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.

Congratulations to first place winner Doug Brown!

Congratulations to PhD grad student Doug Brown for his First Place win at the 2018 University of Alberta Student Falling Walls Lab Competition! Doug’s First Place award also gains him an entry and an all-expenses-paid trip to the highly competitive and prestigious Falling Walls Lab Conference in Berlin, November 8-9, 2018!

Fifteen student presenters pitched their innovative and globally-important research ideas in a short 3 minute presentation to a panel of science and tech-business savvy judges and a large cheering audience on September 19, 2018, at the University of Alberta in a high-stakes “TEDTalk” meets “Dragon’s Den” style. The competition was very strong but Doug gave an inspired speech on breaking down the walls of metastatic cancers using new lipid nanoparticle technology that he is helping to develop during his graduate studies in Dr. John Lewis’ laboratory.

The Sept 19th UofA Falling Walls Lab competition will be featured on Global News on the evening of Sept. 20th, around 6:15 pm. Check it out!

Doug will be taking his pitch to the Falling Walls Lab competition in Berlin, Germany this November where he will compete with many other inspirational students at this international event.

This is doubly exciting for the Lewis lab because John Lewis recently won the UofA Falling Walls Venture competition that was held on Aug 29, 2018 and he will be competing in the Berlin Falling Walls Venture!

Good luck to both Doug and John at the Falling Walls Finale in Berlin!

- Perrin Beatty