Wilmot Epidemiologist Studying Monroe County Prostate Cancer Rates

September 09, 2003

The incidence of prostate cancer in Monroe County is 31 percent higher than the state average, prompting a James P. Wilmot Cancer Center epidemiologist to study why

State health officials report about 11,890 men diagnosed with prostate cancer each year in New York, or about 150 per 100,000 people.  In Monroe County, 577 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, or 196 cases per 100,000. 

That difference concerns health officials and prompted Susan G. Fisher, Ph.D., chief of epidemiology with the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, to study the matter further.

“We think it’s because early detection programs are showing their effectiveness.  More men are getting their prostate cancer screenings and as a result, we’re finding the disease more often,” says Fisher.  “But that is only our hypothesis.  We need to determine if that is, indeed, the reason behind the elevated incidence rate.”

Fisher is collaborating with William Flesher, M.P.H., in a survey that includes 1,000 area men who were diagnosed with the disease to determine their risk factors.  Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and second leading cause of death in men.

The detailed questionnaires will help the researchers analyze whether the area men are at high risk of the disease or aggressively screened for this cancer.

Fisher will compare the data with figures for Onondaga County to the east, which includes the City of Syracuse.  In that community of 458,000, on average, 268 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, or 132 cases per 100,000 people.

While Onondaga County’s prostate cancer incidence is lower than in Monroe County, the counties are similar in ethnic, cultural and racial composition.

This one-year study is funded by a $15,000 grant from the Rochester Area Community Foundation.

The Wilmot Cancer Center, a leader in cancer care and research in Western New York, can help people with concerns about prostate cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment. 

The Wilmot Cancer Center is dedicated to its mission:  to beat cancer.

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EDITORS’ NOTE:  The Wilmot Cancer Center is offering a free prostate cancer screening for men who haven’t been tested in more than a year on Wednesday, Sept. 17.  Men should call (585) 275-3341 to register.

The screening is part of the Tackle Prostate Cancer program, a partnership between the Wilmot Cancer Center and the Buffalo Bills.  The season-long education program is designed to encourage men to get their prostate cancer screenings annually.

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For Media Inquiries:
Leslie White
(585) 273-1119
Email Leslie White