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.

Cancer Diagnosis Causes Increased Emotional Problems for Too Many of Us

Being diagnosed with cancer is tough. Being diagnosed with cancer is often coupled with clinically meaningful levels of mental or emotional distress. Researchers in Germany have found that during the prior four weeks nearly a third of more than 2,100 cancer survivors interviewed at inpatient and outpatient care centers experienced mental or emotional distress that meets the strict diagnostic criteria for mental disorders including anxiety, depressive and adjustment disorders. In the normal, non-cancer survivor population we would not expect to see rates higher than 18% at most. When the researchers evaluated the types of disorders they found that 11.5% of [...]

By | December 23rd, 2016|General Information, How We Live, mental health, Research, Uncategorized|0 Comments

New Investigational Treatment Instead of Active Surveillance & Maybe for Distant Tumors

Today’s post is not directly an advanced prostate cancer post, but more about a new potential and very interesting treatment on the horizon for men with prostate cancer that might otherwise be considered for active surveillance. According to the researchers who have been working on the treatment protocol, it is "truly transformative". This is not a treatment that is yet ready for prime time, but it is a possible treatment that, if proven, could be transformative for many men yet to be diagnosed. This new approach to treating early, non-aggressive prostate cancer has been tested across Europe. It involves the [...]

By | December 20th, 2016|Clinical Trials, Drugs & Treatments, Lasers|0 Comments

Understanding the Confusion Around Drug Names

Drugs and their names are just confusing. When they are being developed they are given many different names. Despite their names the drugs (or treatments) are the same. Names are just names nothing more. For laymen, drugs having multiple names for the same drug is confusing. So, why are there so many different names for the same drug? Let me try and straighten out the confusion. Usually drugs, as they go through the development process, are given three different names; A chemical name that relates to its molecular composition. This chemical name is usually to long and complex to use [...]

By | December 15th, 2016|Drugs & Treatments, FDA, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Xtandi In Combination with Zytiga Is Not Better Than Either Drug Alone

Often I have heard people ask why if one drug is effective we shouldn’t simply take two or three at the same time? The answer is simple, because we don’t know if combining multiple drugs will make any difference to a man’s survival. The only way we can be sure is with good evidence. Good evidence requires, in the case of drugs, doing a clinical trial to see if a certain type of combination will be beneficial. In such a late-stage clinical trial designed to see if Xtandi in addition to Zytiga along with a steroid worked any better than [...]