Over 30 years of service in our community has allowed us to understand and be in touch with important issues. One of the main issues that affect our community at large and specifically the male population is the availability and use of health care opportunities. One major problem in the Black Community is prostate cancer and how it affects our men. Compared with white men, African American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer and are twice as likely to die from the disease. Additionally, when you add the Black male’s tendency to avoid health services until absolutely necessary increases the deadly impact this form of cancer has.
African American men are at an increased risk for developing prostate cancer over white men and other men of color. One in seven African American men will develop prostate cancer in his lifetime. Overall, African American men are 1.7 times more likely to be diagnosed with—and 2.1 times more likely to die from—prostate cancer than white men. African American men are also slightly more likely than white men to be diagnosed with advanced disease due to the aforementioned avoidance of doctor’s visits.
So, what can be done to change the behaviors of our men and provide increased chances of detection prior to late-stage development? Through the power of partnership and relationship building, we have been able to establish a program with Dattoli Cancer Foundation and the Sarasota Public Library System – (North Sarasota) to provide cancer awareness, education, and detection services. Our free prostate cancer screenings and informational pamphlets attract all men from all races and have served thousands of residents in our community. Our program has been proven to be one of the most impactful, relevant, and life-changing events in our community host.
We are not the only group that believes in this important service as we can not do this without the help and support of partner organizations. We however are the uniting force that brings this needed service to the community each year as we try to “Be The One” that provides the initiative and the commitment to serve. We strive to improve our community and be the one at the center of serving our fellow man/woman.