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New analysis demonstrates prostate cancer screening really does save lives

Screening linked to approximately 32% decrease in prostate cancer deaths

“Men trying to follow the advice on whether they should get screened for prostate cancer have long been confused, since guidelines and recommendations keep changing. Now, in the latest analysis of data published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers conclude that testing does help save lives from the disease and is linked to as much as a 32% decrease in prostate cancer deaths, compared to men who aren’t screened.” according to TIME Health’s Alice Parks in “Getting Tested for Prostate Cancer May Be Worth It After All”.

New research led by Ruth Etzioni, PhD, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, re-analyzed two major prostate cancer studies that had conflicting results. Parks, contrasting the original findings, “The U.S. study, the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO), did not find any difference in deaths from prostate cancer among men 55 to 74 years who were screened with PSA and men who were not screened. The European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) which included men 55 to 69 years, however, found that PSA screening led to a 21% lower risk of dying from prostate cancer during the study follow-up compared to men who didn’t get screened.”

Upon re-analysis, both major studies showed reduction in death among screened men

“The new analysis concludes that both studies do, in fact, show a reduction in the risk for death from prostate cancer among men who were screened. The new analysis of data used a mathematical model to account for differences in the two studies. Adjusting for implementation compliance and practice settings, it found that both the ERSPC and PLCO provide compatible evidence that screening reduces prostate cancer mortality,” according to Roxanne Nelson for Medscape.

Adjustments allowed comparing ‘apples to oranges’

One adjustment accounts for the European practice of recommending prostate biopsies for men with lower prostate specific antigen (PSA) scores than common for U.S. patients. This could have lead to earlier prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment for ERSPC trial subjects compared to U.S. patients.

Re-analysis also corrected for the fact that in the U.S. study (PLCO), some men in the ‘non screened’ group actually had PSA screening at some point and may have received treatment before the study.

“The new analysis showed a 25% to 31% lower risk in the ERSPC and a 27% to 32% lower risk in the PLCO for dying from prostate cancer among men who were screened compared to men who were not screened,” writes Nelson.

“Nail in the coffin to the argument that screening does not prevent prostate cancer mortality” — Dr. Jonathan Shoag

Jonathan E. Shoag, MD, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York City had himself re-analyzed only the U.S. PLCO trial last year. “Up until recently, there was the widespread belief in the medical community that PSA screening did not save lives.” Shoag commented on the latest re-analysis of both studies, emphasizing its importance, “as it shows that when accounting for control-group contamination and other study differences, both trials actually show a comparable mortality benefit to screening. This should serve as the nail in the coffin to the argument that screening does not prevent prostate cancer mortality.”

Will re-analysis shift US Task Force prostate cancer screening recommendations?

“This is a big turnabout. The PLCO was originally reported as not showing any effect on prostate cancer mortality, a finding that was a big factor on the US Preventative Services Task Force’s (USPSTF’s) decision to recommend against routine PSA screening in 2012,” says Roxanne Nelson.

Historical significance of the PSA blood test for prostate cancer screening

Giving the historical importance of the new study, Parks explains, “For decades since the 1980s, doctors have recommended that men start to get an annual blood test that can detect possible signs of growing tumors: one for the prostate specific antigen (PSA). But PSA testing has always been tricky, since prostate cancers (unlike breast cancer tumors) tend to grow more slowly—so slowly, in fact, that most men are more likely to die of something else other than prostate cancer. That made treating prostate cancer detected by the blood test less black and white. It also led many men to get biopsies—a relatively safe procedure, but one that still carries potential complications like infections—and even treatment with surgery, radiation or other therapies to remove the tumors, despite the fact that they were slow-growing.

In the U.S., that led to a surge in what some doctors view as unnecessary medical treatments that put men at risk without providing them much benefit. (For most men, prostate cancer isn’t fatal.) So in 2012, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued a draft recommendation that most men ages 55 to 69—except for those who have a family history of the disease or are at high risk of developing the cancer—should not get PSA testing at all.”

Conflicting results affected screening recommendations

The 2012 USPSTF recommendations were largely centered on the two original studies—the U.S. PLCO and the European ERSPC—which showed seemingly conflicting results. “Given the uncertainty, and the risks of treating cancers that weren’t aggressive, the USPSTF decided there wasn’t convincing enough evidence to recommend PSA screening.”

But, in April 2017, based on early evidence that less screening was resulting in more cases of advanced prostate cancer, the Task Force modified its recommendation against general PSA testing.  They currently suggest men age 55 to 69 resume individual discussions of screening related to their risk of prostate cancer with their doctors. “The current study will likely play a role in any revised guidelines on prostate cancer screening,” states Nelson.

Screening recommendations of Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago

Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago commends the efforts of author Alex Tsodikov and colleagues to extend the utility of the two major original studies through re-analysis. Both PLCO and ERSPC are important randomized controlled trials, which top the hierarchy of clinical study designs.

Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago (PCFC) also applauds USPSTF’s decision to modify their 2012 recommendations, now calling for patient-physician discussions on whether and when to screen. PCFC supports screening starting at age 50, even if just to establish a baseline PSA score. Annual screening is recommended earlier — at age 40 — for African Americans and men with a family history of prostate cancer. Screening and discussion is especially important since prostate cancer can be considered as a spectrum disease, with varied manifestations and a wide range of aggressiveness, according to Brian J. Moran, M.D., PCFC Medical Advisor and Chicago Prostate Cancer Center (CPCC) Medical Director.

About Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago

PCFC shares prostate cancer treatment advancements, working hand-in-hand with CPCC to measure patient outcomes for research studies. Click Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago for ways to stay informed about prostate cancer and screening recommendations, through Informational Support Groups, current clinical research and recent publications.

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Five Leading Prostate Cancer Research Papers

“AUA 2017: Best Prostate Cancer Papers from Past Years”

Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago (PCFC) comments on an overview of  five impactful papers in prostate cancer research from 2016.  

Two important papers in the prostate cancer screening arena included the New England Journal of Medicine letter revaluating PSA testing rates in the PLCO trial, and the GWAS PSA SNPs manuscript. The PLCO 2009 PSA screening trial noted no improvement in survival with PSA screening, however there was a reported 50% contamination rate (men in the control arm receiving PSA screening). This letter looked at rates of testing during the trial, which was administered as a questionnaire to a subgroup of control patients, demonstrating that in fact >80% of controls without baseline screening receiving a PSA test during the trial. This letter was important as it likely contributed to the revised Grade C recommendation among men 55-69 years of age. The GWAS trial identified 40 genome-wide significant SNPs, 19 being novel entities. These 40 SNPs explain 9.5% of PSA variation in non-Hispanic whites, since >50% are PSA associated independent of prostate cancer.

PCFC comments: A letter appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine helped convince  US Prevention Services Task Force to reverse its recommendation that men forego prostate cancer screening.  PCFC applauds the Task Force decision and early prostate cancer detection. 

 

The PROMIS study was highlighted as an important paper for prostate cancer diagnosis in 2016. This study assessed whether multiparametric MRI (mpMRI) used as a triage test may allow men to avoid an unnecessary TRUS-biopsy and improve diagnostic accuracy. In this multi-center study, 576 men with PSA < 15 ng/mL underwent an mpMRI followed by a transperineal mapping biopsy. The study found that for significant cancer, mpMRI was more sensitive (93%) compared to TRUS Bx (48%), but less specific (41% vs 96%). Using mpMRI to triage men may allow 27% of patients to avoid a primary biopsy and diagnose 5% fewer clinically insignificant prostate cancer.

PCFC comments: Stereotactic transperineal mapping biopsy is especially useful for diagnosing and planning treatment for men with low-grade cancer confined to the prostate gland. 

 

 The much acclaimed and highly publicized ProtecT trial was highlighted as an important paper in the category of initial treatment for prostate cancer. In this trial 1,643 men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer aggressed to undergo randomization to either active monitoring, surgery or radiotherapy. The primary outcome of PCa-mortality was not reached as only 17 (1%) of patients died of prostate cancer. The monitoring group was more likely to have progression or develop metastatic disease, and there was no significant difference between radiation and surgical treatment. The main emphasis of this trial is that the natural history of prostate cancer is very long and places importance on assessing each patient’s life expectancy. Also, the Australian RCT randomizing 326 men to open vs robotic radical prostatectomy was published in 2016. The major findings of this trial was that there was no difference in urinary or sexual function at three months follow up and no difference in positive margin rate (10% open, 15% robotic). As Dr. Preston mentioned, this shows that surgical RCTs are feasible and should be performed. The ASCENDE-RT was a randomized trial comparing two methods of dose escalation for intermediate and high risk prostate cancer, with all participants receiving 12 months of ADT. After 8 months of ADT, all men received 46 Gy of pelvic XRT followed by a 32 Gy XRT boost, followed by randomization to receive a brachytherapy boost 3 weeks after XRT. Compared to men receiving only XRT, men randomized to brachytherapy boost were twice as likely to be free of biochemical recurrence at 6.5 years of follow-up.

PCFC comments:  A combination of radiation therapies may provide the best cure rates for men with more advanced disease.  Compared to men receiving only external beam radiation treatment, men randomized to LDR brachytherapy boost (additional radiation supplied via a seed implant) were twice as likely to be free of biochemical recurrence at 6.5 years follow-up. 

 

Several trials in the setting of locally recurrent prostate cancer were highlighted. A double blind, placebo controlled trial among 760 men that underwent prostatectomy with a pT2 or pT3, N0 with a PSA of 0.2 to 4.0 ng/mL set to undergo radiation therapy were randomized to either 24 months of bicalutamide or placebo. The trial found that the addition of bicalutamide to salvage XRT resulted in significantly higher overall survival rates: 12 year – bicalutamide 76.3% vs placebo 71.3% (HR 0.77, p=0.04). A subsequent GETUG multi-center RCT aimed to establish the effect of adding short term ADT at the time of salvage XRT on biochemical outcome and overall survival among men with rising PSA. There were 743 men that were randomized to salvage XRT or salvage XRT plus short-term goserelin. The results showed that XRT + goserelin resulted in improved 5-year PFS (80% vs 62%, HR 0.50, p=<0.001).

PCFC comments:  Brachytherapy, or seed implant, is another effective salvage radiation option that can be part of treatment for patients with recurrent prostate cancer.

 

The final paper, in the metastatic setting, highlighted the frequency of inherited mutations in DNA-repair genes (ie. BRCA2) in patients with metastatic prostate cancer. Among 692 men, 20 DNA repair genes were assessed; 11.8% of men with metastatic disease had inherited DNA-repair gene mutations, significantly higher than men with localized prostate cancer. The implications of these findings are that this will allow us to identify men that may have sustained responses to PARP inhibitors and platinum-based chemotherapy.

PCFC comments:   Inherited mutations of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes can raise the risk of breast, ovarian and prostate cancer in some families.

Speaker: Mark A. Preston, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Original blog written By: Zachary Klaassen, MD, Urologic Oncology Fellow, University of Toronto, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
Twitter: @zklaassen_md  at the 2017 AUA Annual Meeting – May 12 – 16, 2017 – Boston, Massachusetts, USA

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Comments on “Prostate Cancer: 7 Common Myths About It”

Image result for myths

Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago comments on seven dispelled myths about prostate cancer:

 

No one believes that they will actually get prostate cancer. In the best of all worlds, no one would, but unfortunately over a million males across the world are diagnosed each and every year. The best way to effectively deal with an issue is to be informed about it, so we’re here to dispel some common myths that surround the issue.

Number Seven: Prostate Cancer Only Happens to Old Men

It’s true that the majority of victims of this disease are older men, but there’s a decent amount of people who get it that aren’t even 65 yet. 40% of men, to be exact.

At Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago (PCFC) we encourage men to begin screening at age 50, or at age 40 if African American or with family history of prostate cancer.  PCFC provides an annual free screening event

Number Six: My Dad Got It, so I Will as Well
Although chances are twice as high for getting it if your father or someone else in your family had the disease, it doesn’t mean it will definitely happen to you. Talk to your doctor and get regular checkups to set your mind at ease on the issue.

PCFC: Awareness of your family history can only benefit your health care planning and earlier screening decisions. 

Number Five: It Can’t Kill You
Although a lot of people survive cancer due to advancements in medicine, others are not so lucky. Prostate cancer is the leading cause of death, behind lung cancer, for adult males.

PCFC: Men and families affected by prostate cancer share their concerns at our patient support meetings, and benefit from PCFC research and education. 

Number Four: It the Cancer Returns, It Will be For Good
It’s understandable that someone would be unsettled by their cancer coming back, but it doesn’t mean it’s back forever! You can treat it again.

PCFC:  Ask your physician about salvage LDR brachytherapy (or seed implants), which can be an option for many men with recurrent prostate cancer.  

Number Three: PSA Tests are Harmful
There are certain experts who recommend not receiving regular PSA tests. These recommendations can be misleading, however. The test itself is only a harmless blood test. While PSA tests are not without flaw, they aren’t overtly bad for you either.

PCFC:  Yes, the suggestion that PSA testing inherently causes harm is a disservice to men who are convinced to avoid screening.    See more on screening, next myth…

Number Two: If Your PSA is Low, You Can Rule Out Cancer
It can be tempting to jump to conclusions, especially about being cancer free. But it’s important to remember that tests are not perfect, and can’t give definitive answers. If you suspect something is wrong, you should receive additional testing.

PCFC:  The PSA test, while a powerful tool, is one piece of information. A PSA blood test and digital rectal exam (DRE) are the two standard screening tests for prostate cancer. PSA is an enzyme produced by the prostate. It is normal to have small amounts of this enzyme in the bloodstream, so an elevated PSA alone does not necessarily indicate cancer. It may indicate non-cancerous conditions such as prostate inflammation, infection, or trauma. Often the DRE does not reveal any abnormalities that the doctor can feel. For this reason, the PSA blood test together with the DRE is important for early detection.

You know your body best, so don’t ignore your suspicions.  Always check with your physician.  

Number One: Treatment Always Leads to Impotence Issues
This can be a symptom, but it’s not the case for everyone. Thanks for reading our list. (Original text by Chelsea Wells  4-10-16: http://ppcorn.com/us/2016/04/10/prostate-cancer-7-common-myths/#ixzz46P654z5C)

PCFC:  Treatment outcomes can vary among patients, but most men treated with low dose-rate brachytherapy typically preserve potency for years after the procedure.

 

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Task force rethinks guidelines: recommends men age 55-69 resume prostate cancer screening, with physician input

 

A reversal of 2012 U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations— that had called for all men to forego prostate cancer screening— was released this week.

Two- tiered recommendations

USPSTF now suggests men age 55 to 69 should resume discussions of prostate cancer screening with their physician.  Screening would include men who do not have any signs or symptoms of prostate cancer.  USPSTF reversed its recommendations  based on new research that demonstrated a negative impact of their 2012 advice against routine PSA blood testing.

The task force furthermore advises men who have reached age 70 should discontinue screening for prostate cancer, rather than age 75 as previously recommended.  USPSTF cites “moderate or high certainty that the service has no net benefit or that the harms outweigh the benefits.”

Risk groups

According to USPSTF, revised recommendations apply to men in each age group, whether they are at an average risk for prostate cancer, and even men at increased risk, such as African Americans and men with a family history of prostate cancer. USPSTF states there are not enough data to make a different recommendation, even though decision models strongly suggest that African American men have more to gain by screening and may also benefit by starting earlier than the age of 55.

PCFC recommendations

Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago (PCFC) champions early detection and concurs in large part with the direction of these recent recommendations.  Yet, we support that men generally begin receiving annual screening at age 50, which is 5 years earlier than recommended by USPSTF.   For men at increased risk for prostate cancer, we recommend screening beginning at age 40, or 15 years earlier than USPSTF advises.

Add DRE for greater detection power

Unlike USPSTF, PCFC also promotes prostate cancer screening that further includes digital rectal examination (DRE).   DRE fell out of favor when many physicians stopped offering their patients routine screening.  In combination with PSA, DRE can uncover abnormalities associated with prostate cancer, even with a normal PSA level.

New evidence of benefits for men age 55 to 69

The USPSTF had previously suggested that PSA testing could lead to unnecessary biopsies and treatment of insignificant cancers.  Task force member Alex H. Krist, MD, MPH, in an interview stated, “There is new evidence to suggest that there is slightly more benefit to screening than we thought before in 2012.  The important thing that we are trying to emphasize is that there is a real close balance between benefits and harms,” he said, but the balance has been tipped slightly toward benefit for the age group aged 55 to 69.”

Less screening led to higher grade tumors when detected

Several studies— and the outcry from many urologists and prostate cancer patients— lead USPSTF to reconsider discouraging men from receiving PSA screening.  Quoting K. Fleshner in Nature Reviews Urology , “Since the 2012 recommendation, rates of PSA screening decreased by 3–10% in all age groups and across most geographical regions of the USA.  Rates of prostate biopsy and prostate cancer incidence have declined in unison, with a shift towards tumours being of higher grade and stage upon detection.”

Results of the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer, demonstrated that slightly more men who are screened would not die from prostate cancer than was the case previously (in 2012).  Also from the European trial, longer-term follow-up shows that three men out of 1000 will avoid advanced prostate cancer because of screening.

Genomic testing of tumors informs treatment decisions

A discussion of a possible limitation of prostate cancer screening points to the difficulty of knowing which cancers will be more likely to advance beyond the prostate.  If a man is found to have a prostate tumor, genomic testing is now available for physicians to understand more about the aggressiveness of a patient’s cancer cells and help men make better prostate cancer treatment decisions.

Education is key

Like the USPSTF, PCFC advocates patient education and shared decision making between doctor and patient.  Discussions of the pros and cons of screening, and available treatment options, will continue to be important for men to have with their family and their physician.

For more information on prostate cancer and screening, contact PCFC at 630-654-2515 or visit the PCFC website.    Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago advances patient education, by offering free prostate cancer screening and hosting an Informational Patient Support Group.

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Brachytherapy improves outcomes in men age 60 and younger with prostate cancer

Comparing 8-year survival with LDR brachtherapy (BRT) or with external beam radiation (EBRT)

Life saving advantages of low-dose rate brachytherapy, or seed implant, were demonstrated in a recent study that compared seed implant to external beam radiation treatment (EBRT) eight years after treatment.

Better survival with LDR Brachytherapy

Men who were treated with low-dose rate brachytherapy at ages 60 years and younger survived at twice the rate when compared to men treated with external beam radiation treatment (EBRT) alone.

Men in higher risk groups also benefit

Even for men in subgroups associated with greater mortality risk— high Gleason score, black race, higher Tumor (T) stage and grade— LDR brachytherapy still demonstrated significantly reduced death rate.  Conducted by researchers at New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital and Weill Cornell Medicine, the study emphasizes the importance of brachytherapy for men considering a treatment option that provides excellent outcomes.

Read the full article.

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Knowledge is Power

It is thought that Sir Francis Bacon was the first to assert that “knowledge is power.”  At Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago (PCFC), we agree that the more you know about prostate cancer and its treatment options, the better you will be able to understand, discuss, and take control of your own health outcome.   

Virtual Support

Not quite ready to join a support group to learn more about coping with prostate cancer?  HealingWell.com is a website that offers educational resources and ‘virtual’ peer support through anonymous patient forums.  The website, launched in 1996, has more than 150,000 community members, over 20,000 newsletter subscribers, and over 175,000 social media followers, for a comprehensive list of diseases, including prostate cancer.  The HealingWell.com prostate cancer forum began in 2006 and has over 28,000 threads on a wide variety of subtopics related to prostate cancer.  The forum’s  ‘read-me-first’ thread is an especially useful starting point for men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer and their caregivers.   

Talk with a prostate cancer survivor

Would you prefer a more low-technology way to converse from someone having first-hand knowledge of prostate cancer?  PCFC can provide you with telephone contact information of a volunteer patient willing to talk about prostate cancer with other men recently diagnosed with prostate cancer who are considering their treatment options. 

Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago: Patient Support Group

But if you seek support and information in an informal group setting, PCFC Patient Support Group will be here for you.  Monthly meetings, held at Chicago Prostate Cancer Center, 815 Pasquinelli Dr., Westmont, IL, include survivors, new patients, caregivers, and anyone interested in learning more about prostate cancer and treatment.  A recent PCFC blog cited a study which suggested that, for some men, face-to-face support group attendance could begin with participation in web-based patient support forums.  Several participants of PCFC’s Patient Support Group started learning about prostate cancer through HealingWell.com and other online resources such as the PCFC website, to maintain their anonymity while gathering initial information.

Access HealingWell.com

HealingWell.com forums require free registration to post or chat, but are open to all for browsing.  See HealingWell.com or Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago websites for more information, such as the PCFC Patient Support Group meeting schedule.   And as always, check with your doctor before following advice you receive on a website, forum or other resource. 

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African American men may benefit less from hormone therapy added to brachtherapy

Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago recently published a study in the journal Cancer in collaboration with Harvard Radiation Oncology Program and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  The study assessed the impact of race on the risk of death from all causes and from prostate cancer alone among men actively treated for favorable-risk prostate cancer.

To make prostate cancers shrink or grow more slowly, androgen-suppression hormone therapy (ADT) is often added to brachytherapy radiation therapy as the standard of care for men with intermediate- and high-risk prostate cancer.   Intermediate-risk prostate cancer can be further classified as favorable- or unfavorable-risk disease

African Americans are more likely to be affected by concurrent chronic diseases— diabetes, coronary artery disease, previous myocardial infarction or congestive heart failure—which may interact with hormone therapy and reduce its benefits.  This new research demonstrates that adding hormone therapy to treatment received by African American men for favorable intermediate risk prostate cancer is actually associated with shortened survival, when compared to non-African Americans with the same stage prostate cancer.

These findings will help physicians determine whether to add hormone therapy to radiation therapy for their African American patients, possibly reserving hormone therapy for cases of higher risk prostate cancers.  Read more about the study, Race and mortality risk after radiation therapy in men treated with or without androgen-suppression therapy for favorable-risk prostate cancer.  Further information on prostate cancer risk and detection includes special recommendations for African American men and is available at Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago’s educational infographic, The Importance of Prostate Cancer Screening.

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Real Friends Encourage Prostate Cancer Screening

Who convinced me to get screened?

“Originally my wife saw the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago (PCFC) Screening Event in the local paper.  Now I am glad I receive your email reminder.  How can you go wrong? Screening is quick, easy and free!

I know there are pros and cons about the PSA test, that alone it is not 100%.  But since this screening adds the physical examination (DRE), men get more of the facts we need each year.  Some say screening for prostate cancer that might be slow growing is not important, but I am glad to have all the information possible to treat it early and effectively.”    Arnie S.

 

james-l

“I knew about Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and Chicago Prostate Cancer Center through my involvement on the Westmont Park District Board.  One of our longtime leaders was vacationing in Michigan and made several attempts to contact me so I could take the screening time slot he couldn’t keep.  It’s nice when your colleagues watch out for you!”  James L.

 

A third Screening Event participant shared how he turned the loss of a friend into an important life-giving ritual.  According to Martin L., “I had a friend die of colon cancer 17 years ago and it made me start thinking about cancer awareness and prevention.  When I first heard about your prostate cancer screening event on the radio, I decided it was time to act.  Really glad Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago and Chicago Prostate Cancer Center provide this screening event every year; I wouldn’t miss it.”

 

PCFC and CPCC thank these three forthcoming participants in the 2016 Free Prostate Screening Event for sharing their motivation for screening.

In observation of National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month the event provided 60 men with PSA blood test, digital rectal examination (DRE) , and consultation.  Contact nonprofit Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago at 630-654-2515 to arrange prostate cancer screening.  To learn  more about—or donate in support of—  screening and other PCFC services, please call or click Patient Support Group, Corporate and Community Wellness, research and educational programs.

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National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month: Presidential Proclamation 2016

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release   September 01, 2016

Presidential Proclamation — National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, 2016

NATIONAL PROSTATE CANCER AWARENESS MONTH, 2016
– – – – – – –
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION

Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death in American men, and too many men and their families feel the pain and grief it brings. As a country, we must do everything in our power to support men who are battling prostate cancer, deliver the care and treatment they need, and defeat this devastating disease. A cancer-free future is within our grasp — with bold vision and daring optimism, we are pioneering medical breakthroughs in research and seeking to discover a cure for cancer in our time. During National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, we remember all the men who lost their lives to this disease, and resolve to reach a tomorrow where prostate cancer is no longer a threat to our sons and grandsons.

In 2016, approximately 180,000 men will be diagnosed, and 26,000 men will lose their battle with prostate cancer. Incredible advancements have paved the way for better prevention, detection, and treatment of this disease, and over the past two decades, the incidence of new cases and mortality rates for prostate cancer have been steadily declining. Men who are African American, over the age of 65, or have a family history of prostate cancer are at higher risk and should be aware of risk factors and symptoms. I encourage all men to talk to their health care providers about how prostate cancer can affect them, and to learn more by visiting www.Cancer.gov/Prostate or www.CDC.gov/Cancer/Prostate.

The Affordable Care Act has ensured that more Americans have access to quality, affordable health insurance, and it prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage to someone simply because they have prostate cancer. The Act eliminates annual and lifetime limits on coverage and ensures individuals have the option to participate in clinical trials, which have proven helpful in advancing research of new treatment strategies and improving clinical care for men with prostate cancer.

This year, I asked Vice President Joe Biden to lead our Nation in a new effort to end cancer as we know it. The White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force is striving to make a decade of advances in cancer prevention, treatment, and care in just 5 years through the collaboration of Federal agencies, jumpstarted by a proposed nearly $1 billion investment. Additionally, the Department of Veterans Affairs is helping to introduce a series of pilot programs that will accelerate clinical research and care for veterans with prostate cancer using cutting-edge biotechnologies — they are also working to increase precision oncology research and strengthen personalized medicine for the treatment of prostate cancer among veterans. These efforts build on the goals of our Precision Medicine Initiative, which aims to deliver personalized care and apply medicine more efficiently and effectively based on genetics — and ultimately, to bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer.

This month, let us thank the countless researchers, medical professionals, and advocates who dedicate themselves to supporting survivors and beating cancer. Let us continue raising awareness of prostate cancer and renew our commitment to finding a cure once and for all.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 2016 as National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. I encourage all citizens, government agencies, private businesses, non-profit organizations, and other groups to join in activities that will increase awareness and prevention of prostate cancer.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.

BARACK OBAMA

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PCFC spotlighted by West Suburban Philanthropic Network

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.

Posted in: Educational Updates

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