'Gender bias' in cancer

Very interesting. Personally I think it's just cause we like talking about breasts.

This year 218,890 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. By comparison, 178,480 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in women. Not a huge difference, but a new report finds that for every prostate cancer drug on the market, there are seven used to treat breast cancer, and federal spending on breast cancer research outpaces prostate cancer spending by a ratio of nearly two to one.

The National Prostate Cancer Coalition, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Washington, released the report, titled "The Prostate Cancer Gap: A Crisis in Men's Health." It examines what the group calls "glaring disparities" in awareness, funding, media coverage, and research between prostate and breast cancer, even though prostate cancer is the second-deadliest cancer in men after lung cancer. "Year after year, the prostate cancer community has received less attention and less funding than many other diseases," says Dr. Richard Adkins, chief executive office and vice-chairman of the prostate cancer coalition.

Provenge Setback Spurs Advocacy

It's true that progress on prostate cancer has been much slower than for breast, colon, and kidney cancers. The only new drug for the disease introduced over the last decade has been Taxotere, from Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE:SNY - News), a very toxic chemotherapy approved in 2004 for metastatic prostate cancer. Over the same period, a number of breakthrough targeted therapies have been introduced for other cancers that are as effective or more effective than chemo and less toxic, such as Genentech's (NYSE:DNA - News) Herceptin and Avastin for breast cancer, Millennium Pharmaceuticals (NasdaqGS:MLNM - News) Velcade for leukemia, ImClone Systems' (NasdaqGS:IMCL - News) Erbitux for colon cancer, Novartis' (NYSE:NVS - News) Gleevec for stomach and blood cancers, and Pfizer's (NYSE:pFE - News) Sutent for kidney cancers.

Part of the problem is that prostate cancer is an extremely slow-growing cancer, with a relatively low death rate, thus making it less of a national priority. The American Cancer Society estimates that 27,050 men will die from the disease this year in the U.S., while breast cancer will kill 40,460 women. Prostate cancer has also never attracted the level of patient advocacy that breast cancer has -- most men simply do not like to talk about such a disease.

But the prostate cancer community got more vocal in May after the Food & Drug Administration did not approve Dendreon's (NasdaqGM:DNDN - News) Provenge last month, a novel cancer vaccine meant to stop prostate cancer from recurring. The FDA requested another trial of the drug, saying the results of the clinical trial submitted by Dendreon did not prove that the drug works. That decision outraged many prostate cancer patients, some of whom had testified in favor of the drug at FDA hearings.

Less Media Coverage

The Prostate Coalition report noted the Provenge setback. It also found that spending on breast cancer research by the National Cancer Institute, which funds much of the academic research into cancer in the U.S., rose from $382 million in 1996 to $715 million by 2006. Over the same decade, prostate cancer funding soared from $86 million to $376 million.

News coverage of prostate cancer has also lagged behind breast cancer over the past decade, the report found. Analyzing seven leading news outlets, it found that between 1996 and 2006 there were 2.6 times as many stories about breast cancer as those about prostate cancer. The researchers also found that only 28 states and the District of Columbia mandate insurance coverage for routine prostate cancer screening, while 49 states mandate coverage of breast cancer screening.


Another girrrrl!!!
Ugh. Maybe the Prostate Coalition should tell the drug companies to stop wasting time on dick pills and focus on cancer. :rolls eyes: Men can get breast cancer too. Show me one woman that got prostate cancer? :)


I'm a corpse without a soul...
Ugh. Maybe the Prostate Coalition should tell the drug companies to stop wasting time on dick pills and focus on cancer. :rolls eyes: Men can get breast cancer too. Show me one woman that got prostate cancer? :)
And we need to get finger blasted, which I found more uncomfortable than getting catheter put in my Johnson.
It's more fun to feel a girl's boobs than to stick a finger up a guy's asshole, just sayin.
It's a tricky issue. Clearly, there is bias in addressing the cancer issue. With that said, it is my understanding that prostate cancer generally is more treatable with less obvious effects compared with breast cancer. Having some radiation seeds inserted into a gland that is internal is different than having a breast chopped off.

In the end, I personally think that all of this money going to fund research into cancer is partly a ruse. The way in which these funds are spent preclude any real cutting edge treatment or discovery regarding the genesis of cancer; the money is sent to establishment groups that do not want to ask difficult questions about cancer or bring up treatments that might destroy a multi-billion dollar industry.

I believe that the cancer epidemic is a direct result of various pollutants and chemicals we ingest, pharmaceuticals we devourer with wanton abandon, and poor overall living habits (chain smoking while sitting on our asses all day). I would strongly suggest that people subscribe to Dr. William Campbell Douglass' newsletter (yes, he is a real physician, not some witch doctor with a degree in spices from Calcutta). It might sound gay, but I try to only have organic food and am a stickler with supplements.

I am entirely aware of the fact that 'healthy' people get cancer all of the time. I am also aware that modern medicine does not ask critical questions regarding drug histories, possible immune system weakness, and other things that might answer why the body is unable to fight off a growth. For me, it is pretty absurd to think that 60% of people just naturally get strange growths that without treatment lead to death.