It seems like suddenly I know many people coping with prostate cancer. (By the way, have you ever noticed how softly people talk about prostate cancer?) One big reason is advanced detection techniques, but that in itself can be a mixed blessing. As many as two thirds of those diagnosed with prostate cancer struggle through the problems of incontinence and impotence unnecessarily - causing more than a few of us to think long and hard about how and whether to have treatment at all.
Maybe important help is on the way.
Scientists have found a new way to identify a particularly deadly form of prostate cancer in a breakthrough that could save tens of thousands of men from undergoing unnecessary surgery each year.
In contrast to many cancers, only certain prostate tumors require treatment. Many are slow-growing and pose little threat to health. But separating the "tigers" from the "pussycats" -- as oncologists dub them -- is tricky.
Now that is set to change with new research showing how a genetic variation within tumour cells can signal if a patient has a potentially fatal form of the disease. [More]
I hope so. Too many of my friends have endured bravely through this experience, and likely a few them need not have.