DC Leads Nation in Prostate Cancer
Race and Distrust Leading Factors in Death Rate
WASHINGTON, March 8, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Increased risk for African-Americans, medical distrust and negative attitudes toward testing contribute to high rates of prostate cancer in the District of Columbia. DC has the highest prostate cancer incidence rate and death rate in the country, according to data from North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Recent studies have shown that distrust of the medical system accounts for delays in using health care, especially among older African-American men,” said Skip Lockwood, CEO of ZERO — The Project to End Prostate Cancer. “We must do a better job of changing these perceptions and providing testing and treatment options to vulnerable populations in our nation’s capital.”
This year alone, 540 men in Washington, DC, will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 60 will die from the disease. Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in men, with an estimated 28,170 deaths in the U.S. in 2012.
More than 50 percent of the DC population is African-American. A 2011 study from the Journal of General Internal Medicine showed that African-American men go less often for preventive health visits and face greater illness and premature death risk from conditions that usually respond well to treatments if caught in early stages. Nearly 100 percent of African-American men diagnosed with an early stage of prostate cancer are alive five years from diagnosis, but when diagnosed in a late stage, only 29 percent survive five years.
African-American men are also at a higher risk for the prostate cancer. For reasons that remain unclear, rates of prostate cancer are 60 percent higher among men with African ancestry, and the death rate is two-and-a-half times that of white men.
In addition to African ancestry, other risk factors for prostate cancer include age and family history of the disease. Studies suggest that a diet high in processed meat or dairy foods may also be a risk factor. Obesity may increase the risk of aggressive prostate cancer, and obesity and smoking are associated with an increased risk of dying from the disease.
ZERO believes that men should take a proactive approach to their health and discuss prostate cancer risk factors and testing options with their doctor. ZERO works to increase government research funding, provides comprehensive treatment information to patients, education to those at risk, and conducts free prostate cancer testing throughout the country. Through our many initiatives, such as the Drive Against Prostate Cancer, the Great Prostate Cancer Challenge, and the Summit to End Prostate Cancer, we work tirelessly toward our goal of ending prostate cancer.
About ZERO — The Project to End Prostate Cancer (www.zerocancer.org)
As ZERO — The Project to End Prostate Cancer, we commit ourselves not only to reduce prostate cancer or alleviate the pain from the disease but to end it. We see a future where all men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer will be cured or manage their illness with good quality of life, with the support they need to minimize physical and emotional suffering and to cope effectively throughout their cancer journeys.
To accomplish our goal, we increase research funds from the federal government to find new treatments and we fund local grants to end prostate cancer through our national event series, the Great Prostate Cancer Challenge. We conduct free testing through the Drive Against Prostate Cancer mobile testing program and educate patients, families and those at risk.
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Skip Lockwood — http://www.profnetconnect.com/skip_lockwood
SOURCE ZERO – The Project to End Prostate Cancer