Prostate Cancer is a story of both great heartbreak and great hope. The heartbreak is that each year more than 29,000 men will die of this disease and that prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death of U.S. men. However, if diagnosed early, the five-year survival rate is almost 100 percent. At ten years post diagnosis, 98 percent of men diagnosed early, remain alive.
Prostate cancer is an extremely complex disease—multiple subtypes of this cancer exist, some aggressive and lethal, others non-aggressive and non-life-threatening. The vast majority of prostate cancer occurs as an indolent, slow-growing form of the disease that poses little threat to men’s lifespans. Because one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, it is important for men to learn about both non-aggressive, slow-growing forms of prostate cancer and aggressive forms of this disease through conversations with their doctors. In addition, because there has been controversy in recent years over when men should be screened for prostate cancer, there is great need for all men to learn about prostate cancer screening methods, including the drawbacks and benefits to current screening tests.
The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is a leader in funding and accelerating the world’s most promising prostate cancer research. And PCF is also a go-to organization for disseminating prostate health information to men. PCF is proud to offer multiple forms of information about this disease to men and their loved ones. Below is a sampling of informational materials that the Prostate Cancer Foundation has developed in an effort to make each month of the year a time for men to stay informed, aware and involved in the fight against prostate cancer.
An Introduction to Prostate Cancer is designed to help men, their families, and friends quickly understand the risk factors for prostate cancer, find out how it is diagnosed, and review different treatment options. (8 pages).
About the Prostate The more you know about the normal development and function of the prostate, where it’s located, and what it’s attached to, the better you can understand how prostate cancer develops and impacts a man’s life over time—due either to cancer growth or as a result of treatments.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor This slim folder comes with 7 inserts with questions to ask your doctor. Each insert also provides room to jot down the answers.
A Layman’s Guide to Prostate Cancer Genes It was a mutation in the BRCA1 gene that increased Angelina Jolie’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer. BRCA genes are tumor suppressor genes; however, when these genes mutate or become “faulty” their ability to suppress cancer is lost or greatly diminished. Researchers now know that mutated BRCA genes may increase the risk of aggressive prostate cancer in men. PCF compiled a guide to prostate cancer genes. Cancer genetics is a fast-moving field. Better understanding of genetic drivers of prostate cancer is accelerating research discovery for better diagnostics and cures.
Straight Talk for African-American Men and Their Families provides special facts and guidance regarding African-American men and prostate cancer. Research shows that African-American men are 1.6 times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 2.4 times more likely to die from it than Caucasian men. The guide includes personal thoughts from Charlie Wilson, D.L. Hughley and Snoop Dogg. (8 pages)
Cutting edge diagnostics: New 17-Gene test enhances ability to predict aggressiveness of prostate cancer; may spare men unnecessary surgery/radiation
What is Active Surveillance and when might it be the right choice for men? The concept of active surveillance, or watchful waiting, has increasingly emerged in recent years as a viable option for men who decide not to undergo immediate surgery or radiation therapy.
Terms to know from this article:
Checking for disease when there are no symptoms.
Active surveillance is an option offered to patients with very low-risk prostate cancer (low grade, low stage, localized disease). Patients are monitored carefully over time for signs of disease progression. A PSA blood test and digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate biopsy are performed at physician-specified intervals. Signs of disease progression will trigger immediate active treatment.
The functional and physical unit of heredity passed from parent to offspring. Genes are pieces of DNA, and most genes contain the information for making a specific protein.
Are a human gene and its protein product, respectively. The official symbol (BRCA1, italic for the gene, nonitalic for the protein) and the official name (breast cancer 1).
A mass of excess tissue that results from abnormal cell division. Tumors perform no useful body function. They may be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).