Tag Archives: prostate cancer

Speak Up During Men’s Health Month

This is a guest blog post by Ivy Ahmed, Director of Patient Education for ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer.

At ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer, our mission is to end prostate cancer. We lead the fight to end the disease by advancing research, encouraging action, and providing education and support to men and their families.

June is Men’s Health Month and an important month here at ZERO. This month we launched our #DoItForDad campaign to create awareness to end prostate cancer. As ZERO’s Director of Patient Education for ZERO, I love this month because it is a wonderful opportunity to shine a light on a disease that affects 1 in 7 men and begin a dialogue encouraging men to take care of themselves and to take charge of their health.#DoItForDad

I kicked off Men’s Health Month by attending the largest conference addressing research and advances in cancer, the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. It was a great opportunity to learn about exciting research that is being done to help us end prostate cancer. Such tremendous progress is being made every day to better understand the disease and find new ways to fight it. I also had a chance to see our friends from MyLifeLine.org and learn more about the great work they are doing every day.

In addition to attending the conference, I participated in a virtual Blogger Summit as part of the Men Who Speak Up program launch. The goal of the program is to bring awareness to the signs and symptoms that of advancing prostate cancer so that men with advanced disease can talk about their symptoms and learn about treatment options available for them. Visit the site to learn more about what men with advancing disease are saying and to find some helpful resources to maximize each doctor’s visit. The program was developed through our partnership in the International Prostate Cancer Coalition with support from Bayer.

Speaking up about your health as a man is very important especially around prostate cancer. Talking about your health and engaging with others doesn’t always come naturally, so I’ve included a few tips below to get you started.

  1. Be informed and know your personal risk for prostate cancer. Talk to your doctor about a plan for testing when the time is right for you.
    • The most common risk factors for prostate cancer are:
      • Increasing age
      • African American ancestry
      • Family history of prostate cancer
  2. If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, get educated by learning about your options and asking questions. Treatment options for cancer that is still in the prostate are different than those options available for men with more advanced disease.
    • Ask questions such as:
      • What is the stage and grade of my prostate cancer?
      • What are all of the treatment options for someone with my type of prostate cancer?
      • What are the potential side effects from these treatment options and how will they be managed?
  3. Have an open dialogue with family members about prostate cancer and other men’s health issues.
  4. Celebrate Men’s Health Month and Father’s Day by making a difference! Join ZERO in spreading the word:
    • Follow us on social media – facebook, twitter, and Instagram
    • Register for one of our nearly 40 Run/Walks nationwide
    • Participate in our #DoItForDad campaign

Together we can keep the conversation going to save lives and keep families together. To learn more about prostate cancer, risks, treatment, and ZERO, please visit www.zerocancer.org.

Why pay attention to Prostate Cancer in September?

This blog post is brought to you by our friends at ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer.

At ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer, September is a busy time because it’s Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. To help save lives and keep families together, we are hosting 19 Run/Walk fundraising events, launching new educational programs for men and families, training leaders in our communities, visiting Capitol Hill, and sharing stories from our ZERO’s Heroes across the nation.

September is also Blood Cancers Awareness Month, Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and a flurry of other activities that come along with the unofficial end of summer. So, why stop and give your time and attention to prostate cancer this month amidst all of these other important and honorable causes? It’s simple really; having a prostate puts every man at risk of developing prostate cancer at some point in his lifetime. As men age, their risk significantly increases and 97 percent of all new cases are in men older than 50. African American men are 2.5 times more likely to develop the disease and men with a family history of prostate cancer are also at greater risk.

This year, the American Cancer Society estimates that 233,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. If you know seven men, that means that most likely one of them will be diagnosed at some point in their lifetime. We will also lose nearly 30,000 men, one every 18 minutes.

The good news about prostate cancer is that when diagnosed at an early stage, nearly 100 percent of men will be alive in five years. As with all cancers the chances of surviving for five years decreases as men are diagnosed with more advanced disease. That is why it’s important for men to know the risk factors for prostate cancer – including age, race, and family history — and talk to their doctor about their own individual risk so they can work together to develop a strategy and plan.

We invite you to join us in our mission to end this disease that robs too many families of a father, husband, brother, friend, grandfather, or loved one. Check out our 10 Things Everyone Should Know About Prostate Cancer fact sheet and spread the word! To learn more about our activities this month, visit our website www.zerocancer.org and get involved.

We’d like to thank MyLifeLine.org for this opportunity to share.

1in7-infographic ZERO

One in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. For more information, visit ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer.

Celebrating Men’s Health Month with a Dialogue About Prostate Cancer

This week’s guest blogger is Ivy Ahmed, Director of Patient Education for ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer. ZERO’s mission is to end prostate cancer by advancing research, encouraging action, and providing education and support to men and their families.

At ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer, our mission is to end prostate cancer. We lead the fight to end the disease by advancing research, encouraging action, and providing education and support to men and their families. As you can imagine, Men’s Health Month and Father’s Day is a very important time for us because we have an opportunity to celebrate all men and encourage families to have an open dialogue about the risks of prostate cancer and the options for treatment if a loved one is diagnosed.

As part of our Father’s Day #DoItForDad campaign, we released the findings of our education survey. Over a period of nine weeks, more than 1,400 people shared their prostate cancer experience with us through our survey. We’ve compiled the information and plan to use it to better develop patient education materials for men and their loved ones diagnosed with prostate cancer. Of those that responded, nearly 60 percent were men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, 24 percent were caregivers, and the remaining 17 percent were tied to the prostate cancer community. We asked many questions, from age to stage, treatments and side effects, and most importantly what information they wanted at the time of diagnosis and further down the line.

ZERO - The End of Prostate Cancer is a national nonprofit organization with the mission to end prostate cancer

ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer is a national nonprofit organization with the mission to end prostate cancer.

Thank you to MyLifeLine for this opportunity to share a few of our key findings with you! Below are some of the highlights from our survey. The full report can be downloaded HERE.

  • Only 41 percent of men were referred to a medical oncologist at any point during their prostate cancer journey. It is critical to round out your team of health care professionals with an oncologist to get a full understanding of all available prostate cancer treatments and to give yourself the best chance to beat the disease.
  • When making treatment decisions, primary influences for patients/survivors included conducting their own research, listening to the doctor, and engaging a spouse/partner.
  • Fifty-four percent of patient/s survivors made their treatment choice to avoid certain side effects. They identified urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and loss of libido as the side effects they most wanted to avoid.
  • Nearly 80 percent of patients/survivors and caregivers received patient education information from their doctor. The patients/survivors found this information more useful than caregivers.
  • When looking for information about prostate cancer, one third of caregivers always sought out information geared toward patients.
  • More than half of caregivers said they felt additional stress as a result of prostate cancer.

Every year in June, to celebrate Father’s Day and Men’s Health Month, we host the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk – Capital Area. This year, we had more than 800 people come out to show their support for ending prostate cancer. We also created these Top 10 Tips for talking to your father or son about prostate cancer to encourage an open dialogue within families. To learn more about prostate cancer, risks, treatment, and ZERO, please visit our website at www.zerocancer.org.


What are Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. About 241,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011 and approximately 33,700 men will die from the disease (source).

Symptoms can include the following (source):

  • -Problems during urination.  Frequency , urgency, hesitancy, pain during urination, blood in the urine
  • -Difficult in penile erection, painful ejaculation or blood in the semen
  • -Pelvic discomfort
  • -Persistent pain in back and lower extremity bones and muscles in the back and hip region
  • -Swelling in the legs
  • -Swollen lymph glands

A well-known Prostate Cancer Organization is US Too International. Us Too is very informative and user friendly. Us Too provides numerous services such as: Getting Involved, Chapters and Support Groups, several ways to search out information about prostate cancer, several programs and services. “Us Too is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit prostate cancer education and support network of 325 support group chapters worldwide, providing men and their families with free information, materials and peer-to-peer support so they can make informed choices on detection, treatment options and coping with ongoing survivorship. The organization was founded in 1990 by five men who had been treated for prostate cancer.” (http://www.ustoo.com/About_UsTOO.asp)

The mission of Us TOO is to help men and their families make informed decisions about prostate cancer detection and treatment through support, education and advocacy.

“In addition to providing education and support programs, Us TOO is an active advocate for patients. We are committed to making sure patients have access to the programs, medications, treatments and health care professionals they need for the best possible outcomes.” (http://www.ustoo.com/About_UsTOO.asp)

Us TOO Programs & Services include: Special Patient Education Resources, Support groups, Web based Communities, Newsletters, Newly Diagnosed Patient Resource Kits, Advocacy, Volunteer Opportunities, Awareness, a Toll Free Patient Support Line, and a Minority and Underserved Populations Outreach program.

Us Too Programs & Services also include:

John Moenck Memorial Resource Center: Resources related to the diagnosis, treatment and research of prostate cancer are available on loan from our headquarters. Books, video tapes, journals and other materials are available for viewing at no charge.

Circles of Love: This program is especially for companions and families of those with prostate cancer. The program provides resources such as books, brochures, web based resources and even inspirational music for companions and families struggling to support their loved one.

Another notable organization is the Prostate Conditions Education Council . They are dedicated to expanding awareness and education about prostate cancer; each September it coordinates and organizes activities across the USA to support Prostate Cancer Awareness Week.

“Our mission is to save lives through awareness and the education of men, the women in their lives as well as the medical community about the prevalence of prostate cancer, the importance of early detection, available treatment options and other men’s health issues. To conduct nationwide screenings for men and perform research that will help the detection and treatment of prostate cancer and other men’s health issues.”

Prostate Conditions Education Council is organized around educating the community of the risks of not getting checked early for prostate cancer. “Since PCAW was initiated in 1989, nearly 60% of new prostate cancer cases are discovered when they are still localized and potentially curable, indicating a dramatic increase in awareness among the general public about the importance of early detection.”

The PCEC also includes information to educate the patient about prostate cancer. This includes diagnoses, treatments and general information that is critical to the patients recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. Physician and Screening site information is also made available on the PCEC site along with programs and events.