September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
What You Need to Know
- Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men, behind skin cancer.
- African-American men have the highest prostate cancer incidence in the world.
- More than 90 percent of all prostate cancers are discovered while they are either localized (confined to the prostate) or regional (nearby). The five-year survival rate for men diagnosed with prostate tumors discovered at these stages is nearly 100 percent.
- Early prostate cancer may be present without any symptoms. It can often be detected with screening tests.
- In the past 25 years, the five-year survival rate for all stages combined has increased from 68 to nearly 100 percent.
Meet the Expert
With new technology and techniques, radiation treatment for prostate cancer is being delivered precisely now more than ever. Join Johns Hopkins radiation oncologists Ted DeWeese, M.D., and Danny Song, M.D. on Wednesday, September 18 from 7 to 8 p.m. as they discuss the advanced options available that increase the effectiveness of the treatment while reducing side effects. Sign up today for the health seminar.
Ask the Expert
Understanding and treating prostate cancer is a constantly evolving science. Recent information may leave men confused. Here, Hopkins prostate cancer expert Dr. H. Ballentine Carter tackles the prostate cancer questions that are on many minds.
Q: Can a baldness drug prevent or reduce prostate cancer?
A: Finasteride, a baldness drug, has generated buzz after two studies suggested the drug was capable of reducing the incidence of minor prostate cancers. Dr. Carter, after reviewing the methodology, believes the results are overpromising and that Finasteride does not appear to be an effective method of prostate cancer prevention.
Q: Should I get my PSA levels checked?
A: PSA testing has become a polarizing topic, with experts insisting the risks outweigh the potential benefits. Dr. Carter urges for individualized prostate cancer detection approaches: “if you’re between the ages of 55-69, are African-American or if you have a family history, speak to your doctor about prostate cancer screening.” Only you and your doctor can determine the appropriate course of action based on your health and background.
Recent Findings from Johns Hopkins
‘Active Surveillance’ May Miss Aggressive Prostate Cancers in Black Men
New research suggests that African-Americans diagnosed with very-low-risk prostate cancers are much more likely than white men to actually have aggressive disease that goes unrecognized with current diagnostic approaches, suggesting the need for alternate, race-specific surveillance methods for African-American men to ensure parity.
Personal Epigenetic "Signatures" Found Consistent in Prostate Cancer Patient Metastases
Recent findings by Hopkins researchers open the possibility for the development of biomarkers to signal potentially lethal prostate cancers. A genome-wide analysis of 13 metastatic prostate cancers found consistent epigenetic “signatures” across all metastatic tumors in each patient, defying a prevailing belief that these signatures vary too greatly to be of value as therapy targets.
Johns Hopkins Researchers Discover Link Between a Protein and Aggressive, Recurring Prostate Cancer
In a study to decipher clues about how prostate cancer cells grow and become more aggressive, Johns Hopkins urologists have found that reduction of a specific protein is correlated with the aggressiveness of prostate cancer, acting as a red flag to indicate an increased risk of recurrence.