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PHEN Hosts 2019 Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit

September 12, 2019
By: Jessica Hyland, Communications Strategist

The Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN) will host the 15th Annual African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit in Washington, DC, on September 12 – 13, 2019. Daniel George, MD, will present on “The African American Disparity – Biology or Access?”

The two-day summit connects prostate cancer survivors with medical, community, industry and policy leaders to focus on eliminating the prostate cancer racial disparity. 

African American men are nearly two times more likely to get prostate cancer and more frequently have prostate cancer that forms, grows and spreads more quickly compared to white men. They are also nearly three times more likely to die from prostate cancer compared to white men. These disparities likely result from a complex interplay between biological, health system, lifestyle and social factors that collectively result in poorer outcomes for African American prostate cancer patients.

“Access is clearly the most important issue regarding the cancer outcomes disparities between African Americans and whites. However, we can’t ignore the fact that there is also a biologic difference by race in this disease, and we need to better understand that,” said George, whose research focuses on disparities in prostate cancer. “It’s incredibly exciting to see that there may be a disparity in favor of African Americans who are treated with equal access on clinical trials. At Duke, our data suggests that there may be biologic ramifications to explain these outcome differences and, we plan to investigate these differences further in order to provide better individualized care for each patient.”

In North Carolina, the number of prostate cancer-related deaths among African Americans is higher than the national average. The Duke Cancer Institute’s catchment area is collectively greater than 25 percent African American (compared to the national average of 12.4 percent), with some counties over 50 percent African American. As a result, the DCI Center for Prostate & Urologic Cancers is committed to addressing and overcoming these disparities locally, statewide and nationally.

The summit will be livestreamed on PHEN’s Facebook. Click here to join the conference digitally.