A Look Back… A Look Ahead 2012-2013

Dear Friends,

Thank you for being part of our fellowship of men and their families as advocates for the battle against prostate cancer.

2012 was a breakout year for the International Prostate Cancer Foundation as we received our initial funding and began our men’s advocacy campaign in the fight against prostate cancer.  We thank you for your support last year as our impact has been felt globally.

While 2012 yielded some big wins there also arrived some larger battles.  Men globally were shocked by the US Preventative Task Force ill-advised recommendations to primary care physicians against PSA screening in all men.

  • Prostate cancer is the second leading killer in men and 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed in their lifetime.
  • Over the last 20 years we have seen a 40% decline in mortality largely attributed to early diagnosis from PSA testing.

We believe that taking away screening will lead to increased mortality as tumors will be increasingly diagnosed in more advanced stages. The American Cancer Society, the American Urological Association, the International Prostate Cancer Foundation and a host of patient advocacy groups have solidly banded together to refute the recommendations of the task force and have asked for the issue to be re-examined by more qualified experts in the field of cancer by and having them on the panel.    It makes little sense to do away with a screening method that has been effective in reducing cancer mortality rates of the second-leading cancer in men.  This is especially the case when there is no other screening method in place to replace it.  Taking away a man’s right to know he has cancer is a grave injustice to all men.  The IPCF is very active in both patient education and in legislative activities to attempt to overturn this recommendation.  We have began an online petition which has gathered over 5000 signatures and we have begun to lobby the legislature  We are continuing this fight to give men back their rights.

Join the fight, save lives!

Sincerely,

Vipul Patel, MD FACS

Founder, International Prostate Cancer Foundation

Medical Director, Global Robotics Institute

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IPCF PROSTATE ADVOCACY HEROES

I would like to thank our executive board for their generosity and dedication to our cause.  Our board is without a doubt the finest of any prostate cancer organization, from around the globe and with extremely distinguished backgrounds. You can meet them all by clicking here. In this newsletter we would like to pay tribute to our IPCF heroes who are making a difference.

LEGISLATIVE IPCF HERO:  SENATOR NIKKI SETZLER
*Passed Legislation in South Carolina to restore PSA Screening in Men

SENATOR NIKKI SETZLER,

EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER OF THE IPCF AND SENATOR FOR S. CAROLINA

Senator Setzler has been a leader in the South Carolina legislature for District 26.  He is a prostate cancer survivor and advocate.  His address at the senate floor regarding his own diagnosis can be seen here.  He has helped us take the fight against the US preventative task forces recommendations to the South Carolina legislature where it has passed the senate.  We hope to continue this in other states.  We salute Senator Setzler for his dedication to our prostate cancer survivors and for being the pioneering force in the legislature.

SCIENTIFIC IPCF HERO: DR RAJAN PERERA
*Began a Genetic Screening Initiative for Prostate Cancer

Perera Select_Lab coat_2x3_JL09_7665

DR. RAJAN PERERA

EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER OF THE IPCF AND LEAD RESEARCHER IN PROSTATE CANCER GENETICS AT THE SANFORD BURNHAM MRI

In 2013, the International Prostate Cancer Foundation has partnered with the Sanford & Burnham Medical Research Institute and their expertise in genetic sequencing to introduce new research avenues for the detection of genetic markers for prostate cancer. Our executive board member Dr. Ranjan Perera of the Burnham institute has taken up the challenge of prostate cancer genomics.

PROSTATE CANCER SURVIVOR ADVOCATE IPCF HERO
MR. OSCAR ROBERTSON
*Global Patient Advocate in Educating Men about Prostate Cancer

MR. OSCAR ROBERTSON

EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER AND NBA All-Star LEGEND

Thanks to the involvement of Oscar Robinson the foundation message and goals were covered by media giants including ESPN, YahooSports!, FOX, The Associated Press and many more thus raising awareness for the cause.  Read about it on our blog here.

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IPCF MISSION: EDUCATION FOR PATIENTS AND PHYSICIANS

This last year has seen many accomplishments, as we have reached significant milestones allowing the International Prostate Cancer Foundation to make a recognized impact with respect to our mission in the fight against prostate cancer.

In late 2011, the start of programs working to help support and educate urologists nationally and internationally acted as a gateway to greater undertakings in 2012.  The highlight of this year’s achievements was the much anticipated Foundation  Launch & Celebration of Life Gala Event.

The morning of the Gala, the Foundation hosted an Education Symposium. Patients and supporters alike attended to learn more about Prostate Cancer Facts, Advances in Screening and Genetic Research, and Life after a Prostatectomy – just to name a few.

With such talented and educated advocates in attendance, this was a must-attend event for local men. To see videos of the educational presentations, please click here.  To see photos of the education event, please click here.

The official Foundation Launch Gala Event drew men’s advocates from around the globe with over 20 countries represented at our inaugural event to launch our fight against prostate cancer and against those agencies attempting to eliminate screening programs.  Many of our esteemed Board Members and Cancer Survivors spoke on behalf of the foundation, and about why it is so important to join the fight, create awareness, support research, educate about prostate cancer and stress the importance of PSA screening. To see a full gallery of the Celebration of Life

Gala, please click here. The IPCF also promoted patient and physician education by sponsoring local and global events.  In April, we were proud to be a sponsor for the 16th Annual Black Men’s Health Summit held in Orlando, FL by monetary donation to provide free health screenings for more than 3,000 men.  You can read more about it here. Such endeavors have worked to establish the International Prostate Cancer Foundation as a prominent contributor in prostate cancer education and awareness.

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IPCF MISSION: GLOBAL SCREENING

Continuing to raise awareness, the International Prostate Cancer Foundation, in partnership with Change.org, released its first petition urging professionals and community members to stand up against negative PSA ratings.  A decision set forth by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force with the potential to have severe damaging effects on the future of prostate cancer detection and treatment.  To date, the petition has reached over 5,000 signatures and continues to be a focus for growth.  To sign or forward the petition to your friends, please click here.Furthermore, 2012 was the initiation of several donation campaigns and sponsorships.  Through social media outlets such as Facebook, supplemental funding was made possible by way of a month-long Mimic Technologies Partnership and our Text-2-Give campaign (here).  We persistently encourage those who wish to make a difference to text “FIGHT” to “27722” as a donation of $5 will be made directly to the International Prostate Cancer Foundation.

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IPCF MISSION: PROMOTION OF CLINICAL AND BASIC SCIENCE RESEARCH IN GENETIC TESTING

In partnership with the Sanford-Burnham Institute, we have hired researchers who will attempt to decode the genetics of prostate cancer.  The funding for the post-doctoral fellowship was provided via the IPCF from the generosity of our donors and advocates.   Additionally we have undertaken a prospective study examining the tissue of high risk prostate cancer patients for genetic signatures that will potential predict the cancers lethal nature.  Our goal is to develop genetic analysis methods that will help future generations avoid contracting the disease or helping cure it early in its course.Without your support and generosity none of this would have been possible, we have made a global impact in a short time and our platform has positioned us to make a truly meaningful difference in the lives of men already diagnosed and in their progeny for the future generations. Now is our critical time to action.  WE are facing healthcare reform and special interest groups who wish to eliminate screening and therefore increase levels of mortality from prostate cancer.  WE will need your help to take this fight to the next level and to accomplish our core objectives.  I urge you to support us. Please take the time to donate whatever you can and join us in giving prostate cancer the finger! For more information on how you can help us you may contact us directly here.

The Mountain Within

“Prostate cancer doesn’t care how fit you are, how high you climb or how much you serve your country….. I am living proof that early detection saves lives.” – Karim Mella

In October of last year IPCF chairman Dr. Patel performed surgery on his 5000th patient, our very own Karim. A striking testimonial and profound spirit, we are thrilled to feature him as our “Face for PSA Testing.” Strongly believing that his survival hinged on early detection, he has generously accepted this role. We express sincere gratitude for the time that he has so willingly volunteered, his impact is cannot be measured!

May 21st 2011, Karim Mella ascends Mount Everest unaware of the underlying shock soon to come. A diagnosis that would make even this most recent feat almost insignificant. For a man not easily intimidated, the words ‘You have prostate cancer’ proved to strike a brutal mental blow.

A marvelous man in his endeavors, Karim Mella is a life that could have been a great loss if not saved through the results of PSA testing. His accomplishments as a physically fit 44-year-old father and husband would leave most anyone certain that his health warranted little concern for decline.

Since age 11 Karim has been climbing the mountains of the Dominican Republic. Serving as a sergeant in the military he has visited and explored 22 countries including South America, Africa, Alaska, Argentina and Peru. All of this leading to his most impressive feat yet, conquering Mount Everest. After climbing Everest in May of 2011 Mella felt invisible he says, unknowingly however, cancer WILL follow you to the top of the world.

Karim showed no symptoms of prostate cancer upon his return check-up. Luckily you may say, his PSA test results returned with high numbers indicating a possible complication with the prostate. Under the recommendations of Dr. Patel this lead to a cancerous biopsy and finally a frightening diagnosis, ‘You have Prostate Cancer’.

Concerned about the outlook for his future Karim confided in Patel for reassurance. With confidence Dr. Patel explained that key factors were acting in Karim’s favor: “Not only have we diagnosed at an early age, but also at an early grade within the early stages of progression.”

After his surgery in October of 2011 Karim exhibits little hesitation as he jumps right back into life…literally (watch the video)! Completing a Half-Ironman in May 2012 he continues to prepare for the New York City Ironman in August of this year. Also he has organized a trip to the Dominican Republic where he will lead 50 low-income children on an expedition into the beautiful mountains in which he begun his journey.

“Cancer does not discriminate. Awareness is our most powerful weapon.”

These are the words of Karim Mella as he advocates the use of PSA testing in the early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of prostate diseases. He thanks Celebration Health and Dr. Patel his words being, “I could not have asked for any better.”

Follow Karim’s lead by joining his signature on our petition demanding that the USPSTF withdraw recommendations against PSA testing.

PSA Petition soon to reach 5,000 signatures….. Let’s shoot for 10,000! CREATE ACTION!!

We want to first thank our community for all of your continued efforts, support, and interest as you follow the ongoing developments surrounding this cause. Through our combined initiatives we have made considerable accomplishments and enthusiastically update you on the status of our progress.

As so many of you have signed and shared our petition, urging the USPSTF to recant their negative decision toward PSA testing, please take pride as we announce successfully reaching upwards of 4,400 signatures! Progressing at this rate we have high hopes of reaching 5,000 by this months end, if not sooner. Keeping with an aggressive approach this only motivates us further as we push toward the 10,000 signature mark! It is with confidence that we ask our community to maintain their persistence, spreading the word and calling upon their peers to sign our petition. Reaching 10,000 will be monumental in receiving national coverage and recognition. With this, key decision makers including congress, the media and the global community will be all but forced to take notice and take ACTION! Together we can CHANGE.