New Survey Reveals Alarming Lack of Understanding of Prostate Cancer

Posted on November 18th, 2014 by

(OMNI-CancerConnect) In partnership with Men’s Health Network (MHN), Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN), ZERO – the End of Prostate Cancer and Joe Torre, four-time world champion baseball Hall-of-Famer and prostate cancer survivor, Genomic Health, Inc. (Nasdaq: GHDX) today launched Your Prostate Your Decision to educate prostate cancer patients and their loved ones that every man is different and every cancer is unique, and a genomic test can clarify the aggressiveness of one’s disease prior to invasive treatment. This first-of-its-kind national effort aims to address concerning results of a large national survey that found low general awareness about prostate cancer aggressiveness and treatment options, underscoring the need for better understanding of active surveillance as a treatment plan.

“For a man with prostate cancer, a single decision can change his entire life,” said Mr. Torre, reflecting on his own experience with prostate cancer. “When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, I faced a game-changing decision. While I chose surgery, a less aggressive approach called active surveillance might be the best choice.”

The Your Prostate Your Decision public service announcement features Joe Torre and urges patients to discuss genomic testing with their physicians. Genomic testing, such as the Oncotype DX® prostate cancer test, is an important first step in the treatment journey. While immediate aggressive treatment associated with significant long-term side effects may be necessary for some men with prostate cancer, more than half of those diagnosed in the United States have low-risk disease and may be eligible for active surveillance to monitor their cancer without treatment, allowing them to avoid unnecessary side effects such as impotence and incontinence.

“It is widely recognized by the medical community now that only three percent of low-risk prostate cancers become life-threatening, and there is a tendency to over-treat this disease. With recent advances in genomics resulting in a test like Oncotype DX, we can make the best decision through a well-informed discussion between a patient and his doctor,” said Ketan Badani, M.D., vice chairman of Urology and Robotic Operations at Mount Sinai Health System in New York. “Results of genomic testing can guide some patients to more confidently choose active surveillance and avoid unnecessary treatment and its potential side effects while identifying those men who, despite seemingly low-risk clinical factors, have more aggressive disease and should consider immediate treatment.”

First-of-Its-Kind National Survey Shows Low Awareness of Active Surveillance, High Concern about Treatment Side Effects
A large national survey conducted by Kelton, a large independent research firm, and supported by MHN, PHEN, ZERO and Genomic Health, revealed that general awareness around prostate cancer aggressiveness and treatment options is low. This first-ever survey of public perception of prostate cancer aggressiveness and treatment, which included 616 men age 50 and over and 222 women who care for at least one man age 50 and over, revealed:

  •     Despite continued research supporting active surveillance, only 10 percent of men surveyed and 27 percent of women surveyed correctly linked it with prostate cancer instead of with other diseases.
  •     Misconception regarding prostate cancer risk and the need for immediate treatment is widespread: 47 percent of men surveyed believe prostate cancer is high-risk, 51 percent believe it is life-threatening, and 59 percent believe it is best treated immediately. Separately, 51 percent of women surveyed believe prostate cancer is high-risk, 43 percent believe it is life-threatening, and 62 percent believe it is best treated immediately.

“Whether you are a physician or a patient, making a well-informed treatment choice is not only empowering, but essential when you are faced with a potentially life-altering decision,” said Phil Febbo, M.D., chief medical officer of Genomic Health and former professor of medical oncology and urology, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). “By joining our efforts with prostate cancer advocates and survivors to advance understanding of the disease and its treatment options, Your Prostate Your Decision is designed to educate patients and their loved ones about the importance of using a genomic test, like Oncotype DX, to make a personal treatment decision based on the unique biology of their disease.”

About the Your Prostate Your Decision Campaign
Created in response to the alarming lack of awareness of prostate cancer, Your Prostate Your Decision was developed to provide multi-media tools to help patients have discussions with their health care team. The campaign’s website,, is a unique and interactive educational resource that provides prostate cancer patients and their loved ones with the tools they need to make a confident decision regarding their treatment path. The website includes a host of resources around genomic testing, including a free downloadable patient brochure and an eligibility quiz to identify whether a patient might be eligible for a genomic test such as Oncotype DX. Individuals or loved ones facing a prostate cancer diagnosis can visit

About the Oncotype DX Prostate Cancer Test
Developed in collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Cleveland Clinic, the Oncotype DX prostate cancer test helps physicians and their patients confidently choose the most appropriate treatment based on an individualized risk assessment. This genomic test measures the level of expression of 17 genes across four biological pathways to predict prostate cancer aggressiveness. It provides a Genomic Prostate Score (GPS) that ranges from 0 to 100 and is combined with other clinical factors to further clarify a man’s risk prior to treatment intervention.

About Genomic Health, Inc.
Genomic Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: GHDX) is the world’s leading provider of genomic-based diagnostic tests that address both the overtreatment and optimal treatment of early stage cancer, one of the greatest issues in healthcare today. The company is applying its world-class scientific and commercial expertise and infrastructure to lead the translation of massive amounts of genomic data into clinically-actionable results for treatment planning throughout the cancer patient’s journey, from screening and surveillance, through diagnosis, treatment selection and monitoring.  Genomic Health’s lead product, the Oncotype DX® breast cancer test, has been shown to predict the likelihood of chemotherapy benefit as well as recurrence in invasive breast cancer and has been shown to predict the likelihood of recurrence in ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). In addition to this widely adopted test, Genomic Health provides the Oncotype DX colon cancer test, the first multi-gene expression test developed for the assessment of risk of recurrence in patients with stage II and stage III disease, and the Oncotype DX prostate cancer test, which predicts disease aggressiveness in men with low risk disease. As of June 30, 2014, more than 19,000 physicians in over 70 countries had ordered more than 465,000 Oncotype DX tests. The company is based in Redwood City, California with European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. For more information, please visit, and follow the company on Twitter: @GenomicHealth. To learn more about OncotypeDX tests, visit:, and

About Men’s Health Network
Men’s Health Network (MHN) is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to reach men, boys, and their families where they live, work, play, and pray with health awareness messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy opportunities, and patient navigation. MHN is the promoter of Men’s Health Month and Men’s Health Week in June. Men can learn more about their health through MHN’s new online resource center, and . Follow us on Twitter @MensHlthNetwork and Facebook at

About Prostate Health Education Network
PHEN was founded in 2003 by Thomas A. Farrington, a prostate cancer survivor and author. PHEN’s mission is to eliminate the African American prostate cancer disparity. The organization’s efforts are implemented through its national “Rally Against Prostate Cancer (RAP Cancer)” initiatives which include the annual African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit.

About ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer
ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer is a national nonprofit organization with the mission to end prostate cancer. As a leader in the fight against prostate cancer, ZERO advances research, encourages action, and provides education and support to men and their families.  ZERO’s premier programs include the ZERO Prostate Cancer Challenge, the largest men’s health event series in America. ZERO is a 501c3 charity, a Better Business Bureau member and 84 cents of every dollar donated goes to research and programs. For more information, visit

Genomic Health Forward-Looking Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements relating to the attributes and focus of the company’s product pipeline; the applicability of clinical study results to actual outcomes; the attributes of the company’s test for prostate cancer and the benefits of the test to physicians and patients; the ability of any potential tests the company may develop to optimize cancer treatment; and the ability of the company to develop and commercialize additional tests in the future. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, and reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the risks and uncertainties associated with the regulation of the company’s tests; the results of clinical studies; the applicability of clinical study results to actual outcomes; our ability to develop and commercialize new tests and expand into new markets domestically and internationally; the risk that the company may not obtain or maintain sufficient levels of reimbursement, domestically or abroad, for its existing tests and any future tests it may develop; the risks of competition; unanticipated costs or delays in research and development efforts; the company’s ability to obtain capital when needed and the other risks set forth in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the risks set forth in the company’s quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2014. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. Genomic Health disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

1. Boorjian. 2008. Urol.

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Tags: Early Stage I-II (A-B) Prostate Cancer, News, Prostate Cancer

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