FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Christopher Pond
LEADING EXPERTS RELEASE CUTTING-EDGE INFORMATION ON PROSTATE CANCER SCREENING
Men are Encouraged to Know Risk Level Indicators, Talk to Their Doctors and Make Fully-Informed and Shared Decisions
Analysis to be Detailed at 8th Annual Prostate Cancer Awareness Day at State House
Boston, MA, March 23, 2016. Men need to have the most updated information about prostate cancer screening, based on the latest research. Individuals who have indicators of high levels of risk for prostate cancer are the most likely to benefit from screening, according to new, consensus-based educational information. This document was developed by the Independent “Blue Ribbon” Expert Panel, consisting of some of Massachusetts’ leading physicians and scientists in cooperation with the key experts at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
The cutting-edge information about prostate cancer screening and related options, released by the AdMeTech Foundation, focused on men at high risk of prostate cancer, including life-threatening (aggressive) disease. For the first time, multi-disciplinary world experts in clinical care, research, health disparities, epidemiology and public health were brought together to develop a consensus on educational messaging for high-risk individuals, which is based on the best and most current evidence.
“This educational document was created to empower and encourage men to take charge of their health by initiating a discussion on prostate cancer screening with their physicians in order to make fully-informed and shared decisions, based on their personal risks and preferences,” said Dr. Faina Shtern, AdMeTech’s President and CEO. “Our goal is to create a Massachusetts model of national leadership in ending prostate cancer as a public health crisis and a leading disparity.”
“The clinical community must address the challenges we face in effectively screening for prostate cancer,” said Dr. Adam Kibel, Chief of Urology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “Specifically, we need to focus on early detection for men at high risk of aggressive cancer, for whom curative treatment can save lives. Additionally, we need to reduce the potential harms of screening, including the over-diagnosis and over-treatment of slow-growing cancer, which may not progress or even cause symptoms in a man’s lifetime.”
AdMeTech’s Independent “Blue Ribbon” Expert Panel took an approach that highlighted five major areas:
- The importance of men’s awareness of the indicators of higher level of risks for prostate cancer, including aggressive disease, such as Black (including Hispanic) heritage, family history, increasing age (50 and above) and/or abnormal or suspicious screening results – and initiating discussions with their doctors;
- The best current evidence on the relationship between screening and patient outcomes, which indicates that early detection of aggressive prostate cancer saves lives;
- Men at high risk of aggressive prostate cancer are most likely to benefit from screening;
- There is low probability of finding prostate cancer and even smaller risk of diagnosing and treating slow-growing (harmless) prostate cancer in all American men who get screened each year. However, many individuals with screening-detected prostate cancer have harmless disease that historically, underwent invasive and unnecessary treatment, which may cause complications, reduce quality of life and increase health care costs;
- To reduce the risks of screening, it is critical for men to be aware that harmless disease can be safely managed with careful observation, termed “active surveillance”, which replaced invasive treatment in a significant number of men.
In addition to Shtern and Kibel, eleven doctors and scientists took part in research analysis over the last five months. “Patient awareness is particularly important now that the US Preventive Services Task Force recommended doctors to stop prostate cancer screening in all men and even related discussions,” said Dr. Richard Babayan, Professor and Chair of Urology at Boston University School of Medicine, President-Elect of the American Urologic Association and a member of the expert panel. “It has been reported recently that these recommendations have led to a significant reduction in screening and delayed diagnosis and treatment of aggressive malignancies and caused concerns about missed opportunities to prevent deaths and the long term consequences of metastatic disease.”
Another panel member, Dr. Mitchell Sokoloff, Professor and Chair of Urology at University of Massachusetts and Chief of Urology at UMass Memorial Health Care added: “The reduction in screening impacts high risk individuals disproportionately and increases health disparities. Emerging data highlights the critical importance of bringing information about the recent advances in screening, diagnosis and treatment to men who are at high risk of losing their lives to prostate cancer, which is curable when detected early.”
Prostate cancer is the most common and the second most lethal major (non-skin) malignancy in men. It is a leading health disparity, with 2.5 times higher mortality and 1.6 times higher incidence rates in Black (including Hispanic) men. According to the recent data from the National Cancer Institute, screening has significantly reduced the mortality of prostate cancer but has caused controversy, largely due to over-diagnosis and over-treatment of harmless cancers. However, over the last several years, leading academic centers and community healthcare providers have reported a sharp reduction in unnecessary procedures for harmless prostate cancer. These rapid shifts in patient care paradigms and other emerging evidence reflect concerted efforts to reduce harms associated with screening and highlight the importance of updated information for patient education.
The Independent “Blue Ribbon” Expert Panel also unanimously adopted the screening guidelines issued only recently (on February 26, 2016) by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), consisting of 23 top cancer hospitals, including Dana Farber Harvard Cancer Center. The goal of the NCCN guidelines is closely aligned with the educational messaging: To improve detection of aggressive prostate cancer, while reducing over-diagnosis and over-treatment of indolent diseases.
The Independent “Blue Ribbon” Expert Panel is an integral part of the AdMeTech Foundation-driven statewide campaign to create a Massachusetts model of national leadership in prostate cancer research, education and awareness, with primary focus on high-risk men. To provide strategic guidance for the campaign, AdMeTech established Prostate Cancer Action Council, which integrates efforts of the key leaders in medicine, advocacy and grassroots organizations, including but not limited to, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Massachusetts Prostate Cancer Coalition, and New England Area Conference (NEAC) of NAACP.
The research analysis will be detailed at the 8th Annual Prostate Cancer Awareness Day, which will take place at the Massachusetts State House’s Grand Staircase on March 31, 2016, between 10 am and 2 pm. This event will feature Governor Charlie Baker, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, Drs. Babayan and Sokoloff, and other key leaders of legislation, medicine, advocacy and the media.
The event’s Masters of Ceremonies will include Juan Cofield, President of NEAC NAACP; Karen Holmes Ward, Director of Public Affairs and Community Services for WCVB-TV (ABC affiliate) and ‘Silver Circle’ Lifetime Achievement inductee into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Boston/New England Chapter; and Dr. Mallika Marshall, an Emmy award-winning journalist and physician who serves as the regular Health Reporter at WBZ-TV in Boston. A practicing physician who is Board Certified in both internal medicine and pediatrics, Marshall serves on staff at Harvard Medical School and practices at the Massachusetts General Hospital’s (MGH) Chelsea Urgent Care Clinic and MGH Revere Health Center.
The Expert Panel members and corresponding contributors include:
Faina Shtern, MD, Chair and Organizer, President and CEO, AdMeTech Foundation
Richard Babayan, MD, Professor and Chairman, Department of Urology, Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center & President-Elect, American Urologic Association
Sigrid Carlsson, MD, PhD, MPH, Assistant Attending Epidemiologist, Department of Surgery (Urology Service), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Associate Professor of Experimental Urology, Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University, Sweden (Corresponding Contributor)
Anthony D’Amico, MD, PhD, Chief of Genitourinary Radiation Oncology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute & Professor of Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical School (Corresponding Contributor)
Adam Feldman, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Surgery and Director of Urologic Oncology Program, Harvard Medical School and Assistant in Urology, Massachusetts General Hospital
Adam Kibel, MD, Professor of Surgery and Chief of Urology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and
Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School
Lorelei Mucci, ScD, MPH, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Head, Cancer Epidemiology Track, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
Paul Nguyen, MD, Director of Prostate Brachytherapy and Clinical Trials for Genitourinary Radiation Oncology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical School
Mark Preston, MD, MPH, Instructor in Surgery, Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School
Jennifer Rider, ScD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health
Mitchell Sokoloff, MD, Professor and Chair, Department of Urology, University of Massachusetts Medical School and Chief of Urology, University of Massachusetts Memorial Health Care
Quoc-Dien Trinh, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School&Core Faculty, Center for Surgery and Public Health, Brigham And Women’s Hospital; Member, Programs in Cancer Delivery Research and Prostate Cancer, Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center
Andrew Vickers, Attending Research Methodologist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (Corresponding Contributor)
About AdMeTech Foundation: A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, based in Boston, MA, AdMeTech Foundation established the Manogram® Project, providing international leadership for groundbreaking programs in research, education and awareness to expedite advancement of precision approach to screening, early diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer (www.admetech.org).