Three Practical Steps to Increasing Awareness

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At the just-concluded UsTOO 25th Anniversary Celebration in Chicago, I gave a short talk on marketing tactics that can help increase awareness about prostate cancer at the grass roots with the goal of transforming indifference into awareness and then into advocacy. In the last post we said that we want to identify and enthuse “fire in the belly” boomers, who will […]

Three Things to Know About Building Prostate Cancer Awareness

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  At the just-concluded UsTOO 25th Anniversary Celebration in Chicago, I gave a short talk on marketing tactics that can help increase awareness about prostate cancer at the grass roots with the goal of increasing contributions. Here, and in two subsequent posts, I’ll talk about how anyone can apply a few simple principles and become a more effective advocate. We’re here to talk […]

Whose Head is in the Sand Now?

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In 2011, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) decreed, without benefit of input from urologists or oncologists, that PSA blood tests were leading inexorably to over-treatment for prostate cancer and stated that PSA screening should be halted for most men. In February 2013, I wrote that Consumer Reports Magazine had become the lapdog of […]

The Rules of Dying

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A recent article in the New York Times “Wellness Blog”* grabbed my attention. Titled “Dying Shouldn’t Be So Brutal,” it began with the story of the author’s friend who was in the late stages of an incurable cancer and who was undergoing Phase 1 clinical trials for an experimental cancer drug. Phase 1 trials are […]

Proton Beam Therapy Hits Its First Economic Iceberg

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In August, I wrote about the ongoing battle between Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) and conventional Electron Beam Therapy (EBT) to treat prostate cancer. Recent studies have found that there is no discernible advantage to the far more expensive PBT over EBT in treatment effectiveness of reduction of side effects. I quoted Anthony Zeitman of the Department […]

The Ugly Tradeoff: Over-Treatment vs. Preventable Death

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Those of us in the prostate cancer community are all too aware of the 2011 USPSTF guidelines that call for discontinuing PSA screening for all men because a high PSA leads too often to unnecessary “over- treatment” with its expense and attendant quality of life (QoL) issues such as impotence and incontinence. Better to remain […]

Protons vs. Photons: A Battlefield Update

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Many controversies are raging currently in the world of prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment, ranging from PSA screening to robotic vs. laparoscopic surgery.  But certainly the battle with the highest economic stakes is the long-running war between traditional photon-based (X-ray) Electron Beam Therapy (EBT) and Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) for treating prostate tumors. Both methods […]

Is Cancer Research Insufficiently Academic?

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If you follow trends in science research, especially biomedical research focused on cancer, you know that government (taxpayer-paid) funding for research is flat to down. More scientists are battling for less grant money.  At the National Institutes of Health (NIH) the percent of grant applications that are awarded funding are “in the lower teens” down from 30% […]

Tearing Down Cancer Data Silos

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When I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2009, I ran to the Internet to learn as much as I could about it, its treatment, and of course, its implications. Article after article described how prostate cancer was invariably linked to an elevated PSA. I had been diligent about monitoring my PSA annually for the previous […]

Five Years and Counting

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The ubiquitous 5-year benchmark of cancer survivorship dates back the 1960’s, when cancer of all kinds was usually detected only after it had metastasized (stage IV) and thus usually too late for effective treatment.  To be treated and then live for an additional five years with “no evidence of disease” (NED) gave a real poignancy […]