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Arnold School collaborates on Prostate Health Education program

November 29, 2016

The below information was provided by the South Carolina Cancer Alliance Prostate Cancer Workgroup.

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men in South Carolina, especially among African American men. Prostate cancer incidence rates in African American men in South Carolina are among the highest in the world (80 percent higher than in white men, who are at the U.S. average). 

The South Carolina Cancer Alliance (SCCA) Prostate Cancer Workgroup developed a community-engaged prostate cancer informed decision making education program for African American families. This National Cancer Institute, Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute, and SCCA-funded pilot program has been delivered within a high-risk African American community over the past three years with over 100+ individuals in the upstate of South Carolina. Collaborators on this project include the University of South Carolina, Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute, Greenville Health system, and UsTOO, Greenville, Spartanburg, and Columbia Chapters.

Recently, the Workgroup, through additional funding provided by SCCA, developed and implemented a program for African American men in the upstate focused on evidence-based physical activity and nutrition information as a means to decrease their risk of developing prostate cancer. Another focus of the program was to promote informed decision making surrounding prostate cancer screening and treatment. Two education sessions took place this past October in Greenville with more than 50 men taking part in the programs. 

A community forum was held in Greenville on November 12 to give each of the program participants a chance to learn what we discovered during the education sessions as well an opportunity to ask questions to a panel of local healthcare providers. Thirty eight men took part in the forum; posing questions to five local healthcare providers. Providers included a registered dietician, three nurse practitioners, and a primary care physician. Findings from this program demonstrate the importance of open dialogue between health providers and African American men and families regarding lifestyle behaviors and screening options for prostate cancer.

For more information about the SCCA, please visit: http://www.sccancer.org. For additional information about the prostate health education program, please contact Jessica Seel, MPH at: JSEEL@mailbox.sc.edu.  [Arnold School faculty members involved with the program: Susan Steck, PhD (EPID/BIOS) and Daniela Friedman, PhD (HPEB).]