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.

Annual Terwillegar Trail Run and Walk Fundraiser

It was a beautiful crisp fall morning for a 10 Km trail run or 7.5 Km walk through the Terwillegar ravine on Saturday, September 29th. The run/walk, hosted by the Terwillegar Trail Run/Walk and the Alberta Cancer Foundation,  is in its 7th year. Its goal is to bring families and friends together to enjoy the outdoors and ultimately raise funds for prostate cancer research.

John Lewis’ research group was out in force; represented by John Lewis, Catalina Vasquez, Arun Raturi, Perrin Beatty and Abbie Coros. Despite the fact that, as one of the run/walk organizers Doug Mitchell pointed out to the participants, John ran in 15-year-old tennis shoes, the Lewis group runners ran well and had a great time!

Funds raised by the Terwillegar Trail Run and Walk go to support cancer research in Alberta. Check out the Alberta Cancer Foundations’ “Dollars at Work” to read about how these funds have been used to support the research from APCaRI members Dr. Frank Wuest and Dr. John Lewis’ labs!

With just over 100 participants this year the 2018 Terwillegar Trail Run/Walk raised over $21 000 for prostate cancer research! You can still donate to this awesome fundraiser, just go to Alberta Cancer Foundation TTRW and click on the Donate Now button!

- Perrin Beatty