When BU alumnus Richard Shipley (Questrom’68,’72) was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he did exactly what anyone would do: he started researching his options.

But he found that it was nearly impossible to obtain a full list, much less accurate pros and cons, of the diagnostic and treatment options available. The data that was available was often biased, poorly organized, and written in language that required a medical degree to understand. It was very difficult for a patient to do the homework needed to fully discuss the disease with his doctors.

In the meantime, Mr. Shipley discovered that the medical establishment didn’t have the answers he sought either. His PSA was rising and his urologistA doctor who specializes in the urinary and male reproductiv... Full Definition recommended an immediate biopsyAn examination of tissue removed from the body to understand... Full Definition. But current prostateThe prostate is a walnut-sized gland located between the bla... Full Definition cancerCancer is a group of diseases where cells grow abnormally an... Full Definition screening is imprecise and biopsies are not without risk: not just pain and possible infection, but a start down a path filled with uncertainty, potential false positives, and even over-treatment with dire side effects.

This wasn’t an anomaly. It’s the current standard of prostate care. Prostate cancer is a complex disease in an awkward spot, close to nerves that control the most basic of bodily functions. At each step there are side effects and outcomes to be weighed and decisions to be made. Large medical centers now involve a team of specialists in prostate cancer care, but other patients may be relying on the advice of a single doctor who only performs certain treatments. Many men don’t realize they have options.

Mr. Shipley saw this dilemma and realized he could help. Working with his alma mater and Boston Medical Center, he established a research center to explore new prostate cancer treatments, and this website to help educate men about the breadth of available options so they can have an honest discussion with their healthcare team and find the treatment that works best for them.

Yes, prostate cancer is frightening. But men have more options—and more hope—than they might realize. In fact, the first decision they have is to learn the facts and take charge of their treatment. This site is a great place to start.

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