“To address the need for clear guidance on the early detection of prostate cancer”
Quincy, MA (BlackNews.com) — The Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN) will release a consensus statement at its “Ninth Annual African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit” on September 19th in the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.
The prostate health needs of African American men have been overlooked and ignored historically when considering data published by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) showing that Black men die from prostate cancer at a rate 2.4 times higher than white men. This represents the largest racial disparity for any major cancer in the United States. The U. S. Senate passed a resolution in July 2012 recognizing prostate cancer among African American men to be of epidemic proportions.
There is an on-going debate within medical circles about the PSA (prostate specific antigen) test for the early detection of prostate cancer that has captured media headlines nationwide. However, the needs of Black men are still being ignored. New PSA testing guidelines have been published during the past two years that rely heavily on data from two randomized controlled clinical trials. The problem is that Black men were not included within one of these trials at all, and not in statistically significant numbers in the other.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in 2012, while acknowledging the lack of data for Black men, simply substituted data from a non – PSA test clinical trial to justify including Black men within its recommendation that no men should have the PSA test for the early detection of prostate cancer. The American Urological Association (AUA) released its guidelines in May 2013 with the recommendation that men begin PSA testing at age 55. However, the AUA stated that they did not include Black men within its guidelines for lack of data from the two main clinical trials.
“Clear guidance on PSA testing is critical for Black men who are 1.6 times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than other men,” says Thomas Farrington, PHEN president and a prostate cancer survivor. To address this need PHEN has formulated a “Consensus Statement for PSA Testing for African American Men for the Early detection of Prostate Cancer.” This statement has up to twenty (20) initial signatories which include some of the leading prostate cancer medical specialists in the country. “Without scientific evidence from clinical trials we must rely upon the expert opinion of those that have a history of diagnosing and treating men for prostate cancer – what options do we have? Black men’s prostate health needs cannot continue to be ignored simply because there is a history of being overlooked. NCI data shows that this is a deadly cycle which must be broken,” Farrington points out.
The PHEN summit will also address other important topics. Is it safe for Black men to delay immediate treatment for prostate cancer and enter into an “active-surveillance” or watchful waiting” program? Doctors at John Hopkins Medical Institute will present their research findings on this subject.
PHEN’s Ninth Annual African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit is open and free to the public. Sessions on September 19th and 20th will be held in the Russell Senate Office Building; The Washington Convention Center, as part of the Congressional Black Caucus’ Annual Legislative Conference; and at the Biotechnology Industry Organization. Information on the program agenda, schedule, and registration is available on PHEN’s website at www.rapcancer.org.
PHEN was founded in 2003 by Thomas A. Farrington, a prostate cancer survivor and author. PHEN’s mission is to eliminate the African American prostate cancer disparity. The organization’s efforts are implemented through its national “Rally Against Prostate Cancer (RAP Cancer)” initiatives which include the annual African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit.