Your Health: Prostate Cancer Hits African American Hardest
Published September 12th, 2013
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Doctors say it's a completely preventable way to die.
Like many cancers, prostate cancer - if caught early - can be treated with great success. September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and doctors warn that prostate cancer can threaten all men. But, one demographic is particularly at risk. It's the second leading cause of cancer death in men... and it seems to hit certain ethnic groups harder than others.
Now, researchers from UF Health are getting help from community leaders to get African American men to pay attention.
Braxton Linton Sr. says early detection saved his life. He and Willie McCray are prostate cancer survivors.
Every year more than 200,000 men will hear a similar diagnosis. For some, the odds are stacked agaisnt them.
African American men are twice as likely to get the aggressive form of prostate cancer, and more than twice as likely to die from the disease than any other ethnic group.
"They are genetically predisposed to have the disease," says Folakemi Odedina Ph.D, a professor at the University of Florida Colleges of Pharmacy & Medicine and an Associate Director at the UF Health Cancer Center.
Because of that genetic predisposition, early detection is even more important. Advocates say encouraging men to learn more and talk about their prostate health has been an uphill battle.
"We're getting the information out there," says Co-chair of the Community Advisory Board of the UF Prostate Disease Center Samuel Gaddy, "and what we find is so many men really don't understand this disease."
It's knowledge these survivors want to pass on, hoping with understanding they can beat the odds.
Screening reccomendations for prostate cancer have changed in the past several years, Odedina reccomends men talk with their primary doctor about their health and family history to determine when and how often they should begin screening.
In honor of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, the UF Health Cancer Center will host their Fourth Annual Men's Health Expo on Saturday the 28th at the Springhill Misisonary Baptist Church (120 SE Williston Rd, Gainesville, FL 32641), from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
To learn more about the UF Health Cancer Center, visit their website, http://cancer.ufl.edu/
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