Movember, an update on prostate cancer, the 3rd leading cause of death by cancer in men.
What is it?
Born in 2003 from a bet between friends, Movember is an awareness movement for men's health against prostate and testicular cancer. This movement, present in France for the 8th consecutive year, encourages men to wear a moustache during the month of November as a sign of support for cancer victims. Since its creation, the foundation has funded more than 1,250 projects focused on men's health, raising more than €65 million in 2018, for example.
Adrien Gatineau (our CTO) and Guillaume Leboucher (our CEO) with their moustaches to support prostate and testicular cancer victims.
Where are we at with masculine cancers?
Every year, 1.4 million men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and 66,000 with testicular cancer.
In France, the first is the most common cancer in men and kills 8,700 people each year.
Treatment options depend on the disease course since the cancer can be local (in the gland), locally advanced (invasion of neighbouring tissues) or advanced (spread in the body).
Possible treatments include prostatectomy (total removal of the prostate gland), radiation therapy that targets cancer cells without damaging healthy cells or hormone therapy that prevents the arrival of testosterone to the prostate to prevent the development of cancer. Finally, in advanced stages, chemotherapy can be prescribed alone or in combination with hormone therapy. It consists of the systemic administration (action on the whole body) of drugs leading to the destruction of pathological cells or preventing their multiplication.
The detection efforts
There are no tests to ensure the detection of prostate cancer, as current screening methods are not 100% reliable. On the other hand, two methods can be used to specify the risks. A doctor can perform a rectal examination which only allows the detection of palpable tumours or the patient can perform a blood test for a PSA (specific prostate antigen) test. This protein secreted by the prostate indicates a risk of cancer when present in large quantities in the blood. However, this test is not only an indicator of prostate cancer and can lead to false positives and even false negatives. In case of abnormal results, a biopsy is required to confirm the diagnosis.
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