Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in North America and the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men worldwide (Centers for Disease Control). In this era of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening, cancer in its early stages is often identified. According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 man in 7 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Most newly diagnosed prostate cancers are indolent, which means that they will never cause harm if left untreated. However, we lack the tools to tell the difference between indolent and more aggressive prostate cancers with a high degree of certainty.
Even though many prostate cancers may never progress or cause harm to the patient if left untreated, most men still undergo primary curative treatment. Treatments often have associated side effects. Over treatment of prostate cancer is a major problem in this country.
With better biomarker tests (using blood, tissue, and/or urine) and imaging tests to distinguish lethal vs. non-lethal prostate cancer, men will be spared unnecessary treatment and unneeded biopsies while helping those who need immediate treatment for their disease.
Download our infographic to view Canary’s progress in the field of prostate cancer early detection. It’s a great piece to share with people in your network to encourage them to donate to your Canary Challenge fundraising efforts.
Dr. Nelson is involved in detecting the subgroup of lethal prostate cancers and aggressively treating those cases at its earliest stages, while sparing other men needless treatment for a disease that will never impact them.