Contributed by John Linn, Chief Executive Officer, HIFU Prostate Services
As with September, which is officially prostate cancer awareness month, November is focused on men’s health and well-being and has been named “Movember” since 2003. During this month, men are encouraged to revive the fashion trend of wearing a moustache and ensure they have performed all the routine health screens to protect against prostate cancer and other illnesses. The primary goal of Movember is to diagnose, treat and prevent prostate cancer deaths that could have been avoided.
In just over 10 years, the Movember movement has raised over $700 million and helped fund over 1,200 research projects that are vital to men’s health including prostate and testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. You can learn more about Movember here and grow a moustache in support of the great cause.
As with any other disease, early detection and proper treatment selection is important for prostate cancer. Over the past five years, some urologists have discouraged routine prostate cancer screenings or pushed these back to later in life as some physicians felt the psychological burden of living with cancer or treating the disease was worse than diagnosing and selecting an effective treatment. This has led to prostate cancer cases that are being diagnosed at a later stage and often when a local or focal treatment is no longer an option. These patients that are diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer (spread outside the capsule), no longer have a curative treatment option and are often treated with chemotherapy or hormonal therapy, which is only palliative and has significant side effects.
Prostate cancer screening is simple and starts with a blood test to measure your PSA or prostate specific antigen. If your PSA is elevated, your physician will likely order a biopsy to test for cancerous tissue. If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer early enough, your treatment options include many curative options such as surgery or radiation or less invasive treatments such as HIFU.
During November, or Movember, take the time to have your PSA checked to prevent another prostate cancer death. If caught early, prostate cancer can be effectively treated with minimal impact to quality of life.
About the Author
John W. Linn serves as the chief executive officer. Prior to joining HIFU Prostate Services, Linn spent over 10 years working for SonaCare Medical, the worldwide leader in HIFU technologies, developer and manufacturer of the Sonablate HIFU system. Linn was the fourth employee and head finance executive at SonaCare and was instrumental in recruiting physicians and setting up international treatment facilities and joint ventures in Canada and South America.
Additionally, Linn led over $100 million in private equity and venture debt financings for SonaCare. While at SonaCare he oversaw the human resources and information technology departments, serving on the boards of UKHIFU, Ltd. and HIFU Canada Corporation.
Unfortunately, no photo of John with a moustache was available at the time of publishing this blog article. Maybe next year!