From the Urology Care Foundation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month: The Urology Care Foundation Tackles a Disease and Diversity in Those Making Discovery

By: Harris M. Nagler, MD, FACS | Posted on: 03 Sep 2021

One cannot discuss prostate cancer without acknowledging disparities in access to health care, as well as patient outcomes and scientists making discoveries. The Urology Care Foundation is committed to doing its part to erase these inequities. Each year, September marks the start of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in men. Throughout the month, health care providers, researchers, caregivers and other individuals focus their efforts on raising the nation’s awareness about prostate cancer and generating support for those impacted by the disease. The Urology Care Foundation’s commitment to promoting this cause and providing education to patients, as well as supporting research and humanitarian efforts, makes not only September but every month a time to fight the battle against this deadly disease.

Supporting Early Detection

The question of prostate cancer screening is a personal and complex one. Deciding when to talk to men about prostate cancer testing depends on such risk factors as age, general health, family history and ethnicity. AUA clinical guidelines recommend average risk men who are 55 to 69 years of age discuss prostate cancer screening with their doctors and decide whether prostate cancer testing is right for them. For men aged 40 to 54 who have a higher risk of prostate cancer, such as African American men or those with a family history, the guidelines recommend patients discuss their screening options with their physician to assess the benefits and risks of testing.

To better support you and your patients, the Urology Care Foundation has enhanced our digital footprint. Using QR code technology, we’ve created centralized information on specific urology conditions, which your patients can access during their telehealth or in-office appointment (see figure). Using the Urology Care Foundation QR code, I encourage you to download our early detection for prostate cancer patient education bundle. Additional QR codes can be downloaded at UrologyHealth.org.

Figure 1. Urology Care Foundation QR code to access early detection for prostate cancer patient education bundle.

Funding Answers

The Urology Care Foundation has maintained a strong commitment to research for more than 4 decades. More than 30 endowments and $34 million in research funding have supported more than 850 outstanding young scientists, and advancing prostate cancer research has been a key feature of this support both historically and in our current awardees. Among our 2021 Research Scholars, more than a third will be working on projects aimed at developing novel prostate cancer diagnostic and treatment strategies, as well as a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the disease.

Because of the generous support of donors like you, we are able to provide funding to help the brightest minds conduct the best urology research. Foundation-funded research has led to advancements in such areas as the detection of aggressive prostate cancer by combining magnetic resonance imaging techniques with urine biomarkers in patients with newly diagnosed prostate cancer. It is these developments that make us proud to support the research journeys of many talented scientists of diverse backgrounds, including:

  • Timothy Daskivich, MD. Dr. Daskivich, a Foundation Rising Star, is conducting research to improve the quality of life for men with advanced prostate cancer and further fine-tune the shared decision-making process between patients with advanced prostate cancer and their physicians in hopes of reducing any overtreatment of the disease.
  • Ashanda Esdaille, MD. Dr. Esdaille is a new Foundation Research Scholar whose research will offer a better understanding of the impact of racial differences in the pharmacological modulation of the androgen deprivation therapy response on a systemic level and within prostate cancer microenvironments.
  • Deborah Kaye, MD. Dr. Kaye’s research is aimed at finding breakthroughs in patient care, including decreasing the financial burden for patients with advanced prostate cancer by further understanding provider decision making.
  • Keyan Salari, MD. Dr. Salari’s research will examine recombination deficiency as a determinant of prostate cancer progression to better guide precision therapy in patients with prostate cancer. Dr. Salari and Dr. Kaye (above) are both continuing the legacy of our Research Scholar Award in advancing prostate cancer research.
  • Yash Soni. Mr. Soni is a third-year medical student and recipient of the Foundation’s Nathirmal N. Lalchandani Summer Medical Student Fellowship award. Under mentorship from Dr. Himanshu Arora and Ranjith Ramasamy, Mr. Soni’s study will explore the therapeutic potential of tadalafil on castration-resistant prostate cancer to determine its therapeutic applicability as an anti-prostate cancer drug.

Further Educating Patients

As the world’s leading nonprofit urological health foundation, the Urology Care Foundation maintains one of largest and most dynamic libraries of urological patient education. With everything from fact sheets and brochures to videos, podcasts and blogs, the Foundation is proud to offer multiple forms of information, and in multiple languages, about this disease to men and their loved ones for free.

Please make sure to direct your patients to UrologyHealth.org/PCInfoCenter and ensure they receive these trusted resources during this crucial awareness month.

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