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Non-profit group holds prostate cancer screening events in Manhattan, says early detection is key

In partnership with the ‘Blue Jacket Fashion Show,’ Mount Sinai, and Carver Financial institution, the nonprofit advocacy group ‘ZERO-The End of Prostate Cancer’ hosted two free prostate cancer screening events for males between the ages of 45 to 79 years on Feb.1.

The primary occasion befell outdoors the Schomburg Middle for Analysis in Black Tradition in Harlem. The second occasion was held outdoors the Moonlight Studios in decrease Manhattan forward of the ‘Blue Jacket Fashion Show.’

Although prostate cancer is the second main reason behind cancer dying amongst American males, many nonetheless really feel uncomfortable speaking about prostate well being. Well being consultants say there nonetheless stays a number of stigma encompass prostate cancer screening, which the organizers hope to eradicate with neighborhood outreach, particularly in Black and Brown communities, since Black and Brown males are 2.1 instances extra prone to die from the illness than white males.

The American Cancer Society estimates that the U.S. had about 268,490 new instances of prostate cancer with about 34,500 deaths in 2022. If detected early, greater than 99% of sufferers are alive 5 years after the preliminary prostate cancer prognosis.

Chris Bennett, director of Well being Fairness and Group Organizing and Engagement at Zero, mentioned it was essential to normalize the dialog about prostate cancer screening and for males to undertake a extra proactive perspective.

“A lot of times we talk about prostate cancer when it’s a little bit too late,” Bennett mentioned. “And then the disease has really progressed to a late stage. So we want to get as involved as we can before.”

A prostate cancer screening occasion was held in Harlem on Feb.1. Picture by Gabriele Holtermann (Picture by Gabriele Holtermann)

Dressmaker Frederick Anderson based the Blue Jacket Trend Present seven years in the past as a result of he wished to attract consideration to prostate cancer screening. He mentioned that “men just do not want to talk about it.”

“Men think that if they have prostate issues, they’re sexually kind of malfunctioning,” Anderson mentioned. “It’s just not true anymore. Especially if you get it early.”

Michael Pugh, president of Carver Bancorp, mentioned when he realized concerning the occasion, he knew that it was the suitable trigger to become involved in as a result of it offered an opportunity to get the neighborhood to speak about wellness and well being.

“When you consider that African American men are more than two times likely to die from prostate cancer, there was an opportunity to support an event like this in the greater Harlem area,” Pugh mentioned.

David Christie’s dad died of prostate cancer. Picture by Gabriele Holtermann

The Mount Sinai Robert F. Smith cellular prostate cancer screening unit for the screenings was scheduled to be on location outdoors the Schaumberg Middle. Resulting from mechanical difficulties, the unit didn’t make it. Nonetheless, with some improvisation, males nonetheless had the possibility to have their blood drawn for a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening.

Mount Sinai has screened near 2,000 males because it launched the unit in April 2022, and 20% of the screened sufferers had elevated prostate-specific antigens. Whereas elevated PSA ranges can enhance with age or prostate enlargement, prostate cancer is the primary reason behind an elevated PSA stage.

Yohaira Rojas Guzman, administrative director of the prostate screening program, shared that Mount Sinai wasn’t solely aiming for extra screenings but additionally educating males concerning the significance of yearly check-ups.

“There’s a lot of taboo,” Rojas Guzman mentioned. “The men are uncomfortable, and they think this requires the DRE (digital rectal exam) physical.”

Rojas Guzman defined they encourage sufferers to have a dialog with their docs and that PSA bloodwork is step one.

Ian Haas, Michael Pugh, Frederick Anderson and Chris Bennett encourage males to get a yearly prostate cancer examination. Picture by Gabriele Holtermann

“We do let them know that in the event that the PSA is elevated, we do need them to come in for follow-up work,” Rojas Guzman mentioned. “There’s no escaping a physical exam.”

Sixty-year-old David Christie went for a screening as a result of his father died of prostate cancer.

“I think it’s best for me to check myself to make sure that I’m ok,” Christie mentioned.

In the meantime, it was the primary time for 45-year-old Michael Bowman to get examined for prostate cancer. For him, it was about taking precaution.

“I’m doing it because I’m the proper age of having a test,” Bowman mentioned. “If the results do show up positive, they can take care of it early.”

Bowman additionally mentioned that he was going to “spread the word” about prostate cancer screening amongst his household and associates.

“We talk about every other thing, except prostate cancer,” Bowman mentioned. “I’m going to share with them that I had [prostate cancer screening] done. Also, I’m gonna share it with my father. He is 64. He hadn’t had [prostate cancer screening] done.”

45-year-old Michael Bowman needs to unfold the phrase concerning the significance of prostate cancer screening. Picture by Gabriele Holtermann

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