Just recently my husband and I watched a news program on prostate cancer. Black men are more likely to get this disease and women are urged to encourage their boyfriends, husbands, friends, brothers, fathers, uncles to get tested for prostate cancer.
Sway Magazine decided that it was “time to come out of the cold and spring into a new level of awareness surrounding the sensitive issue of prostate cancer and the Black community. Canadian Black men are 65% more likely to get prostate cancer than white men and almost three times more likely to die from the disease.” The magazine raised awareness by throwing a Santé Soirée on April 13. Artists like Divine Brown, Juno award winner and star comedian Trixx were part of the star studded lineup.
“I am honoured to grace the cover of the spring issue of Sway magazine,” says Divine Brown. ”Sway is a world-class publication representing our community. I am proud to be associated with them in their effort to bring awareness about prostate cancer in our community.”
Prostate Cancer Canada’s Vice Presiden Rebecca Von Goetz is also proud to be associated with Sway and for a very good reason. “Together we are making great progress in educating the Black community on the issue of prostate cancer–the most common cancer to afflict Canadian men. Black men are at a much greater risk of getting the disease and we encourage them to speak to their doctors about early detection.”
Today I came across an article which explains why black men are 50% more likely to develop prostate cancer than their white counterparts and why they suffer from this particular type of cancer earlier in life and die more often from it. Scientists investigated the statistics and it all comes down to some differences in the human genome.
Consequently, analyzing the DNA, scientists at Dana Farber Cancer Institute found that dark – skinned men present a flawed segment in their DNA which relates to a group of genes arrayed along chromosome 8. The specific region of the chromosome 8 considered to be the problem which makes black people more likely to develop prostate cancer is the region called 8q24.
“It appears that we found a genetic risk that predisposes to prostate cancer in the general population, but particularly in African-American men. This is the first time that a genetic risk factor for prostate cancer has been found and confirmed in the general population.”
“We see the smoke, but don’t yet see the fire. I am very excited about this because, among the well-accepted risk factors for prostate cancer, we know that age, family history and ethnicity are strong indicators. Now we appear to have added a fourth,” lead researcher of the study Dr. Matthew Freedman stated (http://news.softpedia.com/news/Why-Black-Men-Are-More-Likely-to-Develop-Prostate-Cancer-and-Black-Women-to-Experience-Miscarriage-33734.shtml).
Kudos to Sway, Prostate Cancer Canada and artists like Divine Brown for uniting to break barriers surrounding prostate cancer in black communities. We need to create awareness which could save our men. Women, encourage the men in your lives to get the PSA test which is a simple blood test that can help men and their doctors assess the risk of developing prostate cancer through early detection.