Put down the razor! Accuray is once again celebrating Movember this November, joining the global cause of raising awareness of key men’s health issues — and prostate cancer, in particular. Here’s what you should know about this fun and important campaign:
What is Movember?
You’ve likely heard the term — and maybe even seen a few mustaches or moustaches (US vs. UK spelling) on colleagues and friends over the past decade. Movember started in Australia in the early 2000s by a small group of friends. The idea was simple: Grow a moustache. And when people ask about it, tell them you’re raising awareness about men’s health and prostate cancer. In 2004, Movember became an official fundraising campaign, and by 2007, Movember had spread to the US, UK and around the globe. Today, more than 22.6 million people have raised almost $1 billion in Movember campaigns.
What You Need to Know About Prostate Cancer Risk
- Globally, more than 1.4 million men are diagnosed with prostate cancer annually, making it the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among men worldwide.
- 10.8 million men worldwide are currently living with a prostate cancer diagnosis.
- Age is the biggest risk factor. Prostate cancer is rare in men under 50. But the rate jumps to 1 in 55 for those ages 50-59, 1 in 20 for 60-69, and 1 in 12 for men 70 and older. Nearly 60% of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65.
- African American men are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Early Detection Is Key
Treatment success rates for prostate cancer are high compared to most other types of cancer — but early detection is key. You hear this about most cancers. But the statistics on prostate cancer are startling — in a good way: About 90% of all prostate cancers are detected in early stages — still in a local or regional state — when treatment can be most successful. In fact, in the US, the 5-year survival rate for men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer is greater than 99%. Unfortunately, most men don’t experience any early warning signs or symptoms of prostate cancer, which is what makes regular screening especially important.
Should I Get Screened?
Because prostate cancer often grows slowly and silently, causing no symptoms until later stages, screening is a powerful tool in detecting prostate cancer. The Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test — a simple blood test — is the primary screening test for prostate cancer. You may have heard that there is some controversy around PSA testing for routine, annual screening for prostate cancer. You should know that there are no inherent health risks or side effects from PSA screenings. The main concern is that screening may catch slow-growing prostate cancers long before they require treatment. Many men diagnosed with low-risk and even intermediate-risk tumors can safely opt for what’s called active surveillance of the cancer: no interventional treatment, just close monitoring. But because some prostate cancers can progress faster, and because later-stage or higher-risk prostate cancers may still cause no other symptoms, medical and public health organizations recommend routine PSA screening for most older men.
Here’s the bottom line on prostate cancer screening:
- If you’re a man over 50, you need to talk to your doctor about PSA testing.
- If you’re African American, or if you have a family history of prostate cancer, you should talk to your doctor at age 45.
Accuray Technologies Leading the Way
For those men who do require treatment, the good news is that treatment success rates are better than most other types of cancer — and advances in treatment techniques and technologies continue to improve the long-term outlook. In 1970, only 2 in 3 men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer were disease-free five years later. Today, that number is nearly 100%.
Accuray is proud to say that the CyberKnife®, TomoTherapy® and Radixact® Systems have helped thousands of men with prostate cancer. Our innovative treatment delivery systems continue to lead the way in advancing what’s possible in the treatment of prostate cancer, giving clinicians unique treatment capabilities — and helping men return to a full, healthy life, as quickly and confidently as possible.
- Proven, non-invasive treatment option: CyberKnife and Radixact are commonly used as a powerful, non-invasive alternative to traditional surgery in treating low- to intermediate-risk prostate cancer — and are backed by more than a decade of clinical evidence.
- Shorter treatment schedules: CyberKnife and Radixact enable sophisticated types of hypofractionated and ultra-fractionated radiotherapy, including stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) with the CyberKnife and image-guided intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IG-IMRT) with the Radixact System. treatments that can be completed in as little as 4-5 sessions over 1-2 weeks, compared to 30-40 sessions over 8-10 weeks with conventional radiation therapy.
- Synchronized precision to mitigate side effects: Both CyberKnife and Radixact enable extraordinarily precise treatment delivery, including Synchrony® real-time motion synchronization. Synchrony revolutionizes radiotherapy for prostate cancer, because the prostate gland can move unpredictably throughout the course of treatment — as much as half an inch in as little as 30 seconds because of normal patient bodily functions (filling of the bladder, gas in the bowel, or even slight patient movement).1 Synchrony automatically corrects for this motion, delivering unprecedented protection for the sensitive structures surrounding the prostate to help mitigate the most common side effects of prostate cancer treatment.
- Clinical efficiency to expand access: We’re particularly proud of recent Accuray innovations that make hypo- and ultra-fractionated radiotherapy more clinically efficient than ever. Fast, high-fidelity imaging, automated treatment planning workflows and VOLO treatment optimization are all helping to make the most advanced radiotherapy treatments practical for more practices and accessible to more patients.