Black Health Matters Prostate Cancer & Research Study Educational Initiative

This past fall, Black Health Matters developed a Prostate Cancer & Research Study Initiative.  The goal was to educate African American men about prostate cancer and provide information on clinical trials as an option in their journey as a patient.  

The Statistics

African American men are at an increased risk for developing prostate cancer over white men and other men of color. One in six 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 2.3 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.

While there is no clear reason for these differences, several factors can impact cancer risk and outcomes in the African American community. Because of historical context, race in the United States is correlated with socioeconomic status, and lower socioeconomic status is correlated with increased cancer risk and poorer outcomes. African American men may also be harmed by racial bias in preventive care, as they are less likely than white men to be offered the option of having a PSA test, and are more likely than white men to be told that the benefits of the PSA test are uncertain. Additionally, a recent study found that African American men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer were less likely than white men to receive any type of treatment for that cancer.

Why Research Study Participation is Important

An article in Clinical Trials Arena stated:

“The persistent lack of diversity among clinical trial participants, and the resulting lack of data on multi-ethnic patient bases, requires us to consider the implications of this situation before we can address possible solutions.

It may seem obvious, but it is worth stating: when segments of the population are not included in clinical trials at levels that meet statistical significance, it is impossible to determine if the therapy in question will work equally, better, or worse as for the population in which it is studied.

We simply don’t know these answers until the therapy has been on the market. Side effects, efficacy and safety become better appreciated and understood only after the therapy has been on the market for some time, given that FDA approvals allow for wider prescribing that is no longer limited to the population represented in the data. Even then, adverse event reporting is unwieldy and most likely does not fully capture how medications affect larger communities not represented in the data.”

The Program

Black Health Matters traveled to Atlanta, Baltimore, Prince George’s County and Washington, DC and partnered with barber shops and fraternities to conduct informational sessions.   Barbers have a unique position in their communities and can use their shops for education.  Our valued barbers demonstrated their interest in prostate cancer and research study participation and were often the first to ask questions of the physicians giving the presentation.  Their openness and receptivity to the topic made the environment a safe space and their patrons felt comfortable asking questions. 

The men of Alpha Phi Alpha and Phi Beta Sigma were also engaged in our programs and welcomed Black Health Matters to their business meetings.  These fraternities were generous with their time and allowed the Black Health Matters physician ambassador to present on prostate cancer and research study participation.

We thank the barbers, fraternities and physicians for partnering with Black Health Matters in bringing more awareness to the important issue of prostate cancer and the need for participation in clinical research. 

Dr. Metwalli

Black Health Matters hosted a program today with Phi Beta Sigma on prostate cancer and participation in research studies. Presenting is Dr. Metwalli, Chief of Urology, Howard University Hospital.


Dr. Jackson Davis

Black Health Matters hosted a program today with Phi Beta Sigma on prostate cancer and participation in research studies. Presenting is Dr. Metwalli, Chief of Urology, Howard University Hospital.


African American Clinical Trials Participation

When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the year 2000 I had already lost my father and both grandfathers to the disease. This made me the third generation in my family to face prostate cancer. However, it was some years later that I understood the important role of genetics in a man’s prostate health.


NIH and Prostate Cancer Foundation launch large study on aggressive prostate cancer in African-American men

The largest coordinated research effort to study biological and non-biological factors associated with aggressive prostate cancer in African-American men has begun. The $26.5 million study is called RESPOND, or Research on Prostate Cancer in Men of African Ancestry: Defining the Roles of Genetics, Tumor Markers, and Social Stress. It will investigate environmental and genetic factors related to aggressiveness of prostate cancer in African-American men to better understand why they disproportionally experience aggressive disease—that is, disease that grows and spreads quickly—compared with men of other racial and ethnic groups.


Zeta Chi Sigma in Prince George’s County Discusses Prostate Cancer & Research Study Participation

On Saturday, October 13th, Black Health Matters had the pleasure of hosting a prostate cancer and research study education program with the Zeta Chi Sigma chapter of Phi Beta Sigma (http://www.zxs1914.org) in Prince George’s County.  Zeta Chi Sigma members believe that a healthy community requires members to take action within their community to make life better for all we serve.  The chapter president Willard Hutt, was extremely receptive about having a prostate health education program for his chapter.


Should Prostate Cancer Screening Be Different for Black Men?

“Chills ran up and down my spine,” said prostate cancer survivor Nate Battle. “If I had not gone in for that wellness screening, it would have been a completely different scenario.” It was only by chance that doctors discovered Nate Battle’s fast-growing prostate cancer. At age 49, the Del Ray Beach, Florida, businessman had agreed to a full physical to get a discount on his health insurance. Testing conducted for that physical led to the diagnosis of the aggressive cancer which, fortunately, was caught at an early stage.



Black Health Matters Teams Up With Black Fraternities and Barber Shops To Educate The Brothas’ About Prostate Cancer

It shouldn’t be a secret that African-American men are disproportionately impacted by prostate cancer, the most common cancer in the U.S. next to skin cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, while the diagnosis rate among white, American Indian, Asian or Pacific Islander, and Latino men is anywhere between 49.6 and 90.2 per 100,000 men, for Black men the rate is much higher. For every 100,000 men, it’s estimated will be a whopping 158 new diagnoses.



Barber Shop Prostate Event


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