Drop in Testosterone Could Signal Prostate Cancer Recurrence

  Drop in Testosterone Could Signal Prostate Cancer Recurrence

By Sheela Philomena on October 29, 2012 at 11:29 AM Cancer News

A drop in testosterone following radiation therapy for prostate cancer is linked to recurrence of prostate cancer, finds recent research.Specifically, men whose testosterone fell following various forms of radiation therapy were more likely to experience an increase in prostate-specific antigen (PSA)—often the first indication the cancer has recurred.

"The men who had a decrease in testosterone also appear to be the men more likely to see an increase in PSA after treatment," says study author Jeffrey Martin, MD, resident physician in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Fox Chase.In theory, doctors may one day be able to use testosterone levels to guide treatment decisions, says Martin. "For men with a decrease in testosterone, doctors might intervene earlier with other medications, or follow their PSA more closely than they would otherwise, to spot recurrences at an earlier time."Martin and his colleagues decided to conduct the study because there is limited information regarding testosterone levels after radiation treatment and what it means for prognosis. To investigate whether a decrease in testosterone has any clinical effects, Martin and his colleagues reviewed medical records from nearly 260 men who received radiation therapy for prostate cancer between 2002 and 2008. The men were treated with either brachytherapy, in which doctors insert radioactive seeds in the prostate, or intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), in which an external beam of radiation is directed at the prostate.The researchers found that testosterone levels tended to decrease following both forms of radiation therapy. And men who experienced a post-radiation drop in testosterone— particularly a significant drop—were more likely to see their PSA levels rise during the follow-up period.Still, an increase in PSA—known as biochemical failure—was relatively rare, the authors found. "Only 4% of patients with low-risk prostate cancer had biochemical failure at five years," says Martin.Even though researchers have seen testosterone decrease following another form of radiation, these latest findings are still somewhat surprising, says Martin, because testosterone is believed to drive prostate cancer. In fact, some patients with advanced forms are prescribed hormone therapy that attempts to knock down testosterone.

"Seeing that a drop in testosterone is tied to recurrence is kind of a surprising result," says Martin. "We don't necessarily know what this means yet. I think the relationship between testosterone levels following radiation therapy and prognosis needs more study, and until then it's premature to say this is something patients should ask their doctors about."

This was a small study that needs to be validated in a larger group of men before doctors begin basing their predictions of recurrence on patients' testosterone levels, he cautions. "I think the link between testosterone and PSA needs more study, in a larger set of patients."


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How to Talk to Your Partner About Your Panic Attacks

By Ryan Rivera;

One of the issues that I had – and one that I know I shared with a lot of men – was the idea of admitting that my mental health was imperfect. I had severe anxiety, but I still had a traditional male ego, and men aren't supposed to show fear or discomfort. Men are supposed to be confident and self-assured, and the idea of admitting there is some type of fault is considered wildly taboo. When you suffer from panic attacks, that can be a problem. Panic attacks get worse the more that you hold them in. When you're in your own head, worrying about your panic attacks, it's hard to find that distraction to help you cope and calm yourself down. Ideally, you need to get out of your head, and to do to that you can't deal with your panic attacks on your own.
Telling Your Partner About Your Panic;
When you have a new relationship, or an old relationship with new panic attacks, you need to tell them. It's not impossible to cure panic attacks on your own, but it is nearly impossible to handle them if you're constantly having to hide your thoughts and your struggles. How to go about the conversation is often harder than it seems. If your partner cares about you, they'll always understand what you're going through, it may just take some extra explanations and some extra understanding. Any conversations should have the following:
An Example of The Experience;
Describe what a panic attack experiences is like for you. For myself, it has little to do with some type of mental panic. It's a physical experience with a number of physical symptoms. I felt chest pains, rapid heartbeat, my head felt heavy and I felt like I couldn't get a deep breath. I wasn't "panicking" as the name implies, but genuinely feeling very real things that were caused by anxiety, hyperventilation, and my own hypersensitivity to my physical sensations. Saying you have panic attacks won't give your partner an understanding of what the experience is actually like – something they need to have to understand you and your issues.
Information of What You Need;
Your partner is going to want to help. Let them know what works best for you. With me, what worked best was talking to my partner during the panic attack about the panic attack. I needed to do it. If I didn't, I'd have a really bad attack trying to hold it all in. I also needed her to know that she didn't need to worry about doing anything for me other than being there. Not in a mean way – in reality, I needed to take my mind off of the panic attacks, and the only way to do that was if she didn't bring it up and try to fix it. Some guys need different things. You should tell her exactly what you need.

talk to your partner about your panic attacks






Keep Her Posted;
When you're feeling better, let her know. When you're feeling worse, let her know. Keep her posted on it and let her know your progress. This will help her feel like she's in the loop and allow her to know that her presence is helping.
Telling Her About Your Panic Attacks;
Above all, make sure she knows it's not her fault, and that the quality of your relationship doesn't affect the panic attacks themselves. Having this conversation is important – not only for your relationship, but also for your panic attacks themselves. Once you tell her about this issue, she'll better understand you, and this will help you recover from your panic attacks and put less strain on the relationship.
About the Author: Ryan Rivera found that his panic attacks were worse when he tried to deal with them alone. Now he writes about anxiety and panic at www.calmclinic.com .

There are Super Heros Among Us

This summer, we are getting slammed with movies featuring comic book superheros and they're turning out to be the biggest blockbusters in history. With the Avengers kicking off this summer's action movies, and the amazing Spiderman and the dark Knight rises appearing soon, there seems to be a common theme arising. In today's society like in the past, kids have heroes. And I think it is pretty good that most of our kids can identify with the characteristics of their favorite superhero. With extraordinary powers and skills, a superhero is a type of character dedicated to protecting the public. And there are characters who do not require actual powers to be deemed superheroes; these characters without superpowers are costume crime fighters who perform the same functions as a superhero fighting crime with their wits, skills and abilities. But what about the heroes that our kids identify with on a daily basis- from outstanding athletes to pop stars? It seems that the process of selecting heroes today has become rather confusing.

The term “hero” often describes a man or woman who has been recognized as having performed a heroic act in one form or another. It's usually the result of some extraordinary circumstance that a person usually finds themselves in a situation that tests their character through their actions. While on the other hand, a superhero can be described as one who seeks out circumstances which test their character, skills and abilities. They are often driven by their passion for the truth, and to protect the people around them. Many of our kids have been taught or at least allowed to select their heroes/role models based on nothing more than skill or popularity status. It's a shame that our kids don't know much about their heroes beyond their particular skills or status. But as a parent, we can adjust those views.


As a parent, we can be a person of integrity. Integrity demonstrated by a parent affirms that he/she strives to be a reliable and guiding influence; they say what they mean and mean what they say. Compassionate about staying connected to their family and providing for them. A parent’s confidence is about being self-assured in their being and the positive example they set before their family (it is not arrogance). A parent demonstrates perseverance and bravery when they endure life's trials and courage when facing difficult circumstances.

We as adults need to be heroes to our children. Sure a superhero or athlete makes a flashy role model and many are worthy of the status, but let's be careful to teach our kids what makes a person worthy of hero or role model status.

By Dave Armstrong; Authenticdads.com

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6 Solutions to Achieving a Parent/teen Relationship

I am noticing as my two sons approached their teenage years some changes in their emotional growth towards adulthood. As a parent, the one thing that concerns me the most is to not let my two sons isolate themselves . I realize that as they get older that they need their privacy and I respect that. Although they keep connected with their peers whether it be with the iPhone, iPad, online video gaming, or socializing via the Internet, they tend isolate themselves physically from what's going on around them and within the household.


Many parents in the world find the same troubles when dealing with their teens. Hope you don’t get them. But if you do, don’t worry, realizing this form of privacy does not strengthen families or encourage emotional or social growth is the first step to getting your household back in order. Do you think your teen is out of control and never wants to listen to you?Just like when you were a teenager, you wanted to spend times with your peers rather than with your parents or family, right? Your teen feels the same way, too. Making his own decision is another important thing for him besides privacy.


If you think your teen is out of control and never wants to listen to you,don’t give up! Of course you can help yourself deal with your teen. The best way to do it is to always strengthen your relationship with him. But how? Keep on reading to get some solutions.


Here are some solutions to achieving a parent/teen relationship;


1. Talk with him more – It’s better if you start the conversation. It can be just “How was your day, buddy?” Try to discuss many things instead of interrogate him. Find interesting topics, such as sport, entertainment, friends, and school experience to make it relaxing.


2. Listen to him – If he reveals his criticism to you, listen to him and ask what he expects you to do. Talk about this wisely, not emotionally. It’s good for him to be able to express the feeling.


3. Set rules for him – Your teen needs to recognize what is and isn’t acceptable and what the consequences of misbehavior are. Therefore you should set, or precisely, negotiate some rules with your teen to keep him on track.


4. Consider his point of view – Regard your teen as your friend and respect his opinion whenever you discuss something. This also shows that you pay attention to him and consider him as important.


5. Encourage your teen by doing his interests and talent – Most teens like to try new things. Let yours choose what he desires, though you don’t agree with it because, for example, it can endanger him. Giving him support is the best you can do, while you keep monitoring that the new activity is safe for him. Moreover, this idea is a good way of teaching your teen on how to be responsible with things he does.


6. Do things together – This one is surely a great opportunity for you to improve your relationship with your teen. Why? ‘Cause you probably haven’t had much time to spend with him. Arrange an agenda for the whole month. In each week, plan something interesting and it really doesn't have to involve spending a lot of money or anything really exciting.


Looking at the last point, try to think of some activities you both can do together. For example, any projects that need to be done around the house- involve your teen. I learned a lot of things over the years and I find it enjoyable to teach my sons any of the skills I've learned. As parents we need to stimulate their minds and their ability to communicate to keep them from becoming an island. Good positive communication without underestimating your teen is a key to successful relationship between the two of you. Clearly it won’t work at once. So try the tips progressively and enjoy your time being a parent of a teenager. And remember that achieving a parent/teen relationship is active parenting.

By Dave Armstrong: Authentic dads.com


A Mother's Day Tribute to Four Special Moms

This year I would like to make a Mother's Day tribute to four special women in my life. Each woman-unique in her own way, is actively living out virtues that hold true to the nature of motherhood. Although their family settings may be different, their parenting styles serve one main goal. The four special women are my mom (Mary Ann), stepmom (Cindy), my sister Kim who is married and has four beautiful daughters, and last but not least Joy, who is a single-parent mom raising her 10-year-old son. In their own unrivaled ways, their character and principles have inspired me to be a better man and father to my two sons.

It may sound strange but I often think of my mom and my stepmom Cindy as “Captain and co-pilot” After my parents got divorced, my dad remarried and kind of buried himself into his work. So that left mom and Cindy bouncing the three of us kids back and forth on a weekly basis. As captain and co-pilot, mom and Cindy worked pretty good together at keeping us boys out of trouble-while weaving some decent morals and godly principles into our lives. They had a lot on their plate, but they made things happen. The advice we often rejected as kids, we are now giving to our own sons. My brother and I learned a lot, but I think it was my sister who benefited more from their examples.

For my sister Kim and her family, the last year has been anything but normal. In 2011, Kim and her husband Rich packed their family up and moved their lives cross country for work-only to find out that the work had dried up six months after they settled in. It was about that time when their lives became more chaotic with the news that their four-year-old daughter had developed a cancerous tumor in her lung. With their days filled with appointments, chemo therapies and other responsibilities necessary for the care of their family, it has been difficult for the both of them to look for full-time work. To make a long story short, the doctors and medical staff have successfully remove the tumor and their daughter is making it through the chemo therapies better than expected-and her husband has found work. The word perseverance comes to mind when I think about my sister, working through tough circumstances while balancing the needs of their family. While bearing these difficult circumstances, she has always inspired me by her choice to be upbeat and positive through it all.

The word courage comes to mind when I think about Joy. She has one of the toughest jobs in the world-being a single-parent mom raising her 10-year-old son to become a good man. Even while dealing with a personal health setback, she strives to be a strong, central part of her sons life and encourages the people around her. When we break down the word encourage it means “instill-courage”, and that is just one of the many qualities that she possesses. As a mother she recognizes her sons strengths and weaknesses, and take's special care nurturing character traits like respect, self-discipline, and confidence so he doesn't feel incomplete or lack a strong identity. The relationship between Joy and her son is unique and priceless. And because she has committed her life to God and to raising her son, I believe 100% that she will follow through on her commitment.

With that kind of commitment, mothers literally hold the fate of the world in their hands. I know that seems like a huge responsibility to bear, but it is one that women have been entrusted with since the beginning of time. The legacy a mother leaves as a teacher and nurturer to the next generation of young men and women is valuable beyond description. So this Sunday let's give a Mother's Day tribute to all the special moms out there and God bless.

By Dave Armstrong: Authenticdads.com

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Parenting Strategies in a Pinch for Busy Dads


Parenting strategies designed for a busy working father might sound like a joke. The term “busy dad” today is an understatement-and that's no surprise. Recent statistics show that dads are finding it difficult to find common ground between providing for their families financially and spending quality time with their families. With the adult-related drudgery such as daily commutes, business travel, and over time due to accelerated work demands, it's no wonder dad may forget about a soccer practice or dance recital. Just because a working father schedule is toxic doesn't mean he is set up for parental failure. We can learn how to diversify our roles and stay connected to loving our children. Let's be honest, fatherhood does not come with instructions. But there are some essential principles that we can use to our advantage and raising great children in a crunch time doesn't seem so far-fetched.

Inking the Calendar

Findings reveal that dads who are strongly involved in their kids activities, whether it be school or elsewhere, tend to earn their kids trust, respect and love. A busy dad can get a head start on things by inking the calendar and marking events, social outings or even just a home-cooked dinner with his family. Of course being consistent honoring one's commitments with his children is important, and communicating with mom on a regular basis may encourage a busy dad to remain steadfast in his desire to participate as an active member of his family. A working dad may not be able to attend all calendar events, so doing a rotation between soccer games, dance recitals, or even a movie night might be a better approach.

Small Talk/Big Talk

More often kids are more likely to bond with their dads during spontaneous conversation than in a scheduled activity. Mismatch work and school schedules may mean the only time dad sees his kids is when he's getting ready for the night shift while they are just getting home from school-but this little window of opportunity and will be beneficial for both. It's really important to give your child your undivided attention with consistent eye contact when these opportunities arise. If your child senses that they do not have your full attention they will shut down when they suspect that you are not “tuned in” to the conversation. A dad who is a good listener and can communicate with his kids is essential to successful parenting. Your child's views, opinions and feelings are real. So by listening and openly discussing issues like schoolwork, friendships, or peer pressure, can let your child know that you care about their well-being and gives them a sense of self-worth.

Parenting Strategies for Busy Dads

Staying Connected

When a dad's role is highly regimented, parenting can sometimes seem like a chore rather than a satisfying mutual experience. Clocking-in more dad time may not be the solution by taking advantage of the downtime a dad has-may be. Playing with the kids is as important as tucking them in for bedtime. Although the weekend may be the only time a dad can sit back and relax, watching the game or run to the store can be a bonding opportunity for the entire family. Involving kids in the logistics-such as planning projects around the house or creating an evening meal encourage initiative and build up some self-confidence. Everybody has heard that family dinners are more than just a meal. It's about the only time busy families have to share their thoughts and feelings, like a family forum. Our kids are influence by friends, teachers, and the outside world on a daily basis. Knowing that they can connect with their parents on tough issues and get helpful suggestions will give them a strong sense of security and stay connected.


If children can see that there dad can perform his job without compromising opportunities to be with his family, he doesn't only demonstrate the significance of being a responsible adult, he's also instilling parenting strategies that his children can apply in their own lives once they become parents themselves.

By Dave Armstrong @ AuthenticDads.com


The Huddle, Dad Coaching the Fundamentals of Life

There are a lot of great coaches who make sure that coaching their athletes remain good learners while building a positive growth mindset. These coaches express by their words and actions what they believe and what they value. Promoting a positive mindset by praising good effort, persistence in overcoming obstacles, focus, learning, are the same fundamentals that many of us dads can promote in own families. Preparing our youngsters for the big game or adulthood can seem like a challenging task, but if we focus on the big picture of the program with implementing important values-we can put together a plan for achieving it.

Coaching:  How Dad's Coach Their Kids

Probably the most important element of a dad coaching the fundamentals of life, is the presence of a positive male role model in their life. A son or daughter needs more than structure and supervision from a dad, they need both a model and a teacher. As our children progress through the development phases (from toddler to an adolescent to an adult) we are systematically teaching our kids the fundamentals that will help them maximize their full potential. By weaving our actions and words as we teach life skills can be very helpful in leading with our kids. Our sons and daughters must see their role model in action. The world needs fathers, true fathers that can lead and envision an effective parenting game plan.

Anyone who is familiar with football knows that the athletes are drilled on the fundamentals of that sport, and the coaches make it clear by expressing their vision and expectations. They don’t sit around a campfire to talk about it. That’s not their technique. It’s this whole idea of teamship and team building. What are we trying to build together? It’s at the core of athletics. Clarity of vision is crucial to team success.  Once you have a clear picture of what you want, then you can put together a plan for achieving it.  Spend some time now (in the off season) and get clear on what you want in your program.  Be specific. Once you are clear – share it with other.  The more you put your vision out there (to assistants, administrators, players, parents etc) the more real it becomes.1

Truly, fatherhood is a very big responsibility. This all may seem like a huge responsibility for any father to recognize let alone understand. The biggest challenge is to balance one’s focus on the big picture of the program. It doesn’t take a perfect man to father his sons or daughters, but an effective game plan can help. So get your kids in the huddle, speak your vision and start team building your family now.

By Dave Armstrong: Authenticdads.com

1. http://coachtoon.com/effective-coaching-skills-by-way-of-the-tao-te-ching.html





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Sometimes I feel like Captain Chameleon

I remember some years back, when spending quality time with my two sons meant playing Legos, afternoons at the local park, or just helping dad work around the house. But now they are 11 and 14, and it seems that I have sub consciously adapted to a whole new stage of parenting. It seems as the boys have grown older their likes and interest had shifted apart. Not to say that they don't still help me around the house or break the Legos out once in a while-they do (but we’ll keep the Legos secret). My older son has discovered a huge interest in special effects and editing action videos, while son number two really likes the WWE, football, and caption cards.

As a chameleon can change it's colors to adapt to its surroundings, I find myself adapting to the separate interest’s that each son has-while trying to maintain my own as well. Believe me, it can all be quite stressful at times, but it'll all be worth it if I can promote some positive values as they find their own strengths and identities. As a dad, I believe that my presence and genuine interest will be seen, heard, and hopefully understood as the boys mature. When we make ourselves available to our kids, we can encourage them to share their views and thoughts with us and reinforce the parent-child bond.


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Being Intentional towards Parenting our teens Education

parenting our teens educationIn today's society, it is so vital for parents to be pro-active toward parenting our teens education. As a father of teen sons I've seen the rewards of being supportive in their school work and how they learn. Investing in their education is a long-term goal but it can only be achievable if they're willing to learn. It's not just about helping them with their homework, I think it's more about teaching the social skills that can help them relate well in everyday real-life situations. Everything from their values to how they deal with peer pressure can help steer them through the turbulent years of middle and high school if we are consistent in guiding them in the right direction. As a father it should be our goal to protect and impart any sound advice to help our sons and daughters find solutions easily and understand what's going on around them.

When I was growing up my parents were more focused on my grades than about learning. Not to say that they didn't want me to learn what I was being taught-they did. Although grades are very important, when our kids learn how to manage their time and schoolwork it can help them clearly understand the principles and practices of their education. As our kids move from elementary school to middle school and eventually high school, most struggled to adjust the levels of responsibility structured by faculty and administrators. Being in the picture and spending time with our teens, we can discuss values and model skills that can help them increase their feelings of confidence to succeed in school and life.

Parenting our teens Education can help them better organize their time and studies:

  • Communicate and share ideas with your children; even casual conversation can open the door for teachable opportunities to share ideas that can help them develop educationally. Communicating together as a family by just listening and talking will make a difference.
  • We should not bribe our kids to get good grades; they need to know that they're getting good grades on their own behalf- not because they are forced to. They need to learn the sole responsibility of achieving academic successes which can help build their confidence socially and emotionally as they mature.
  • Describe before you prescribe; talk regularly about grades, and talk about why they may be where they are. Explore with your child the causes for his or her lower-than-expected grades. Our grades lower than you expect because homework is not being turned in? Are homework assignments turned in, but test scores poor?  Does your student need help with note taking or listening skills? Before you decide on an approach, you should fully understand what is at the root of the problem.1
  • Learning management skills; for many kids making the adjustment from middle school to high school can be very overwhelming. Helping our kids get create new habits by organizing their assignments, projects, and note taking can help them stay focused and get things turned in on time.
  • Getting involved at school; getting acquainted with the teachers and school administrators can create connections to the people in your son or daughter's school life and give you a better feel for what's happening at school.

Always try to remember to make learning a priority for your tween/teen. As your son or daughter progresses through the school year, we should all be motivated to help them succeed. The less pressure they have they have from school work and other activities, the stronger and more confident your teen will be when social and peer pressure comes at them. Being intentional towards parenting our teens education can allow us to work on solutions together with our sons or daughters and help channel their energy into positive outlets..

By Dave Armstrong; Authentic dads.com

1.) “Talking to your children about school grades” Wayne Parker, About.com Guide


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Dads making a Midlife Career Change

In this jobless economy, the thought of a midlife career change is on the mind of a lot of dad's nationwide and possibly worldwide. This movement is not fueled by the mental or emotional transition (midlife crisis) a man would normally experience around his 40s. It has more to do with the downsizing of companies and working skeleton workforces with accelerated work demands. A lot of dads are finding it difficult to find common ground between providing for their families financially and spending the quality time their families need. On the other hand, with the unemployment rate at 9% nationwide, many more dads are laid off and rethinking their previous career status. Dads are diving in and pursuing career choices they are passionate about, and that will not fade away if the recession deepens. Changing your job can be a little nerve rattling, but as adults approaching midlife-changing your career can be a very stressful experience on yourself and your family.

Reason's a Dad may choose a Career Change

Usually between the ages of 40 to 50, men generally arrive at a stage in their life when they feel an emotional or mental transition better known as midlife crisis. As a man matures his values are enhanced, moral issues and purpose of life start to become clearer. A dad begins to take his family life more seriously and have sounder relationships.  For a while now dads have been concerned on how to balance work and a home life. In the last couple of years the changes of our working environment in this country has affected the reasons many dads are considering career changes. And the dads that are working are finding it almost next one possible to have a sensible home life with their families.

Since 2008, our economy has been in a deep slump. We’ve seen a lot of companies close and a lot of companies downsize. Downsized companies are working fewer employees with higher work demands. Without adding to the workforce our families are paying the price of not having mom or dad around like they should be. The adage “you can't have your cake and eat it too” comes to mind, but I am seeing dads choosing how they want to spend the rest of their working and family life. Even dads who are unemployed and laid off are re-prioritizing their careers and their lives with the full support of their families backing them up to.

Dads making a Midlife Career ChangeGoing through a recession is a good opportunity to witness firsthand what jobs/careers are withstanding the economic pressures. Dads who are unemployed are taking note of this and re-thinking their past career path. Going back to school or pursuing online degrees is giving parents a way to discover new interests and skills in a career choice that will not have their family relationships and obligations taking the backseat.

How about you? Has this economy in any way made you feel that a midlife career change is due? If you are a dad who would like to take his family more seriously, “it's never too late to be what you might have been”-George Elliot. A dad in his midlife has accumulated an abundance of experience and skills over the years that give him a degree of credibility. Your sons and daughters are watching how you handle this chapter in your life, show them the virtues that make you the father that God has created you to be.

By Dave Armstrong: Authenticdads.com

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