Research and Movember

Since I actually grew a scraggly mustache and some of you contributed, I am dedicating this post to Movemeber. They just released a video you can watch here. I think the positive message is terrific, although I personally do not believe we will “put prostate cancer out of business” as Jonathan says. My reality is that cancer is a disease of aging and will always be with us. Prostate cancer is no exception. If we age, we accumulate DNA damage, although some studies suggest it is more the cellular response to DNA damage than the DNA damage itself that does us in. Our telomeres shorten, and our ability to whack the bad cells in us slowly gets weaker. 100 years ago, very few men lived long enough to get prostate cancer. Now, most men in developed countries will probably live long enough to do so as you can see from this table.

So, our goal is to leave the unimportant prostate cancers alone, and keep men who have the more aggressive ones alive and in good health for as long as possible. We have lots of new and developing tools to help us with this, and for the most part, I think prostate cancer is already a “chronic illness”, even though some of us, sure enough, will die from it. Fortunately, even now, that is only about 3/100 men. So keep exercising, don’t smoke, eat the right things, and die of something else if at all possible, and as late as your genes will let you.

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