“I Did Get This Gene Mutation from My Dad”

Ed Hoppe is a patient with prostate cancer who received genetic testing with the Myriad myRisk Hereditary Cancer test. From this test, he discovered he had a mutation in his BRCA1 gene, classifying his cancer as hereditary. Ed’s youngest daughter, Ellen Hoppe, took the myRisk test and found out she was positive for the same mutation. This inspired Ed’s oldest daughter, Emily Madden, to take the test and she too found out that she was BRCA1 positive.

“Growing up, I remember every time there was a funeral or someone passed away that was in my family it was like, well they had cancer – that is usually how they died,” said Emily.

After Emily found out that her father had prostate cancer and her sister tested positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation, she decided she had to be tested right away. She was 10 weeks pregnant and going in for her first prenatal appointment for her second child, and at the same appointment she was going to take the myRisk Hereditary Cancer test to find out if she was BRCA1 positive.

“The next week my doctor called me and told me that I had positive results,” stated Emily. That is when she started reading more about the mutation and realized that there are other cancers besides breast and ovarian that individuals with the BRCA1 mutation could be susceptible to.

“I did get this gene mutation from my dad, there’s a 50/50 percent chance that my kids could have it,” said Emily.

Because of Emily’s extensive family history of cancer, she decided to undergo surgery after her child was born to reduce her risk of getting ovarian cancer.

“I had a full hysterectomy because I don’t want to leave my kids behind. I think it makes me hopeful that I will have a long life.” – Emily Madden.

To find out about hereditary cancer risk for you and your family, click below to take our Hereditary Cancer Quiz.

“Gene Mutations Don’t Discriminate Between Men and Women”


Recently we shared a story about Ed Hoppe and his prostate cancer. After Ed’s diagnosis, he received genetic testing and learned about a mutation in his BRCA1 gene, classifying his cancer as hereditary. Ed’s daughter Ellen decided to take the myRisk Hereditary Cancer test and discovered she had inherited the BRCA1 mutation from her father.

“Cancer has always kind of been in the family somewhere,” said Ed’s youngest daughter, Ellen Hoppe.

“We found out that my Aunt Peggy, who lived in Memphis, had been diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer.” Stated Ellen. “When I was in eighth grade my Aunt Peggy passed away.”

Ellen talks about her Aunt Beanie that also had ovarian cancer, which is when she realized that there was some kind of family connection. Ellen’s two daughters were her motivation to get tested to understand if she was at an increased risk of developing cancer within her lifetime.

“I think I heard in high school that there was a test that could tell you if you had this genetic mutation that makes you more likely to have breast or ovarian cancer.”

Ellen’s two aunts that had ovarian cancer are her father Ed’s sisters. Ellen didn’t think that she could get the gene mutation from her dad because it was usually associated with breast and ovarian cancer. She went to her doctor, gave her the family history, and got tested for the mutation. Her results came back positive for a mutation in BRCA1. Ellen’s doctor informed her that the gene mutation can manifest in men.

“Gene mutations don’t not discriminate between men and women, if it’s there it’s there.”

“It has been a relief to know that this is what’s going on. Knowing that I am doing what I can, it makes me feel more confident and more secure that I am not leaving things up to chance.” – Ellen Hoppe.

To find out about hereditary cancer risk for you and your family, take our Hereditary Cancer Quiz.

2019 Prostate Cancer Statistics

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in American men, and this is made apparent by the statistics surrounding it. It is estimated by the American Cancer Society that in 2019 there will be about 174,650 men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer (1) which is a 6% increase from 2018. There will also be an estimated 31,620 deaths from prostate cancer in 2019 (1), a 7% increase from 2018.

According to Zero Cancer, every 17 minutes another man in the U.S. dies from prostate cancer, which is about 86 deaths per day (2). The number of deaths are increasing year after year making prostate cancer the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the United States (2).

Prostate cancer is a very common diagnosis, 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime (1). While it is a common diagnosis, most men that have prostate cancer will not die from it. In fact, only 1 in 41 men with prostate cancer will die from it and more than 2 million men in the US that have been diagnosed at some point in their lives are still living (1).

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, it is important to find out how aggressive your individual cancer is to determine the most optimal treatment plan. To learn more about your prostate cancer aggressiveness click here.

1) https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/about/key-statistics.html

2) https://zerocancer.org/learn/about-prostate-cancer/facts-statistics/

“It Had Affected My Family As Much As It Had Affected Just Me.”

After going to a routine checkup in the spring of 2017, Ed Hoppe was told that his PSA level was elevated and was referred to a local urologist, Dr. Goodson, for prostate cancer evaluation. When his pathology report determined that he had prostate cancer, Dr. Goodson ordered a Prolaris test to find out the aggressiveness of his cancer before determining treatment.

“Given the aggressive scale of his Prolaris results, I recommended definitive treatment and outlined options including radiation with hormone deprivation therapy,” said Dr. Goodson.

Ed also had an extensive family history of cancer that included prostate, breast, and ovarian cancer. His family history combined with the aggressiveness of his disease led Dr. Goodson to order a myRisk Hereditary Cancer Test. Knowing one’s hereditary cancer risk can dramatically impact medical management. 

“We believe this ought to be obtained on anyone that has an intermediate grade or higher of prostate cancer,” said Dr. Goodson.

Ed’s myRisk results came back positive for a mutation on BRCA1, meaning his prostate cancer was caused by an inherited faulty gene that encourages the disease to grow.  Sons and daughters of someone with a gene mutation have a 50% chance of having that same mutation. In Ed’s case, his two daughters tested positive for the gene mutation, increasing their risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

“It had affected my family as much as it had affected just me. My two daughters have since learned they are positive.”

 “Like a pebble in a pond, you know the ripples keep on coming out and in fact, there are 46 people in Ed’s extended family that may benefit from this information” stated Dr. Goodson.

Ed’s family can now take proactive steps like increased screening starting at earlier ages to prevent and reduce their risk of developing certain cancers.

If you have a family history of cancer you should provide that information to your physician and ask if you qualify for genetic testing. You could be the key to learning you and your family’s hereditary cancer risk.

“Knowledge is power I think somebody said.” – Ed Hoppe

Take our Hereditary Cancer Quiz to learn more about your potential risk.


“I Don’t Know Where I’d Be Today Had I Not Tested With Prolaris”

Follow Al on his journey through his prostate cancer diagnosis, the choices he made, and how this experience has shaped his life.

Learn about how the Prolaris test changed both the lives of Al and his wife, Camie by giving them critical information about the aggressiveness of his cancer.

All the things Al and Camie wanted to do were possible again, due to their decision to utilize the Prolaris test.

Know How to Best Treat Prostate Cancer with Genetic Testing

1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year. Approximately 90% of men will be treated for their cancer through either surgery or radiation and yet approximately half of those men could have avoided treatment and the associated side effects including urinary incontinence and sexual dysfunction.

“With the new diagnosis of prostate cancer, prostate cancer has been over treated for a period of time because until now we haven’t had a very sharp tool to help separate out the men with nonaggressive types of prostate cancer that can safely be watched and those with a more aggressive type that need to be treated. We now have that with genetic testing in the Prolaris test which we can use on the prostate biopsy sample to help determine who is safe to watch and who needs their prostate cancer treated. Using this helps reduce the over treatment of prostate cancer. The numbers are that probably 50% of those men don’t need the treatment.”

Listen to Dr. Mark Edney, MD and incoming President of the American Association of Clinical Urologists as he speaks with a local Memphis TV station.

The Importance of a Prolaris Score


How Your Prolaris Score Can Help Determine Your Treatment Plan

Prostate cancer is a common diagnosis among men. Fortunately, the Prolaris test can determine just how unique and aggressive your prostate cancer truly is. This video will discuss how a Prolaris score can help you, and your physician, develop the appropriate treatment plan.

According to the American Urological Association, based on a combination of your medical information, your physician can determine if your prostate cancer is considered low, intermediate or high risk. Knowing this information will tell you what your tumor looks like today, but will not tell you how aggressive your cancer is.

Understanding Why Your Unique Prolaris Score Determines the Aggressiveness of Your Prostate Cancer

In the video, Bob and Jim are both 65 years old and have prostate cancer that appears to be similar. However, after Bob received a Prolaris score, it was clear that his cancer was less aggressive. Whereas, Jim’s Prolaris score showed that he was much more aggressive. With the new information that the Prolaris test provided, Bob and Jim can obtain a treatment plan designed for their specific cancer.

For more examples of Prolaris scores, visit Prostate Cancer Research Institute.

Answering Pressing Questions About Prostate Cancer

1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. When it comes to prostate cancer, there are many different factors that can increase your risk of getting prostate cancer. These risks include age, race, nationality and your family history. Upon diagnosis, you might be wondering how aggressive your prostate cancer is. Most prostate tumors tend to be slow growing. However, 10-15% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer have fast-growing, life-threatening prostate tumors. Luckily, the Prolaris test can help you and your doctor determine just how aggressive your prostate cancer is, and what cancer treatment plan is best for you. In fact, results from the Prolaris test have changed treatment plans for 65% of men.

Find out what Prolaris testing is, and how it can help you.


Safely Choose Active Surveillance As Your Cancer Treatment Plan

Many men diagnosed with prostate cancer have a hard time making a decision on a correct treatment plan. The decision is usually to either wait and watch to see if the cancer grows, or choose a more aggressive treatment option. Unfortunately, most men tend to select the aggressive option too often. In order for you and your doctor to make more informed decisions about a prostate cancer treatment plan that is right for you, choose Prolaris.

Prolaris has been shown to be more predictive than PSA, Gleason score and other features for ten-year prostate cancer mortality. Before Prolaris, doctors could see that the cancer was present and how advanced it was but, having a Prolaris score provides you and your doctor with new and different information beyond that. Prolaris tests how fast the cancer cells are growing along with the aggressiveness of your individual prostate cancer. In knowing this information, you will be able to better choose a treatment plan that is right for you.

Find out more information about how your Prolaris score can determine your treatment plan.

How a Simple Test Changed My Prostate Cancer Diagnosis


Six years ago, my doctor told me I had prostate cancer, and the news literally brought me to my knees.

To say that I was scared at that moment is a big understatement. Nobody wants to hear the words, “You’ve got cancer,” and there are just no words to describe the devastation I felt. I didn’t know what I would tell my wife, my six kids or my grandchildren.

I had seen other friends go through their own battles with this disease. They had undergone surgery and it had changed their lives for the worse. My own father had fought colon cancer. Now here I was, facing an uncertain future. I had just retired and was looking forward to spending more time with my family and friends. There was so much I wanted to do with my life. Now it felt like the end of the world.

My doctor went through all the potential courses of action to fight the disease. At first, I wanted to get surgery to remove the cancerous nodules. I wasn’t sure if I would live or die, and I thought, “Just get this cancer out of my body and I’ll be all right.”

If the cancer turned out to be aggressive, then I would need to get surgery, start chemotherapy and radiation, and deal with the side effects that go with all that. I researched those procedures, talked to specialists in that area, and I thought it was horrific. I just didn’t want to go in that direction if I could at all help it.

But my doctor said, “Let’s look at other options before we do anything,” and that’s when he brought up the idea of submitting to a 46-gene diagnostic test, called Prolaris. At the time, the test was brand new. My doctor gave me all the information about this test, for which I will always be grateful.

He was with me every step of the way, explaining to me what the test was and what it did, and how it may be able to accurately determine whether my cancer was aggressive or non-aggressive. And he helped me map out a plan.

My doctor told me that if the cancer was non-aggressive, then I wouldn’t need surgery at all. We would need to keep a very close eye on it, but I could go on with my life the same as before. I agreed to do the biopsy, and it was really very easy. They just went in, took a sample from my prostate, and sent it to Myriad Genetics in Salt Lake City, who manufactures the test.

What my Prolaris results determined:

The test results came back from Myriad, and the results said that the chances of my prostate becoming malignant over the next ten years stood at about three percent. Basically, my cancer was non-aggressive. My doctor advised that at some point, the cancer could grow and that we would have to address it head on, but for now, all I would need is active surveillance. I would not need any surgery, and I could go on as before.

Well, believe me, my whole life changed from A to Z. I can’t even begin to describe what I had been going through since my initial diagnosis. I have just always been full of life. My family and friends have always been a priority, I enjoy camping, and I am also a big motorcycle enthusiast. I also love to go out dancing with my wife. In fact, we attend dance festivals all throughout my home state of California. At age 73, I can still cut a rug!

I thought I would never do any of that again. And then it was all given back to me.

What life is like now after Prolaris:

For the last six years, since I got the results back, I go to see my doctor about three or four times a year for active surveillance of my prostate and those two cancerous nodules. They are about the size of a grain of rice each, and we want to make sure they stay that way. I get my PSA checked, plus a physical examination and a blood test. My disease is being managed very well. For the last six years, my PSA levels have sat there at about 1 or 1.1.

I feel like I still have my whole life ahead of me, just because of what a simple genetic test showed. I would encourage any man reading this to get checked out, and to get educated on this whole process. It was very easy, and I learned that a prostate cancer diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence.

Today, I have a new goal, and that is to die with my cancer as opposed to dying because of it.

By: Al Piazza

What Genetic Testing for Prostate Cancer Could Mean for You

No man wants to hear “You’ve got prostate cancer”. Al Piazza had just retired from his job in California and was devastated to hear that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He felt that his whole future ahead of him was over, as a result of his diagnosis. Thankfully, Al’s doctor, Dr. Jeremy Lieb introduced him to the Prolaris test. Upon hearing about Prolaris, Al was eager to find out what the progression of his cancer was expected to look like. Fortunately, for Al, the results from his Prolaris test showed that he only had a three percent chance of his cancer progressing over the next ten years. With the help of Prolaris, Al was able to worry less about his cancer and enjoy life again.

Dr Lieb explains that the Prolaris test is a genetic test for prostate cancer. What this means is that it looks into the actual DNA of the cells. In doing this, it is easier to determine how fast each individual cancer cell is going to grow in the future. Which can then help physicians and patients better diagnose a proper treatment plan that is unique to their particular prostate cancer.

Join Dr. Jeremy Lieb, a physician and board-certified Urologist from California, and Al Piazza, who lives with prostate cancer, for a real-world view of what the latest genetic testing for prostate cancer means for those faced with a prostate cancer diagnosis.

Al’s story aired on WTLV-First Coast News, Jacksonville.

Living with Prostate Cancer as Told by Bruce Bernstein

Bruce is living with prostate cancer. Luckily, Prolaris has allowed Bruce to enjoy life without having to worry about if he and his doctor made the best treatment decision. His Prolaris results determined that his cancer was not aggressive and very slow growing. Also, there is less than a two percent chance that it will become more aggressive over the next ten years.

“I have to say that I am a blessed person. The one thing I can say about my relationship with Myriad and taking the Prolaris test is it has given me peace of mind to ‘live in the now.’ The fact that I have Prostate cancer, makes me realize my time on this planet is finite. I have learned to enjoy every moment and seize the day. Life is precious – Myriad and their scientific advancements have given me time to enjoy it.” -Bruce Bernstein

Find out more information about what Prolaris can do for you.

Dr. Kaul: How Prolaris Can Help Avoid Unnecessary Surgery



Dr. Sanjeev Kaul, a urologist at the Beaumont Hospital System in Detroit, discusses Prolaris® testing and how it is being used as a tool to provide more personalized treatment for men diagnosed with Prostate cancer. With the information that Prolaris provides, physicians can inform their patients on how Prolaris can help avoid unnecessary surgery. This interview was conducted in 2015 as a part of WJR’s “The Big Story.”

Dr. Kaul: How Prolaris Can Help Avoid Unnecessary Surgery

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States. What Prolaris does is it looks at the genes within a specific prostate cancer patient. It then looks at the genes that control growth. With this information, you can find out more about the cancer’s aggressiveness, how likely it is to spread outside and how likely it is to cause death.

In the past, there was never a strong understanding of the aggressiveness of prostate cancer, which lead to a lot of patients receiving unnecessary surgery. Prolaris has increased the number of patients who have avoided surgery by over 40%.

Medicare Covers Prolaris Genetic Test for Low-Risk Prostate Cancer

On August 13, 2015, Medicare approved coverage of the Prolaris® test for men diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer. The decision is the culmination of years of scientific discovery, research, and collaboration, and is an enormous step in improving patient care.

Every day, another 604 men in the United States are diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 82 die from the disease. Daunting statistics like these underscore the tremendous need for better tools to fight this deadly cancer. We know that most prostate cancers are slow growing; however, some grow quickly. The challenge always has been telling aggressive from nonaggressive cancer.

Prior to the genomics revolution, and for the last 50 years, physicians largely relied on the Gleason score, clinical grade and, after its development, PSA to evaluate the prognosis of men with prostate cancer. A Gleason score is determined based upon how cancer cells look under a microscope – the higher the score, the worse the prognosis. Although clinically useful, the Gleason score is subjective and imperfect. Fast forward to today.

Prostate Cancer Is Still No.1:

Prolaris is the first prognostic test to determine the aggressiveness of prostate cancer and has been studied in more than 10 clinical studies with thousands of patients. The test measures the activity level of 46 genes and provides physicians with precise objective information that is based on the tumor’s genetic profile. Simply put, men with a low Prolaris score have a low risk of disease progression and may be candidates for active surveillance, while those with a high score are at higher risk and may benefit from additional therapy.

The Prolaris test already is changing the equation in the fight against prostate cancer. Any physician who has treated prostate cancer knows all too well the personal and financial cost of undertreating aggressive cancer or over treating a slow-growing, indolent cancer. More work needs to be done to reduce the death toll from prostate cancer, but Medicare’s positive decision will help ensure that Medicare patients who need a Prolaris test will have access.

Mark Capone
CEO, Myriad Genetics

Why These Prostate Cancer Survivors Chose Prolaris


One thing these prostate cancer survivors had in common was that once diagnosed, they did not know what to do or where to start. All they could think about was finding out more information about their cancer and taking action. Prolaris gave these men diagnosed with prostate cancer a clear understanding of just how aggressive their cancer was. Once a physician and patient establish this information, they are then able to select an appropriate treatment plan.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, remember that not all prostate cancer is the same. It is important to understand the aggressiveness of your own prostate cancer before deciding on a treatment option. Find out what your treatment options are and how to decide which one is right for you.

Prolaris Provided Me With a Level of Comfort

Howard Goldberg was 68-years-old when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. It started at his annual checkup where his doctor informed him that his PSA levels were high. After that, his doctor recommended that Howard see a Urologist for further testing. Upon seeing a Urologist and having a biopsy done, Howard made the decision to have his prostate removed. About a year after Howard’s surgery his doctor first informed him about Prolaris. After learning about Prolaris and doing some research, he decided to have the Prolaris test done.

Howard was pleased to learn from the results of his Prolaris test that he was on the right course. The value of taking a Prolaris test provided Howard with the comfort of knowing he made the right decision. In addition, he said he sleeps better at night knowing that he is doing the right thing. If he were to change anything about his prostate cancer journey, it would have been to have the Prolaris test done sooner.

Learn about more prostate cancer survivors.

My Prostate Cancer Is Manageable Because of Prolaris

Al Piazza had just retired and was ready to spend time with his wife and grandchildren when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was devastated to hear the news that he had cancer. Al’s first impression was to remove it as soon as possible. Based on stories he had heard about cancer, he couldn’t remember the end result ever being good.

Fortunately, Al’s doctor was knowledgeable about Prolaris and had used it with other patients in the past. He convinced Al that before he made any treatment decisions to try Prolaris. Al agreed to Prolaris testing and was pleased to find out that the chance of his cancer progressing over the next ten years was less than 3%.

As soon as Al heard the news his whole attitude changed. He described it as taking a huge weight off of his shoulders. Al and his doctor decided on the treatment route of active surveillance. He now meets with his doctor every six months for a blood test and exam to make sure nothing has changed.

Al’s prostate cancer is manageable because of Prolaris. Knowing where his future was headed gave him relief in knowing he was going to be okay. Without the Prolaris test, Al would have likely gone with his first thought of removing the cancer without knowing the aggressiveness of it. In addition, Prolaris gave Al his life back by giving him his future back.

Read Al Piazza’s full story here.

What You Need to Know About Prostate Cancer


Learn About Prostate Cancer

Many men don’t think about their health until it becomes a problem. This is particularly true with prostate issues. “Out of sight, out of mind” is a common line of thinking. In fact, in its early stages, prostate cancer may have no symptoms, so many men do not know they have the disease. Learning about prostate cancer will better equip you to cope with a prostate cancer diagnosis and become familiar with the treatment options available to you. Unfortunately, many men know very little about prostate cancer, testing options, and available treatments. Taking the time to educate yourself before or after a prostate cancer diagnosis can make you more confident during your course of treatment.


The Prostate: What is it?

The prostate is a gland, roughly the size of a walnut, which makes a fluid that is a component of semen. It is found near the base of the penis, underneath the bladder. On occasion, the prostate can grow larger, which can inhibit urination and cause discomfort. That alone, however, does not necessarily indicate prostate cancer.


When to Be Concerned about Prostate Issues

While prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, it is important to know that the likelihood of dying from prostate cancer is relatively low. The vast majority of men can live with prostate cancer with appropriate management.

Cancer cells in the prostate grow faster than normal cells. This can lead to the formation of tumors. Most prostate cancer cases are adenocarcinomas, which begin in cells that line glands. When prostate cancer cells grow, they can envelop most of the prostate and even spread to nearby tissues.

In advanced cases, prostate cancer can metastasize, spreading to other parts of the body via blood vessels or lymph vessels. Many instances of prostate cancer are slow-growing, but some can be aggressive. It isn’t known why this happens, but receiving proper treatment is essential for all men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer. Understanding how aggressive your prostate cancer is can help you and your doctor create a personalized treatment plan that best manages your specific cancer.


Prostate Cancer Risk Factors

Some men may have an increased risk of prostate cancer. Common risk factors include:

  • Age. About 6 in 10 cases of prostate cancer are found in men who are older than 65.
  • Race. While prostate cancer is found across all ethnic groups, African American men are more likely to develop it.
  • Family history. If your brother or father has had prostate cancer, then you have a higher likelihood of having it too.

While men who fit these criteria may be at higher risk, it is far from certain that they will get prostate cancer. It is important to discuss these specific risk factors with your doctor in order to decide which surveillance and prostate cancer treatment options are best for you.


Discover Prolaris®

If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you are probably researching all available prostate cancer testing and treatment options.

Prolaris® is a novel genetic test that measures prostate cancer aggressiveness. Prolaris adds additional information, beyond traditional clinical and pathologic tools, like Gleason Score and PSA, that guides more personalized treatment.

Download a free Patient Guide or find a Prolaris provider in your area today.


More Aggressive Versus Less Aggressive Prostate Cancer


Not all prostate cancers are the same. Therefore, not all prostate cancer treatment plans should be the same either. It is important to identify those patients who need more aggressive versus less aggressive prostate cancer treatment. Unfortunately, traditional markers are unable to fully differentiate between aggressive and non-aggressive cancers. Which often leads to over-treatment of patients.

Luckily, Prolaris provides unique additional information about a patient’s prognosis and may be used with other clinical factors in helping the healthcare provider make treatment recommendations. In addition, it is can help determine more appropriate treatment plans for individual patients. By providing personal risk assessment, Prolaris can accurately measure the aggressiveness of an individuals prostate cancer. In doing so, it can help protect against over-treatment.

If you have less aggressive prostate cancer, otherwise known as slow-growing prostate cancer, your doctor may suggest active surveillance as a potential treatment option. With active surveillance, your doctor will monitor you frequently (such as every 3 to 6 months) with different tests and sometimes biopsies.

Find out more information about how knowing the aggressiveness of your prostate cancer could change your treatment options.