotes metastasis. Given the nature of the problem many docs would advise watchful waiting. If the PSA continues to climb in a determined way the wise choices might be: (1) do nothing, or (2) treat with Modified Citrus Pectin (PectaSol), or (3) prostatectomy without a preliminary biopsy. Under any circumstances, get a second opinion.

RE: Testing for Prostate Cancer
Posted by: Phil
Date: November 18, 2000 2:01 AM

What is modified citrus pectin (Pectasol)? How does that work.

RE: Testing for Prostate Cancer
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, MD
Date: November 18, 2000 2:48 PM

Pectin is the complex carbohydrate found in apples, grapefruit peel, and in other fruits. The modification is enzymatic breakdown into smaller units, 10,000 to 20,000 angstroms in size. Preliminary studies indicate it coats cancer cells and prevents them from metastasizing and prevents them from sticking to each other and forming solid tumors. This allows the immune system to pick them off one by one.

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