Prostate Cancer

Cancer is commonly defined as the uncontrolled division of abnormal cells. When cells become aged or damaged, they are replaced with new cells. Sometimes the genetic material (DNA) of a cell can become damaged or altered, producing mutations that negatively affect cell growth and division. Prostate cancer may be slow growing, or it may be aggressive. When confined within the prostate or another organ, cancer is known to be “localized” or “organ-confined”. When cancer cells spread throughout the body (metastasize) via blood and lymph systems, they can become life threatening.

Prostate cancer is one of the leading forms of cancer diagnosed in North American men, typically in men over the age of 50. In its early stages, prostate cancer has no symptoms, which is why it’s important for men to have regular medical checkups. If diagnosed early, prostate cancer is often curable. Treatment can eliminate symptoms and prolong life expectancy.

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Risk Factors

There are several risk factors for prostate cancer, some modifiable, others not. These include:

  • Age – Prostate cancer is most commonly diagnosed in men over the age of 50.
  • Family History – Research shows an increased risk for prostate cancer in sons, brothers and fathers of men with the disease.
  • Genetics – Inherited gene changes may increase prostate cancer risk.
  • Diet – High fat, high calcium and high red meat diets may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.
  • Ethnicity – Studies have shown that prostate cancer is more common in men of African ethnicity.

For more information about the prostate, visit the Prostate Cancer Canada website.

Post-Doctoral Fellow Dr. Lian Willetts shines light on the frontiers of discovery

Dr. Lian Willetts was awarded 2nd place in the Falling Walls Lab Finale in Berlin representing Dr. John Lewis’ lab by presenting: “Breaking the Walls of Prostate Cancer Metastasis”

Lab Falling Walls is an international competition that challenges graduate students to showcase how their research is redefining their respective fields and breaking down the walls to the next major scientific breakthrough. The University of Alberta is one of 20 approved international events, and the Sept. 30 event saw 16 outstanding examples of graduate research. Dr. Willetts was awarded 1st place during this night.

International Labs and the Finale in Berlin

Falling Walls Lab is a global scale event that takes place in different vibrant cities around the world throughout the year. The Falling Walls Lab Finale is held each year in Berlin on 8 November. The Finale gathers 100 participants, among them all winners of the international Labs.

- Catalina Vasquez

Our International Network of Partners

Meeting these ambitious goals will not be possible without the committed engagement of our many partners across Alberta, Canada and the World. Learn more about our Partners.