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What are single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)?

What are single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)? What are single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)? By Robert Warren Hess     As a 12-year prostate cancer survivor, prostate cancer recurrence is always a possibility so I pay close attention to current medical research. But in reading that research I constantly find terms I don’t understand. One recent mystery term was SNP. Here’s the definition of an SNP … “Single nucleotide polymorphisms, frequently called SNPs (pronounced “snips”), are the most common type of genetic variation among people. Each SNP represents a difference in a single DNA building block, called a nucleotide. For example, a SNP may replace the nucleotide cytosine (C) with the nucleotide thymine (T) in a certain stretch of DNA. SNPs occur normally throughout a person’s DNA. They occur once in every 300 nucleotides on average, which means there are roughly 10 million SNPs in the human genome. Most commonly, these variations are found in the DNA between genes. They can act as biological markers, helping scientists locate genes that are associated with disease. When SNPs occur within a gene or in a regulatory region near a gene, they may play a more direct role in disease by affecting the gene’s function. Most SNPs have no effect on […] read more

1 Key Prostate Cancer Recurrence Tool You Can Implement Today

1 Key Prostate Cancer Recurrence Tool You Can Implement Today How to Gain Control Over Stress by Robert Warren Hess If you are a cancer survivor, you know about stress and the monkey that you just can’t quite get off your back. If you are the caregiver for a cancer survivor, you almost surely are dealing with the same level of stress.   Research shows that chronic stress reduces the effectiveness of the body’s immune system, which reduces the body’s ability to deal with illness, including cancer. One of the best ways to manage stress is through meditation. I’ve been practicing meditation off and on for the past 12 years since my treatment for prostate cancer. What kept me from being consistent was the lack of a way to measure my actual progress. I could set goals but I had no way to know if or when I reached them.  Until Muse! Visualizing My Stress   This is an actual report from my Muse headband this past February. I did this session late at night and I thought I was quite calm but, as you can see, my brain was still pretty active. I’m a data guy and I love to track trends. That’s why I create ProstateTracker, so guys […] read more

Are You Ready to Ride? Join Us at The 2015 Alpine Loop Gran Fondo

Alpine Gran Fondo The Prostate Cancer Awareness Project is honored to be one of the non-profits that the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo closely works with to carry out its charitable mission. We invite you to join us at the 2015 Alpine Loop Gran Fondo in Harrisonburg, VA. This challenging and adventurous cycling event takes place on September 20, 2015. The route begins in Harrisonburg and covers 107 miles featuring over 11,000 feet of climbing and two dirt road mountain climbs – the toughest Gran Fondo in the United States! Registration is open at and will continue until September 7th or until field limits are reached. The Alpine Loop Gran Fondo has a route for everyone including two new ones this year. Now there are five routes to enjoy. Check out the details below: Valley View Challenge – 36 miles, 2200 ft elevation Mt Solon Metric Century – 100 kilometers (62 miles), 3700 ft elevation Shenandoah Mountain Adventure – 78 miles, 6400 ft elevation Shenandoah Mountain Century – 100(+) miles, 7800 ft elevation Alpine Loop – 108 miles, 11000 ft elevation If you are ready to ride and up to the challenge; we encourage you to join us at the 2015 Alpine Loop Gran Fondo. […] read more

Road to Manchester – Sitrep May 1, 2015

Robert Warren Hess practicing with the start gate at Velo Sports Center Los Angeles The Road to Manchester by Robert Warren Hess I’m convinced that bicycling is playing a key role in preventing my prostate cancer recurrence. I’ve talked about before in this blog that there is a growing connection between exercise, good eating habits, and cancer of all types. Cycling became a key part of my cancer battle plan 12 years ago when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Since 2003, I’ve ridden more than the distance around the world, and I weight within 6 pounds (150) of my ideal weight. My trip to Manchester this October is to honor all of the men who have died from prostate cancer and the millions around the world currently living with the disease. The World Master’s Track Champions is part of my personal cancer survivorship journey and my goal is ending prostate cancer through awareness and early detection. Whew! That’s a mouthful. So, here’s my sitrep (situation report) for this week … It was a busy work week and so pretty tough to get much training in. That said, I live just 20 minutes from the world-class indoor velodrome in Carson – the Velo Sports Center in Carson, CA. If you remember, my event in […] read more

Road to Manchester – Sitrep April 26, 2015

Road to Manchester – Sitrep April 26, 2015 The Road to Manchester by Robert Warren Hess It’s just over 5 months to Manchester and I’m trying to get a training routine set for my event. Today was my weekend road ride, with a focus on preparation for riding Stage 7 of this year’s Amgen Tour of California, which ends at the ski lift parking lot on Mt. Baldy. The final 1/2 mile is 17%! The image on the right is from my Garmin computer: 41.1 miles and just over 3,7oo’ of vertical climb. It was a good ride. I’ve being playing around with fasted riding to train my body to use fat for fuel. So, I started this morning with a breakfast of coffee and 1 1/3 ounces of plain turkey.  I also had two waters bottles, each with one small scoop of Osmo sports concentrate.  The result was that I was officially “bonked” at 3 hours and 11 minutes into the ride, just 15 minutes from home.  I’ll check the scale tomorrow morning and see if I actually lost any weight, or if I just ate myself silly when I got home and replaced everything I lost. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful day and a very fun […] read more

Inspirational Video About Prostate Cancer Survivor Steve Cooper

We recently shared this extremely inspiring video on our Facebook page about Steve “Radioactive Ironman” Cooper, a board member of ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer. It’s too good not to share again on our blog. The video was originally posted by ZERO. Steve Cooper was diagnosed with prostate cancer in December 2012 with a PSA score of 50 and a Gleason 4/4 at all 12 biopsy sites. Steve was only given six months to live. His case was ruled inoperable by the VA. This bleak diagnosis prompted him to seek out other options in the private sector. He had a radical prostatectomy in January of 2013.  Steve rode 118 miles on his bicycle to Tucson only 88 days after surgery.  Just a few weeks later, he ran a marathon in his army uniform. Steve’s “never quit” attitude can be linked back to his lengthy career in the U.S. Army. Today, he is the CEO of Today’s Campus media company.  He has also started a program called This program helps veterans secure careers at no cost to them. We salute Steve Cooper for his never quit attitude! You can find out more about Steve by visiting his Facebook […] read more

Road to Manchester – Sitrep 4/16/2015

Road to Manchester – Sitrep 4/16/2015 Just Like Carnegie Hall, the Way to Manchester is all About Practice! by Robert Warren Hess My travel schedule has dropped significantly, so I’ve been able to ride at the track twice this week and I hope to be able to keep that schedule up. Today’s session was really fun – I rode a total of 55.2 miles in 2 hours and 39 minutes rolling.  Here are today’s stats … 50 minute training session prior to Roger’s session.  15 minute warm up, then 3 x standing RAs (rolling accelerations) with 3 min between each RA. Max speed was 28.6 mph on 170mm cranks and 90.6 gear inch, which is about 101 cadence.  At the end of Roger’s session, a total of 55.2 miles for the afternoon, I managed to reach 31.35 in the same gear sitting – which is only about 111 cadence. Great session. I actually feel pretty good. Just slow:-) My New Manchester Bicycle Worlds at Manchester is Bucket List trip for me so I’m pulling out all of the stops in getting ready for this. I’m replacing my trust Fuji Track Pro that I’ve been riding for the past 11 years with a custom made Serenity track […] read more

It’s Minority Health Month: Men Get Tested for Prostate Cancer

National Minority Health Month April is National Minority Health Month presented by the Office of Minority Health.  This year they celebrate 30 Years of Advancing Health Equity. This office addresses disease prevention, health promotion, risk reduction, healthier lifestyle choices, use of health care services and barriers to health care for racial and ethnic minorities. This month we would like to bring more awareness to African American men and prostate cancer.  1 out of 6 American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year.  For African American men, it is 1 in every 4. More than 230,000 men are diagnosed with this disease and more than 29,000 will die as a result. Prostate cancer is the second most prevalent form of cancer after melanoma. African American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than Caucasian men. They are also almost 2.5 times as likely to die from this cancer. Scientists cannot explain why prostate cancer occurrence and death rates are higher among African American men. Although, it is widely believed that a combination of genetic differences, lifestyle and nutrition habits, and medical care are factors. Below are some ways to help decrease your chance of getting prostate cancer. Exercise Maintain a healthy diet Know […] read more

Road to Manchester | Sitrep 4/14/2015

Road to Manchester | Sitrep 4/14/2015 How to Feel Really Inadequate on a Track Bike by Robert Warren Hess I finally got back to the velodrome after almost two weeks in Virginia on family business. My 98 year old aunt – and second mom – passed away in her sleep and I was back for the funeral and to help with affairs. I wasn’t intending this post to be about my Aunt Thelma, but I guess that’s what it’s going to be. She was a wonderful person and always was surrounded by children, although she had none of her own. She was a prankster at heart, and taught us all how to ‘snipe hunt’ when we were children. Our summers were always spent with her and she made them all exciting, interesting, and just plain wonderful. She even managed to teach us all to love vegetables. She was a wonderful lady and we all miss her. 26.95 Miles Behind an 11-year old! The image on the right is the heart rate data from my training session tonight. It shows that my heart didn’t think I was working as hard as I thought I was:-) This particular training session is done in a pace line, with riders […] read more