Prostate / Prostate Cancer Men’s Health Nutrition / Diet Prostate cancer: low vitamin D may predict aggressive disease

An investigation of men undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous prostate shows there is a link between low levels of vitamin D and aggressiveness of disease. The study – led by Northwestern University of Evanston, IL – is published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.The finding offers useful information for cases where patients have agreed with their doctor that the treatment should be “watchful waiting” for the time being rather than removal of the prostate or some other medical procedure. Lead investigator Adam Murphy, an assistant professor of urology, says:”Men with dark skin, low vitamin D intake or low sun exposure should be tested for vitamin D deficiency when they are diagnosed with an elevated PSA or prostate cancer. Then a deficiency should be corrected with supplements.” (Read More)

Half of those who need them not taking cholesterol-lowering medications

More than a third of American adults are eligible to take cholesterol-lowering medications under the current guidelines or were already taking them – but nearly half of them are not, according to a report by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers published in the current issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Blacks and Mexican Americans are less likely than whites to be taking cholesterol-lowering medications.

Data from 2007 through 2014 show a decline in the number of Americans with high blood levels of cholesterol. There also has been a recent increase in the use of cholesterol-lowering medications. But a high blood level of LDL cholesterol – also known as “bad” cholesterol – remains a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke in the United States. (Read More)

Personnel Competency

In 2014 personnel competency assessment requirements were changed to ensure that employees can perform each task that they are assigned in a competent and correct manner following all written procedures and processes. These methods of competency review must include all of the processes in the pre-analytic, analytic and post-analytic phases of laboratory testing. Competency must be assessed by: direct observation of routine patient testing, monitoring the recording and reporting of patient test results, review of worksheets, quality control records, proficiency testing results, and preventive maintenance records, direct observation of the performance of maintenance and function checks, assessment of test performance through blind sample checks or previously tested specimens and an assessment of problem solving skills.