If you know a family member, friend or neighbor who hasn't had a recent exam for prostate cancer please encourage them to call (toll free) 855-552-7200 ext. 800 to register.
The Maine Coalition to Fight Prostate Cancer is offering a free and confidential prostate cancer screening on Saturday, June 10th, from 9 AM to 1 PM in Bath. A doctor will be available to perform a digital rectal examination and take a blood draw for a PSA test.
Space is limited. Participation is by appointment only and men over 40 are welcome. Please call (toll free) 855-552-7200 ext. 800 to register.
One in six Maine men will get prostate cancer. Screening is a good way to help know your risk and be able to make informed choices about treatment options.
Screening in Calais
This September, Calais Regional Hospital physician Dr. Peter Wilkinson graciously volunteered to staff the Free Prostate Cancer Screening event at the hospital. The Maine Coalition to Fight Prostate Cancer was on on hand to provide educational information and greet all of the screening participants. Thank you Dr. Wilkinson.
Pictured are Dr. Wilkinson along with MCFPC Board Members Ole and Sandra Jaeger.
PSA Testing Declining
Primary care physicians have reduced testing for prostate cancer by 55% since the USPSTF published their D Recommendation, testing went from 36.5% to 16.4%. Urologists during this same period reduced testing by 11%, from 38.7% to 34.5%. The net result of the USPSTF action is an increase in the number of men first presenting with metastatic prostate cancer. When my paternal grandfather was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer there were no tests and 80% of men were diagnosed at an incurable stage. See Cancer Network article for for the latest results of the United States Preventive Services Task Force D Recommendation.
We need to find reliable sources that can help explain the number of unnecessary deaths that have resulted from the USPSTF action.
There is now a new effort to stop testing all men over the age of 70, so our environment is actually getting worse.
- Terry Kungel
Two new videos that feature several of the cancer support centers in Maine have recently been produced by the Maine Coalition to Fight Prostate Cancer (MCFPC) in cooperation with Time Warner Cable of Maine. All of the MCFPD videos may be viewed here on our website.
The first video "Cancer and Your Life - Cancer Support Centers in Maine" was recorded in May 2015 and hosted by Michael Jones, Board Advisor to MCFPC. In this video, we learn more about some of the wonderful support services that exist in Maine to help those on their cancer journey. Guests include Mary Dempsey, Assistant Director of the Patrick Dempsey Center of Hope and Healing in Lewiston, ME., Mark Smith, educator, who continues to deal with prostate cancer and Michael Reisman, the Executive Director for the Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center in Ellsworth, ME.
Part 9 of the series "Cancer and Your Life - Cancer Support Centers in Maine - Part 2" was recorded in January 2016 and hosted by Michael Jones Board Advisor to MCFPC. In this video, we continue to learn more about some of the wonderful support services that exist in Maine to help those on their cancer journey. Guests include Nicole Avery, Executive Director of Cancer Community Center of South Portland, Nelson Leavitt, one of the founders of MCFPC and Sue Craib, founder of the Cancer Resource Center of Western Maine.
The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine is “Leading the Search for Tomorrow's Cures"
The Jackson Laboratory Cancer Center (JAXCC), a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center and their programs...drive research toward identifying precise interventions to prevent cancer from progressing to an untreatable state. Cancer researchers at The Jackson Laboratory are driving development of new and better clinical strategies for treating cancer.
Clearly, Jackson Laboratory goals resonate with our prostate cancer community.
While attending the Downeast Cancer Conference in Bar Harbor on November 11, 2015, members of the Maine Coalition to Fight Prostate Cancer were offered a tour of the Jackson Laboratory facility. It happened to be a particularly exciting day for Jackson Labs as that evening they announced that they had won yet another grant, this one for $5.5 million to one of their spinoffs, Cyteir Therapeutics, to study DNA repair and autoimmune disorders.
The Jackson Laboratory has been an 85-year phenomenon and they employ over 1,700 people in their three facilities, with 1,200 at their Bar Harbor location. While members of MCFPC were there, they learned that Jackson Labs was hiring more people and at first glance it seemed to be an extraordinary place to work, with excellent opportunities and perks.
If you plan to be in Bar Harbor this summer, you might want to join an exciting scheduled tour at the lab - but you will need to make a reservation in advance. To learn more about this innovative lab go to their website at www.jax.org.
Sen. Angus King Talks About the Importance of Early Detection
Many men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and with any cancer, early detection increases survival rates. Senator Angus King shares a very personal story in hope of encouraging others to get the necessary screenings.
According to the Senator's press release, "Senator King had experienced no symptoms or signs of the disease, but a routine medical exam in April revealed some abnormalities in his bloodwork indicating possible prostate cancer. Shortly after, a biopsy confirmed the diagnosis. A series of body scans over the last month showed no sign of spread outside of the prostate area, substantially improving the prognosis for successful treatment."
Calais Regional Hospital Offers Cancer Exercise Program
Cancer-Related Fatigue (CRF) is the most common side effect of cancer treatment and affects nearly 70% of all cancer patients. Cancer Cachexia is also a side effect in about 50% of patients.
If you or a loved one has CRF or Cancer Cachexia, this program can help restore the sense of health, energy, and well-being that may be missing.
The Cancer Rehabilitation program at Calais Regional Hospital is staffed by Candace Kelley-Welch, PT. Candace is a physical therapist with over 10 years of experience and has completed intensive training at the Rocky Mountain Cancer Institute in Greely, CO, where she earned her certification as a Cancer Exercise Specialist.
Talk to your physician about a referral to physical therapy for cancer rehabilitation. And, if you live in the Calais Regional Hospital area, Candace Kelley-Welch, PT, will work with you and your family to facilitate cancer treatment with fitness.
Medicare Stops Covering Vacuum Erection Devices
"Since 2006, Congress has banned Medicare Part D coverage of medications for erectile dysfunction, too, after Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, scoffed at “lifestyle drugs” and said taxpayers wouldn’t foot the tab for “Grandpa’s Viagra.”
That leaves millions of men with no Medicare option for what we used to call impotence, except far more expensive and invasive penile implant surgery."
The Maine Coalition to Fight Prostate Cancer has been in touch with Senator Angus King's office about this issue and we have learned that it is a statutory change and would require legislation to correct. They are checking into this and will be getting back to us.
We are outraged that this change occurred without our knowledge and without our input. For some men, after treatment for prostate cancer, the use of the vacuum erection device (VED) is the most effective way of overcoming erectile dysfunction (ED).
Maine Caregiver Act Becomes Law
LD 666, An Act To Allow a Patient To Designate a Caregiver in the Patient's Medical Record, ensures that when you are about to be discharged from the hospital, not only will you receive important information about your care, but the person you have named will be contacted by the hospital and will receive information about “...medication management, injections, wound care, and transfers...,” etc. This is vital because so often patients are discharged while still feeling the effects of the anesthesia, and having someone else also receive the information can often mean the difference in the quality of home care. It will surely be a factor in reducing anxiety, possibly avoiding infections and hospital re-admissions.
This bill was introduced by Rep. Drew Gattine and had the strong support of AARP who shepherded it through the legislative process. The Maine Coalition to Fight Prostate Cancer offered testimony to the Health and Human Services committee. The bill passed through both the Maine Senate and House but was vetoed by Gov. LePage. The veto was overridden unanimously by both branches of the Legislature and will now become law. While the legislation no doubt needs improving and strengthening, it is a good first step for so many Mainers
MCFPC on Issues That Matter
MCFPC President, Terry Kungel, was interviewed by Robert Picone of Biddeford on a program called Issues That Matter, broadcast on cable TV in Biddeford. In this 38 minute program, Terry and Robert discuss prostate cancer, cancer screening, and more...
The Maine Coalition to Fight Prostate Cancer has a brochure/flyer that you may download, print out and share with friends and family.
ASCO 2014 Plenary Session: Results From the CHAARTED Trial June 09, 2014
By Sarah Weiss, M.D.
At a plenary session at the ASCO Annual Meeting, Christopher Sweeney, MBBS, presented the results of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) phase III randomized CHAARTED trial, which looked at whether the addition of upfront chemotherapy to hormonal therapy improved overall survival in patients with hormone-sensitive metastatic prostate cancer. The study was based on the fact that docetaxel is known to improve overall survival in metastatic prostate cancer patients who have progressed on androgen deprivation therapy, and it addressed the question of whether upfront docetaxel also confers an overall survival advantage for these patients.
The CHAARTED trial enrolled 790 patients, diagnosed with hormone-sensitive metastatic prostate cancer between July 2006 and November 2012, who were known to have adequate organ function in order to undergo treatment with docetaxel chemotherapy. If the patients had already been on androgen deprivation therapy, it had to be for 24 months or less, and they could not have progressed within 12 months. Patients were stratified by age (younger or older than age 70); ECOG performance status of 0–1 vs 2; whether adjuvant androgen deprivation therapy had been administered within 12 months; and high- vs low-volume disease, with high-volume disease being defined as having the presence of visceral metastases and/or four or more bone metastases.
There was 1:1 randomization to androgen deprivation therapy alone vs androgen deprivation therapy with the addition of docetaxel at a dose of 75 mg/m2 every 3 weeks for 6 cycles that had to be started within 4 months of the inception of androgen deprivation therapy. The primary endpoint was overall survival, and the study was designed to detect a 33% improvement in overall survival.
The results reported were in favor of adding docetaxel to androgen deprivation therapy in men with hormone-sensitive metastatic prostate cancer. It was found that androgen deprivation therapy plus docetaxel resulted in a median overall survival of 57.6 months (hazard ratio = 0.61; P = .0003) compared with 44 months in the androgen deprivation therapy–alone arm. In stratifying the patients according to high-volume vs low-volume disease, the benefit for docetaxel therapy was found to be more apparent in the high-volume metastatic group vs the low-volume metastatic group, although longer follow-up will be required to further evaluate the benefit for low-volume disease.
As commented on in the plenary discussion, there is a need for the development of better models on who the "high-" and "low-" volume disease groups should include. It was shown, for example, that a patient with four small bone metastases in their ribs would be considered to have high-volume disease and thus would be recommended to receive docetaxel based on the overall survival benefit in this study. However, a patient with one large bony metastatic lesion in their hip would not qualify as having high-volume disease based on the authors' definition; however, he or she may benefit from docetaxel despite their metastases being classified as low-volume.
Overall, the CHAARTED trial is an important, positive study that may change our management of patients with hormone-sensitive metastatic prostate cancer.