Movember is an annual initiative where men from around the globe grow mustaches to raise awareness for men’s health causes, including mental health and suicide prevention, testicular cancer, and prostate cancer. Through events, fundraising, and using mustaches as a light-hearted starting point for important conversations, the movement supports men in taking charge of their health to live longer and healthier lives.
While Movember is not just about prostate cancer, it is a great place to start; prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men worldwide1, and the second leading cause of cancer death in American men.2 In the UK, more than 52,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year on average – which is 143 men every day, according to Prostate Cancer UK.3 At the same time, lack of awareness, access disparities within healthcare, and lack of support resources can keep some men from regular testing or even treatment. Prostate cancer can sometimes be difficult for pathologists to diagnose or grade and the number of GU-specialized (genito-urology-specialized) pathologists is shrinking globally. That is why Paige is working with international organizations, like the University of Oxford and Prostate Cancer UK, to change the prostate cancer landscape this Movember and beyond.
First, we begin by understanding whether AI might help pathologists address the challenges they face in prostate cancer diagnosis, by examining the impact such technology can have in clinical practice. Professor Clare Verrill, in the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences at the University of Oxford, is leading the ARTICULATE PRO study, an evaluation of AI in clinical care which analyzes the performance of the Paige Prostate Detect and Paige Prostate Grade & Quantify modalities and the impact they have on the experience of both clinicians and patients. The study is taking place in three NHS trusts across England.
By evaluating Paige’s cutting-edge AI technology, which assists the study pathologists in the identification, grading, and quantification of prostate cancer, Paige and the study team will determine whether pathologists can reduce grading subjectivity and turn their reports around with greater efficiency thanks to AI, all of which would ultimately benefit the patient. Professor Verrill comments that “The ARTICULATE PRO study is a key step in evaluating technologies such as Paige Prostate in prospective workflows.”
To keep the improvement of the patient experience top of mind, ARTICULATE PRO also partnered with Prostate Cancer UK to bring in patient representatives whose views and experiences were used to inform the study design, and to collect feedback from Prostate Cancer UK supporters on their views on the use of digital pathology and AI in the prostate cancer pathway.4 Conor McKeever of Prostate Cancer UK noted, “The way we diagnose prostate cancer needs to change, and research like this is how we will get there. By reducing the risk of a missed diagnosis, and giving us new insights into the development of the disease, AI could make a real difference for men facing a diagnosis of prostate cancer.”
Beyond the scope of the ARTICULATE PRO study, Prostate Cancer UK continues to work to shape the experience of prostate cancer for the better through educational resources, live and virtual support groups, investing in research, and raising awareness. They offer support for men at every step in the continuum of prostate cancer care, from understanding their risk to managing treatment side effects. Conor explained, “We have a simple ambition – to save and improve the lives of men affected by prostate cancer through funding research and supporting men and their families. We invest millions into research to find better ways to diagnose and treat prostate cancer; we work tirelessly to spread the word about men at risk; and we offer specialist support to people living with the disease.”
Importantly, however, it is up to men not only take advantage of all of these resources, but to play an active role in their health and well-being this month and beyond. Dedicating yourself to learning about your health and keeping an ongoing interest in practicing better habits is the only way to ensure you stay as healthy as possible. A few simple steps that every man can start to take this month include:
- Understanding what local health resources are available to you
- Learning about your risk factors for prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and other men’s diseases, and any relevant prevention steps
- Meeting with health professionals regularly to assess your health and undergo recommended testing
- Taking time for self-care and building healthy habits
- Talking with friends, family, and loved ones about physical and mental well-being
For those men that have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, it is also important to be active throughout your treatment. Ask questions, learn about the tests and treatments you are receiving and whether AI is playing a role, and find a support system who can guide and encourage you along the way. As Richard Scheffer, prostate cancer patient and patient advocate explains, “Doing the research to understand what options are available and talking with medical care teams about the various treatments, potential side effects, and potential outcomes makes the experience feel much more manageable.”
The benefits of these steps of course extend beyond prostate cancer as well, and can help men work toward Movember’s mission of living generally healthier lives. For example, regular check-ups with your physician can help you understand your body better, manage other symptoms or begin prevention for other diseases, and undergo testing when necessary to catch any issues as soon as possible. Having control over your physical health can also lead into taking a proactive role in your mental health, and feeling more in control can even help to improve mental health. Finally, prevention tactics for prostate cancer and other diseases can include things like diet and exercise, which can reduce health risk overall.
To learn more about Movember and get involved from anywhere in the world, visit the official Movember website.
To learn more about Prostate Cancer UK and access additional resources, visit Prostate Cancer UK.
To learn more about the Articulate Pro Study, visit the study website.
2The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team. Key Statistics for Prostate Cancer. American Cancer Society. Updated January 12, 2022. Accessed November 8, 2022. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/about/key-statistics.html
3About prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer UK. Updated June 2022. Accessed November 17, 2022. https://prostatecanceruk.org/prostate-information/about-prostate-cancer
4Rakovic K, Colling R, Browning L, Dolton M, Horton MR, Protheroe A, Lamb AD, Bryant RJ, Scheffer R, Crofts J, Stanislaus E, Verrill C. The Use of Digital Pathology and Artificial Intelligence in Histopathological Diagnostic Assessment of Prostate Cancer: A Survey of Prostate Cancer UK Supporters. Diagnostics (Basel). 2022 May 13;12(5):1225. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics12051225. PMID: 35626380; PMCID: PMC9141178.