Men who might be worried about prostate cancer have a solution: "Let's Talk About It."
African American men have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the country and are more likely to die of the disease than are men of any other race. The "Let's Talk About It" campaign is meant to raise awareness about prostate cancer in the Seattle area.
The campaign is being launched by the Washington State Comprehensive Cancer Control Partnership and the Center for Multicultural Health.
The program is designed for African American men to help educate them about prostate cancer and their risk and to encourage them to talk with their doctor about the disease.
A series of forums will help answer questions men might have, as well as encourage participants to consider the detection and the treatment options that might be best for them. The forums also feature prostate cancer survivors telling their personal stories.
Prostate cancer is serious, and understanding the disease and risk factors can be the key to preventing it, according to local health professionals. Early detection is critical in successfully treating the disease.
Several educational forums are planned:
• 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 25 at Safeco Jackson Street Center, 306 23rd Ave. S., Suite 200.
• 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 17 at Catholic Community Services, 100 23rd Ave. S.
• 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 1 at Safeco Jackson Street Center.
• 6 to 8 p.m. Dec.12 at Gilda's Club, 1400 Broadway.
One in six men in over age 40 will get prostate cancer; for African American men, it's one in five, and one in four if they are over 60 years of age.
"It's significant that Black men need to be even more diligent about having yearly screenings, especially after they reach the age 40," said Kevin Henry, facilitator of the workshops.
Testing consists of a prostate-specific antigen blood test and a digital rectal exam called a DRE, where a doctor can feel if they are any lumps in the prostate area.
"It's important that the African American community support the program and support the idea that men need to be educated about this and encourage them to find out more information about prostate cancer." Henry added.
Larry Taylor, a well-known member of the Seattle African American community and a prostate cancer survivor, is the face of the educational media campaign and one of the trainers for the forums.
Taylor's inspirational story of surviving cancer provides participants with firsthand experience and encouragement.
"Prostate cancer is a serious disease; education is the key. These forums will hopefully start the conversation and encourage men to talk with their doctors." Taylor said.
To register for any of the forums, call Kevin Henry, 206-461-6910 ext. 214 or e-mail [email protected].