Joel

/Joel

About Joel

I am a social worker and the Director of Malecare Cancer Support's Advanced Disease and Advocacy program. I am also a five cancer survivor. In 1998, I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer and had a partial thyroid resection. In 2001, I had a Laparoscopic prostatectomy for Prostate Cancer, which was followed by a recurrence in my lymph nodes in Dec 2005. In 2006, I had a Radical nephrectomy for Kidney Cancer. In 2010, I had surgery for Melanoma on my right leg. In 2015, I had surgery for Appendix Cancer. My mom (lung cancer), my father-in-law (colon cancer), my sister-in-law (breast cancer), my office manager (brain cancer) and a very close friend (kidney cancer) also died in the recent past, so I am well versed in metastatic disease, mourning, and loss. However, I am generally optimistic. I look forward to sharing my journey with anyone who may be interested.

Did You Know That Metastatic Prostate Cancer Causes DNA Mutations?

Men with metastatic prostate cancer have higher rates of inherited gene mutations than men with non-metastatic prostate cancer.  Knowing about DNA mutations might help you make better treatment decisions. And you can also tell family members about their risk. Recent studies have shown that metastatic prostate cancer inherited mutations in the DNA-repair genes, such as the BRCA gene, can help guide treatment decisions as well as increase cancer risk in their family members. These mutations are more common in men with metastatic prostate cancer compared with men whose prostate cancer hasn’t spread outside the prostate gland. Men with advanced, metastatic prostate cancer should ask to be [...]

By | January 3rd, 2017|biomarkers, BRACA1, BRCA2, Genetic testing, genetics, Uncategorized|1 Comment

Being A “Cancer Hater” is Not Productive

My wife Wendy periodically receives Facebook requests for her to “Hate Cancer.” Yes, she does hate cancer, but she wants us all to actually be productive about what we do with our “hate.” Wendy wrote on Facebook,  "I'm not a cut and paster, and certainly not a "hater," so I have an alternative suggestion.  I just had the remarkable experience of visiting the National Cancer Institute at NIH, when my husband (a survivor of 5 separate unrelated cancers, including one metastatic, and one very rare) volunteered for a clinical trial. The caliber of research and commitment there (and in so many of our [...]

By | December 30th, 2016|advocacy, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Ask For a Blood test to identify AR-V7 in Circulating Tumor Cells if you are starting Xtandi or Zytiga

One of the hot topics in the prostate cancer community is the value of detecting AR-V7 tumor cells circulating in the blood. AR-V7 tumor cells in the blood predicts response or failure of treatment with enzalutamide (Xtandi) or abiraterone (Zytiga). A recent study found that men who have AR-V7 circulating tumor cells in their blood will not respond to Xtandi or Zytiga and will live longer if treated with a taxane based chemotherapy (docetaxel) regimen. A study in JAMA Oncology, showed that evaluating for the presence of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) with AR-V7 could optimize treatment protocols. The study looked at 161 men with progressing metastatic castration-resistant [...]

Men Who Fail Primary Radiation Can Have Good Results After Salvage Surgery

Men who have decided to have radiation as their first (primary) treatment for prostate cancer have a one-third chance of recurrence. Some of those men have salvage radical prostatectomy (SRP)  to fight the recurrence.  A study shows this might be a good idea. Antoni Vilaseca, MD, etal from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, studied 251 men who had a Salvage Radical Prostatectomy (SRP) after they failed their primary treatment with external beam radiation therapy, brachytherapy (seeds), or with both. The researchers evaluated long-term oncologic outcomes (survival and disease progression) of the SRP in general as well as evaluating if using minimally [...]