Newly Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer? Here’s A Unique Opportunity to Help Other Men
They are out there, but finding them in time is a dilemma, says top expert
MARLTON, N.J., Nov. 12, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Michael Diefenbach, Ph.D., has spent seven years trying to understand how and why men make decisions about prostate cancer treatment.
Now his research (www.prostatehealingchoices.com) is at a critical crossroads because he can’t find potential candidates for his study, despite helping develop a multimedia approach that should help men make more informed decisions about treatment.
“Prostate cancer has no Katie Couric effect,” says Diefenbach, referring to the CBS news anchor’s significant impact on colon cancer. Her husband died from the disease, and she went on television as they filmed her having a colonoscopy. During March, Colon Cancer Awareness Month, she touts the need for an exam, and requests for colonoscopies surge. Experts have termed this impact the Couric Effect.
Diefenbach, an associate professor of urology at New York’s Mount Sinai Medical Center, faces two obstacles in finding candidates for his study, funded by the National Cancer Institute. First, he’s looking for men who have received a diagnosis of prostate cancer. Second, he must reach them before they start treatment.
About 217,730 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, and about 30,000 of them will die because of the disease.
The combination of the two elements — the diagnosis and the timing — have presented him with a logistical problem: how to reach his goal of 800 patients so that it will pass statistical scrutiny.
Why would his multimedia approach help the decision-making process? According to Diefenbach, most men follow the recommendation of the first specialist they’re seeing, even though other options might exist.
If it’s a urologist, the recommendation is surgery. If it’s a radiation oncologist, he might recommend radiation treatment.
All of these options are legitimate, but most men are simply unaware of the variety of options, and one size does not fit all, he says. His multimedia presentation demonstrates the choices available.
The National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service Research Consortium is conducting the study, called “Healing Choices for Prostate Cancer.”
Patients who call toll-free, 866-258-7981, will receive one of two information packets, depending on which part of the study they enroll in. Some will receive a free, multimedia program and printed material. Others will receive comprehensive printed materials.
New York City’s Mount Sinai Medical Center, Philadelphia’s Fox Chase Cancer Center, UCLA’s Medical Center and the University of Denver’s AMC Cancer Research Center are participating in the study.
Some higher profile individuals have raised the alarm for prostate cancer, including former presidential candidate John Kerry and ex-financier Michael Milken.
But none have had the force of the Couric Effect.
For more information, call 866-258-7981 or visit www.prostatehealingchoices.com .
SOURCE Cancer Information Service Research Consortium