Bahai News -- Georgetown Times - Phi Beta Sigma sponsoring prostate cancer seminar

Phi Beta Sigma sponsoring prostate cancer seminar

By Tommy Howard, staff writer March 28, 2003

Prostate cancer affects thousands of men every year and is twice as prevalent among black men as it is among whites, Dr. Courtney Fisher said.
He will conduct a free seminar on “Prostate Disease and the Impact it has on the African-American Male Population.” The seminar will be on Saturday, March 29, from 10 a.m.-noon at the Louis G. Gregory Baha’i Institute, 1313 William Hill Rd., Hemingway.
The Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., of Georgetown sponsors the health seminar every year, according to Abie Ladson.
This is the seventh year the Georgetown chapter has sponsored the seminar, Ladson said.
Co-sponsors include the Baha’i Institute, Georgetown District Health Ministry, Jerusalem Baptist Association and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.
“One of the things we are given the responsibility for is to provide community service,” Ladson said. “We are nationally involved with prostate cancer and have an involvement with the American Cancer Society as well.”
The fraternity wanted to offer this service in Georgetown County, in addition to state and national efforts.
“Blacks generally speaking as a population are at risk twice as much as whites and other ethnic groups,” Ladson said. “There is still some genetic research as to why that may be the case. There are some ideas as to diet, and maybe also genetics.”
Dr. Fisher will cover causes, some of the symptoms, preventive screening and various types of treatments. “One of the main things he emphasizes is the need for prevention through screening, and ways in which they can avoid coming down with a prostate condition or cancer,” Ladson said.
“We tend to present in later stages of the disease,” Dr. Fisher said, in comparison to white men. “It also tends to be more aggressive in blacks.”
Some men may not experience anything at all. On the other hand, he said, “some patients may have urinary symptoms, such as having to get up several times during the night, frequency of urination, blood in the urine, post-void dribbling, and bone pain,” Fisher said. “Bone pain and weight loss are usually the latest stage of prostate cancer. There may also be changes in sexual function that would be an indicator.”
As men get older, they should have an annual prostate exam, Dr. Fisher said. For Caucasians, they should start at age 50. For blacks, generally men should start having annual exams at age 45.
If there is a family history of prostate cancer or other prostate problems, black men should start at age 40. The evaluation includes a digital rectal exam.
If a man’s father, uncle or brother has prostate problems, he should have annual exams at the earlier age.
Prostate cancer is so common as men age that almost two out of every three men may have microscopic cancers growing in their prostates by the time they reach 65.
Studies of the disease indicate that high-fat diets put men at greater risk. Smoking is another risk factor.
Lycopene, found in high levels in some fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, decreases risk, as does the mineral selenium. Vitamins A, D, and E, as well as soy, may also help, although that isn’t conclusively proven.
Dr. Fisher practices urology in Charleston, where he has been since 1983.

©Copyright 2003, Georgetown Times (SC, USA)

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