For the fourth year in a row, the signature dome atop The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s historic building on Broadway will be lit blue to mark national prostate cancer awareness month and to remind men and their loved ones about prostate health issues. Look for the blue during nighttime hours throughout the month of September. A hi-res still photo from 2011 is available upon request.
Facts and Experts
Prostate cancer remains the most common cancer in American men. It is estimated that this year in the United States, some 217,000 men will be diagnosed with the disease, and 32,000 will die of it. The disease usually progresses very slowly and, if detected early, is not fatal in most cases. During prostate cancer awareness month, men ages 50 and older (45 for African Americans) are encouraged to speak with their physicians about prostate cancer and the benefits of screening. To interview Johns Hopkins prostate health experts about story ideas below, or other research, treatment, prevention and screening issues, contact John Lazarou at 410-502-8902 or [email protected]
‘Active Surveillance’ May Miss Aggressive Prostate Cancers in Black Men
A Johns Hopkins study of more than 1,800 men ages 52 to 62 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. Although prior studies have found it safe to delay treatment and monitor some presumably slow-growing or low-risk prostate cancers, such “active surveillance” (AS) does not appear to be a good idea for black men, the study concludes.
Personal Epigentic ‘Signatures’ Found Consistent in Prostate Cancer Patient Metastases
In a genome-wide analysis of 13 metastatic prostate cancers, scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center found consistent epigenetic “signatures” across all metastatic tumors in each patient. The discovery of the stable, epigenetic “marks” that sit on the nuclear DNA of cancer cells and alter gene expression, defies a prevailing belief that the marks vary so much within each individual’s widespread cancers that they have little or no value as targets for therapy or as biomarkers for treatment response and predicting disease severity.
Updated Tool Now Available to Predict Prostate Cancer Spread
Prostate cancer experts at Johns Hopkins have developed an updated version of the Partin Tables, a tool to help men diagnosed with prostate cancer and their doctors to better assess their chance of a surgical cure.
Johns Hopkins Urologists Join the Prostate Cancer Foundation To Launch Online Network for Men With Prostate Cancer
Johns Hopkins Medicine, along with the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA. have launched the National Proactive Surveillance Network, an online resource for men diagnosed with low-grade prostate cancer that can be slow-growing and non-life-threatening in up to 50 percent of diagnosed cases. The network is structured to actively manage prostate cancer in patients who qualify for proactive surveillance, which entails careful monitoring rather than invasive treatment. It will also provide a national resource for prostate cancer experts to advance their knowledge with the goal of providing better care.