The Legacy of a Legend…Farewell, Mr. Palmer

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image courtesy of arniesarmy.org

Recently, golf legend, Arnold Palmer passed away. We’re all aware of the legacy of golf achievements the man left. Over 9o championships, in addition to 18 wins in foreign championships and 12 wins on the senior tour he was not only a force on the golf course, but in the community of cancer research and treatment.

This is a less well-known part of Arnold’s history, as he was more concerned with moving the cause forward than personal notority. At age 67 in 1997, Arnold had a PSA screening test for prostate cancer. His PSA had been rising for 2-3 years and had resulted in 2 prior normal prostate biopsies. But this time, his third biopsy showed him to have prostate cancer. He went to Mayo clinic where the doctors discussed the treatment options. Wanting the highest chance for cure, Arnold opted for surgery to remove his prostate. The findings showed enough risk for possible recurrence that he then received 7 weeks of radiation therapy. Remarkably, only 6 weeks later, after physical therapy, Arnold was back on the golf course competing in tournaments.

He won the admiration of his fans (known as Arnie’s Army) and all Americans by becoming a lifelong spokesperson for prostate cancer control. He advocated prostate cancer screening with PSA. Regarding screening, and in keeping with current recommendations, he felt that men’s lives would be better if they just talked to their doctor about it. “That’s health and living”, he said, and felt that being healthy is the “good life”.

Arnold also formed the Arnold Palmer Prostate Center in Palm Springs at the Eisenhower Lucy Curie Cancer Center, and then supported the Arnold Palmer Pavilion at U. Pittsburgh Medical Center and Latrobe Area Hospital. Because of his advocacy, many more men have been cured of prostate cancer and are survivors.

Funny Man Ben Stiller: Prostate cancer test ‘saved my life’

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Actor Ben Stiller revealed on Tuesday he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014. The tumor was surgically removed three months later, in September 2014, and Stiller has been cancer-free since.

Stiller shared the news on Howard Stern’s Sirius XM radio show, and in an essay posted online.

According to Stiller, it was the prostate-specific antigen test, a blood test known as the PSA, that saved his life. He was tested and treated in his 40s.

To Read More at Cnn.com Click Here!   Be sure to check out the infographics below to see what risk factors affect you!

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Dr. Kenneth Palmer on CNN Español

Dr. Kenneth Palmer, International Prostate Cancer Foundation Secretary & Director of Global Robotics Institute in Latin America, was on CNN Español. Dedicated to educating prostate cancer patients and their families, Dr. Palmer discusses many prostate cancer related topics. The full interview can be viewed below.

Know Your Stats

Long after they’ve taken off their cleats and left the field, football stars are using their greatness to influence the best football fans, men! America’s most popular sport is being utilized to help develop a very important game plan for prevention,  screening and treatment of prostate cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men, second to skin cancer. For this reason,  it is crucial that men take the time to learn the stats about prostate cancer.

Below is a great infograph courtesy of The Dana Farber Cancer Institute, that does just that!

Additionally, men can gain an understanding of their prostate cancer risk by taking advantage of the Know Your Stats campaign, developed in partnership by the NFL and the Urology Care Foundation. In the fifth season of the campaign, Hall of Famer and former Super Bowl Champ Michael Haynes has stepped up to be a spokes person, traveling the country to help educate and inspire men to understand this potentially deadly disease.

Click this link and sign the Know Your Stats Pledge, vowing to:

  • Know your risk or encourage men in your life to know theirs.
  • Talk to your doctor about prostate cancer testing or encourage others to do so.
  • Raise awareness about prostate cancer.
  • Support prostate cancer research.

 

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

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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.

Vero Beach Men’s Health Forum – An Educational Success!!

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Men and their Spouses Register for Men’s Health Forum

The International Prostate Cancer Foundation successfully perpetuates their misison in the 2013 Vero Beach Men’s Health Forum.  The event, in partnership with Florida Hospital’s Global Robotics Institute, was held with efforts to promote research, educate men and encourage prostate cancer screening.  Men and their spouses were invited to learn about men’s healthcare maintenance, basic screening practices and advanced nutritional and healthy lifestyle practices.  With well over 70 community members in attendance, the program has more than fulfilled it’s purpose.

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An Attentive and Educated Audience Quiz our Expert Panel

Those in attendance benefited from expert lectures and discussions on topics including:

  • Importance of Health Care Maintenance
  • Basic Health Care Screening That Every Man Should Have
  • Diet and Exercise Recommendations
  • Cardiac Risk Factors and Routine Maintenance
  • Common Diseases of Aging:  Diabetes, Hypertension and Obesity Management
  • Prostate Health Maintenance and Cancer Screening
  • A Man’s Perspective on Health Maintenance – Personal Testimony – Oscar Robinson
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Dr. Skip Franco Reviews Recommendations for Men’s Health Maintenence

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A Full House
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Men’s Health Panel

We would like to recognize IPCF founder Dr. Vipul Patel along with Dr. Skip Franco and Mr. Edward Mellet for organizing and participatig in the event.  In addition, the forum featured NBA All-Star Legend Oscar Robinson as guest speaker, along with faculty members Mr. Bill Kelly, Dr. Atul Madan, David Robinson MD, Dr. Ranjan Perera and Cynthia Buffington PHD.

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Our Expert Faculty

Special thanks to all who attended. We encourage you to share your experience and spread knowledge as our hope is to extend this program to communities nationwide.

For full highlights and photos visit The International Prostate Cancer Foundation on Facebook & view the full album.

IPCF Highlights the Prostate Cancer Roundtable’s National Policy UPDATES

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Prostate Cancer – an ongoing battle, a prevalent topic of concern and a cause to support!  At the International Prostate Cancer Foundation (IPCF), we fight daily to educate and raise awareness, knowing however that this battle is not one to be conquered alone.  It is with respect and appreciation that we highlight the current efforts of the Prostate Cancer Roundtable as they update their National Policy Agenda to better serve those at risk of this deadly disease.  Only with combined recognition of the threat can we impact necessary change.

With similar goals to the IPCF, the Prostate Cancer Roundtable acts as a forum to establish and ensure a shared set of valued legislative and scientific priorities affecting the prevention, detection of risk, diagnosis, and management of prostate cancer.  Recently, the members have updated this shared national policy agenda for use in 2013.  The result?  A basis for discussions with policy and key decision makers, that will hold strong and push for progress.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) was a main topic of focus as the updated agenda would seek revisions to the decision making process of the USPSTF.  Specifically, to make certain that the USPSTF make all efforts to gather input from those whom are experts in the particular area of preventative services under review.  To date, the 16 volunteer members of the USPSTF had been those entrusted with gathering evidence for use in decision making.  This process often neglected referencing different specialized experts for differing diseases.  No longer will decisions without full reference to patient advocacy groups, specialty medical groups & federal agencies be accepted.

Agenda priorities such as these are sure to have a standing impact.  We have spoken about the negative impact of which previous USPSTF decisions have had on prostate cancer screening & prevention and we see this a positive step forward, preventing such occurrences.

Along with the above, other fundamental priorities of the agenda include to:

  • Increase funding for Prostate Cancer specific research up to $120 million/year
  • Increase federal funding for Cancer in general
  • Pass the Bill to create an Office on Men’s Health within the HHS
  • Establish a Prostate Cancer Scientific Advisory Board within the FDA

It is with a sense of relief that the International Prostate Cancer Foundation presents such efforts to you, as we are in agreement.  Every day presents a challenge, however it is becoming quite clear that advocates are stepping up to the battle and working to create an integrated legislative force of support with respect to prostate cancer and all those affected by it.

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.