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Prostate Cancer Education

In New York State, prostate cancer negatively affects Black men more than any other racial or ethnic group.

three Black men talkingThis five-year grant-funded program, sponsored by the New York State Department of Health, is focused on prostate cancer education and shared decision making in prostate cancer screening for Black men ages 45 - 69 living in Monroe County. 

Excluding skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in NYS. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 1 in 8 men will develop prostate cancer during his lifetime. In NYS, Black men are one and a half times more likely to get prostate cancer and almost twice as likely to die of the disease compared to white men.

Lack of access to health care, socioeconomic status, inadequate knowledge, fear and patient-provider communication have been identified as some of the possible barriers to prostate cancer screening in Black men.

Program outreach addresses the risks of prostate cancer, the benefits of and guidelines regarding screening and support to engage participants in shared decision making about screening with a health care provider.

Interested in learning more? Let's talk. Contact Darrell Vickers, peer educator for the PCPEER program, at darrell_vickers@urmc.rochester.edu or (585) 695-1973. 

Darrell can work with you one-on-one to find resources and will support you in shared decision making with a provider. Darrell is also available to provide group education at community agencies, places of worship, recreation centers, etc. 

Prostate Cancer Screening

doctor and patientScreening means looking for cancer before a person has symptoms - this can help find cancer at an early stage. For this reason, screening is also called, “early detection.”  A PSA test is the recommended screening test for prostate cancer. It  is a blood test that measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen in the blood. PSA is a protein released by the prostate gland.  

Depending on the results of the test, the doctor may want to do further testing, including a biopsy. A biopsy is minor surgery to get a sample of prostate tissue. Only a biopsy (not a PSA) can tell you if you have prostate cancer!

A digital rectal exam (DRE) is something a doctor may do to check for changes in the size of the prostate gland or feel for lumps or other issues, but the PSA is the current recommended prostate cancer screening test.

Given the higher risk of developing prostate cancer and dying from the disease, Black men are more likely to be saved by screening.

Community Partners

Collaboration and support from area health care providers and multiple community partners help make this work successful. Partners include:

  • Common Ground Health
  • The Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County
  • Wilmot Cancer Institute
  • The Cancer Services Program of the Finger Lakes Region
  • St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center
  • Jordan Health