Another Birthday Celebration. Nice Try Cancer.

Jeff turns 55 today!

He’s officially eligible for an AARP senior discount. I got excited when I thought about the discounts we might be able to get now that he has his ‘official’ seniors card. I told him it’s time to start testing and see what deals we can score. He rolled his eyes. I think I’m more excited. Crack me up.

55 is too young for a man to be battling metastatic prostate cancer. The median age of a man with stage 4 prostate cancer is in the mid-seventies. The median age at death from prostate cancer is 80 years old. 

1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.

Much of the literature and research on prostate cancer states that most men will die with prostate cancer; not from prostate cancer. 

In general prostate cancer has excellent survival rates, but death rates are higher in African-American men, men who have advanced stage cancer, and men who are between the ages of 75 and 84. 

What the research is also showing is that when younger men, like Jeff, are diagnosed with prostate cancer, it tends to be a more rare, aggressive variant. Adding to the complexity is the lack of published research (there’s a lot of research underway) which creates challenges when determining the treatment protocol of someone with a rare subtype of prostate cancer. Fortunately, we’re tapping into the experts at Seattle Cancer Center Alliance with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research, MD Anderson, and the Mayo Clinic. 

Early onset prostate cancer tends to be aggressive, striking down men in the prime of their life. These fast-growing tumors in young men might be entirely missed by screening because the timeframe is short before they start to show clinical symptoms,” says Kathleen A. Cooney, M.D., professor of internal medicine and urology at the University of Michigan.

There are quality resources online that provide prostate cancer support. Below are several we have found valuable.

So, nice try cancer. Today, we celebrate a milestone birthday together. 

Tomorrow, we’ll focus on you. It’s scan day.

Must-Have Resources: