(BlackNews.com) — Prostate cancer touches lives of the famous like Ambassador Andrew Young and activist-artist Harry Belafonte. But there are tens of thousands of others impacted like Oakland minister, Bishop Bob Jackson, Tugaloo college professor Dr. Walter Davis and businessman Thomas Farrington. Seventeen-year survivor Farrington turned the “lemon” of his diagnosis into a potent education “brew” with national impact.
He established the Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN), the non-profit organization dedicated to providing support and education to African American men and serves as its president. The organization recognizes September as prostate cancer awareness month by hosting the 13th Annual African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit. It will be held in Washington DC on Thursday, September 21 from 9am to 4pm at the United States Capitol Building and Friday, September 22 from 9am to noon at the Washington Convention Center. The Friday session is held as part of the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference.
“There is currently a prostate cancer crisis in Black America,” said Farrington. “Black men die at a rate of 130% higher than white men. It makes this the largest racial disparity for any type cancer among men or women.”
Among Summit topics to be presented by leading practitioners in the field will be: Clinical Trial Update, The Prostate Cancer Treatment Paradigm, Prostate Cancer Screening in Black America and Educating and Mobilizing Black Communities on Prostate Cancer. Special emphasis will be on Treatment Cost Factors and Impact. Cancer patients, Farrington notes “are three times more likely to declare bankruptcy than people without cancer according to reports.” He added, “The cost of treatments impacts access to treatment for African American men.”
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in African Americans behind lung cancer. About one in five Black men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime with the highest prostate cancer incidence and mortality rates in the United States.
“The PHEN mission is to eliminate the prostate cancer racial disparity,” said Farrington. “That is why we have assembled leaders within medicine, research, government, pharmaceutical industry and survivors to address medical issues toward eliminating the prostate cancer racial disparity.”
Although the Summit is free and open to the public, registration is encouraged at www.prostatehealthed.org/summit. For those who are not able to attend, the complete summit will be streamed live on PHEN’s website: www.rapcancer.org