Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago is proud to participate in West Suburban Philanthropic Network, along with other area nonprofits that work to benefit our shared community. Read our Spotlight Feature, published in the WSPN Summer 2016 Newsletter.
Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago
In his mid-fifties, Eddie shared that “I felt so hopeless and helpless when I found out I had prostate cancer. I didn’t know what to do, and was very nervous.” He decided to explore a support group for men and families facing prostate cancer and its many treatment options. “It really helped having a hands-on physician, available to help answer my questions. It gives you piece of mind knowing there are different methods of treatment for prostate cancer, and that other men have many of the same concerns.”
Ten years later, Eddie still benefits from a welcoming Patient Support Group, hosted by Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago (PCFC). Since the Westmont nonprofit was established in 2006, PCFC has hosted over 100 monthly support group meetings as one way to fulfill its mission to promote public awareness, cancer prevention, detection and treatment options to prostate cancer patients and families, and medical professionals involved in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 250,000 men in the U.S. are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year. Second to skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men, affecting one in seven over their lifespan. Over the last 20 years, the U.S. has seen a six-fold increase in younger men in the prime of life receiving a diagnosis of aggressive, life-threatening prostate cancer, making early detection even more important for many men.
Prostate cancer is highly treatable, especially when detected at an early stage. To promote prostate cancer detection, PCFC offers a Prostate Cancer Screening Event each September during national Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Free services include a PSA blood test and digital rectal examination for prostate abnormalities with consultation by a physician.
Since initiating the annual event in 2009, PCFC has screened over 450 men, averaging age 63. The event often bridges the prostate screening needs of underserved men. Despite current policy debates on whether and when to check for prostate cancer, PCFC advocates screening for all men beginning in their fifties. Men with a family history of prostate cancer and African American men, for whom prostate cancer tends to be more aggressive, are advised to consider prostate screening starting at age 40 or younger.
Foundation outreach also advances awareness of prostate cancer through employer and corporate wellness programs and community, church, and other organization meetings. Educational presentations by PCFC director of research and education are tailored to each audience, and can range from general health and cancer awareness to prostate health and prostate cancer.
PCFC works hand-in-hand with Chicago Prostate Cancer Center (CPCC), also of Westmont, which is the only freestanding, full-service medical facility in the world solely dedicated to minimally invasive prostate cancer treatments. The Center has served over 20,000 men from across the nation.
Together, they conduct clinical research and have trained hundreds of physicians to continually advance best practices in brachytherapy (also known as seed implant), a convenient, effective option for many men seeking to remain productive during prostate cancer treatment. PCFC has participated in publishing and presenting results for over 35 clinical studies, contributing to prostate cancer treatment advancements for area men and men worldwide.
Among their transformative research studies, PCFC helped pioneer a biopsy mapping technique allowing more precise tumor location and targeting; examined genomic testing to gauge tumor aggressiveness; studied the interaction of diabetes with prostate cancer; and demonstrated patients treated with seed implants have excellent long-term survival rates.
PCFC’s current studies include those designed to: 1) further refine seed implant techniques and better monitor patients with slow growing tumors contained within the prostate; 2) investigate options for men with locally advanced cancer outside the prostate; and 3) analyze outcomes in patients younger than 62— men more likely to have fast-growing prostate cancer and who stand the best chance of survival with early detection.
To learn more, please visit www.chicagoprostatefoundation.org.