The Fight Against Prostate Cancer

Posted 4 years ago

On average: 

Men die six years earlier than women

1 in 8 men are diagnosed in their lifetime

9.9 million men live the disease, globally

Let that sink in for a moment…

For such a common disease, it has only recently become highlighted as equally as pervasive in men as breast cancer is in women. 15 years ago, general awareness of prostate cancer was low, and research to understand the disease was underfunded. The truth is that it’s the second leading cancer affecting men. Because of this, the ambition of both the Movember Foundation and The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, and the funds that riders are raising year in year out have helped researchers fight back against the disease. At The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, we are devoting our lives with the funds that everyone raises to helping experts put prostate cancer out of business. But we’re not there yet, we still need better diagnostic tools to understand the varying forms of prostate cancer, and improved tests to determine the best treatment methods for each patient based on their own unique biology and genetics. As each patient is unique and requires personalised treatment, they also require personal care – we’re looking beyond the increased survival rate to ensure that we increase quality of life in correlation with survival. This can be achieved through improved resources in pre and post-treatment to aid in decision making and treatment choices, and mental health and family support before and after treatment. As you can see, we still have a long way to go, but there is one important thing all men can do to make sure that, no matter who you are and what type of treatment you require, you get it when you need it…

The answer is simple: EARLY DETECTION.

Early detection is the key to success, leading to a 98% survival rate. Quite an impressive figure, particularly when compared with the 26% survival rate if the cancer has moved outside of the prostate. 

Not sure if you should get checked? Well, this might help you decide:

If you are 50 or over, you should speak to your doctor; and if you have a history of prostate cancer in your family, or if you are of African or Caribbean descent, start the conversation at 45. This advice varies geographically, but this is a great base to work with.

You know when you need to do, but the big question here is, how?

Now, the unspoken situation that every man fears – getting checked. Gentlemen, it’s not what you think. Gone are the days of the scary, uncomfortable, and invasive procedures. Now, it’s as simple as a routine blood test. This test is used to determine the measurement of Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) concentration in the blood and is now the primary method of testing for prostate cancer. 

Now, how will we know that we are actually making a difference with the funds that are raised? As a global charity, Movember is uniquely positioned to foster collaboration and innovation across a wide range of markets and disciplines. This allows the funds to be invested in order to achieve greater and faster outcomes, and our goals reflect this. By 2030, DGR and Movember’s collective ambition is to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25%. This means a  50% reduction in deaths from prostate cancer, a 25% reduction in rates of male suicide, and a 50% reduction in the number of men experiencing serious ongoing mental and physical side-effects from cancer treatment. But how are we actually doing this, and where is the money going? This the 14.5 million-dollar question we get asked daily, and despite our annual investment reports being accessible here on our website, we’ve broken that information down for you.

A total of AUD $14,505,342 raised from the 2016, 2017 and 2018 DGR Campaigns has been invested in men’s health programs globally by the Movember Foundation. A full list of funded programs is available here.

What are the funds from DGR and Movember really doing? Movember is a major funder of prostate research internationally and has now established the largest ever global alliance of researchers and health experts, working together in a coordinated way. 

Movember’s biomedical research portfolio includes over 447 research projects around the world, which have so far led to the development of 45 new treatments; around a third of these are currently being tested in clinical trials. One of the trials supported by Movember is taking place at Queen’s University Belfast, where a team of researchers led by Professor Joe O’Sullivan are looking at using two types of radiotherapy to treat advanced prostate cancer. 

One man who took part in this ground-breaking trial is David Livingston, a grandfather of two from Northern Ireland, who was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer that had spread to his bones. David was told he had 12 months to live. After taking part in the trial, David was told that his spine is almost clear of the cancer. He no longer needs crutches to walk and is able to go on holiday and spend time with his grandchildren. A video on David is available here

So fellas: don’t feel sick, it’s just a prick! Remember this, as the number of cases is set to double in the next 15 years, so we need to work extra hard to make sure that by that time, we’re able to treat all men. So have a chat with your doctor and get checked, and as always…

Live tweed, and ride dapper!

Tally Ho!