Dr. Michael Cox is an associate professor in the Department of Urologic Sciences at the University of British Columbia, and the senior research scientist at The Vancouver Prostate Centre. Cox is a molecular and cellular biologist; his research program is dedicated to understanding how prostate cancer initiates and progresses. His laboratory has received funding through Prostate Cancer Canada/Movember Pilot grants and a Prostate Cancer Canada/Movember Team grant.
Issues such as males resisting visits to doctors, to have regular prostate checks, are finally gaining some public notice. That is a very good thing, since early detection is such a vital factor in the overall treatability of prostate cancer. Cox, however, is on the front line of the battle, where detection, causes, and treatments are developed. “The hot topic is segregating patients to distinguish those most likely to have disease that will advance and be lethal if not treated, versus those that we can identify as cancer but that are indolent and will not be a major clinical issue in the patient’s timeline,” he says. “The problem is nuanced. Awareness and screening do a great job of finding men with prostate cancer. Now we need to find a way to help those that need to be helped.”
Clearly we have a long, long way to go in dealing successfully with this disease. That is true, of course, of many. Which is why there has really never been more urgency for good information, based on great research, developed increasingly through private financial donations. Movember is a vital cog in the fundraising and awareness areas of the battle against prostate cancer—things worth considering even in the other 11 months of the year.