The pursuit of a “cure for cancer” is the objective of research efforts in many of the leading cancer research centers throughout the world today. However, how will we know when a cure for cancer has been found? Will cancer as a disease disappear completely because a “magic bullet” has been identified to eliminate all types of cancers? Will new treatments eliminate
deaths from certain types of cancers and be defined as cures? The answers to these and similar questions are important in shaping the public’s understanding about cures for cancer. However, based on what I understand about ongoing research efforts there will probably be multiple forms of cancer cures that will differ based on the type of cancer, the patient and the definition(s) of cure.
What is the definition for a cure for prostate cancer, and do we have a cure entering 2012?
There is no magic bullet cure today that I am aware of which will prevent a man from getting prostate cancer. There are promising research and study efforts underway to reduce a man’s risk for the disease which at some time in the future may approach a magic bullet cure for some. Also, there is an accelerating pace of new classes of prostate cancer treatments under development aimed at increasing survival and the quality of life for those men living with the disease; some have already been approved by the Federal Drug Administration,
If an accepted definition for a prostate cancer cure is survival after a diagnosis with minimal to no impact on a man’s quality of life then there are cures for the disease as we enter 2012. These cures may at times involve multiple combinations of treatments and therapies and differ from man to man. I consider my personal eleven year prostate cancer survival to be within this definition of cure. Conversely, I believe that the vast majority of prostate cancer deaths and sufferings today are due to a lack of information and knowledge about accessing the cures available in a timely manner. Information and knowledge about one’s risk level, early detection, treatment options, and managing survivorship issues are critically important to a cure for prostate cancer in 2012. For a man not to have this knowledge is to play Russian roulette with his prostate.
The journey for reaching a prostate cancer cure where there is no magic bullet available can be complex, but certainly navigable. As we enter 2012 PHEN continues to broaden its educational outreach to assist men and their families along this journey. We will augment our monthly live webcasts which began in January, 2011 with a monthly e-newsletter highlighting information about available treatments and clinical trials. Many of our sponsors and partners are at the forefront in providing new and innovative treatments, therapies and detection tools that will be part of the focus of our educational outreach efforts.
Knowledge is the best defense against prostate cancer in 2012. PHEN and its partners are committed to reducing prostate cancer deaths and suffering by increasing the overall knowledge base about the disease and the approaches to cures and survivorship. Our information is aimed at men and their families as we emphasize the importance of wives, mothers, sisters and daughters becoming actively involved in the prostate health of the men in their lives. Prostate cancer is a disease that impacts the entire family and in many (perhaps most) cases family members are needed to support a man’s efforts to become knowledgeable and interface with his doctors. PHEN invites you to use our online resources available to you at your convenience, tune in to our monthly webcasts, and study the information presented in our e-newsletters to increase your knowledge. Join our efforts to help cure prostate cancer cases in 2012 with the health of your family as a primary goal.