Advocates Unite in Fight Against Prostate Cancer, "Man Up" Organization Formally Launched to Spread Awareness

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

BUFFALO, NY — African-American men are one-and-a-half times as likely as Caucasian men to be diagnosed with prostate cancer and, when diagnosed with prostate cancer, are more than twice as likely to die from it. Latinos, too, have considerably higher incidence and mortality rates for prostate cancer than Caucasians do.

Determined to combat that disparity by spreading awareness and encouraging early detection, a group of Western New York men started gathering more than two years ago to talk about their own experiences with prostate cancer screening and diagnosis. Working in conjunction with staff at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), they’ve crafted and distributed educational resources to help men of color make informed decisions on issues related to prostate cancer screening, treatment and survivorship.

More than two years later, the group is formalizing as Minorities Allied for the Need to Understand Prostate Cancer (MAN UP). At a press conference today at RPCI marking the launch of MAN UP, Donald L. Trump, MD, RPCI President and CEO, highlighted the impact this group stands to make.

“There are considerable data to indicate that lack of awareness and insufficient access to treatment play a substantial role in the higher rates of prostate cancer incidence and mortality among men of color,” says Dr. Trump. “These Western New York men have taken it upon themselves to take a leadership role in tackling these issues, and it’s through just such grass-roots efforts that this tide can be turned. Success in this endeavor will improve the lives of thousands of men and their families.”

“The MAN UP effort is a significant effort to raise awareness of prostate cancer and to offer advice and guidance in preventative care, treatment and survivorship of this disease,” added Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown. “I applaud Roswell Park Cancer Institute for partnering with the volunteers of MAN UP in encouraging African-American and Latino men to get screened and, if necessary, treated for prostate cancer. This is an important community-based effort to educate the public on the steps that can be taken to prevent or treat prostate cancer.”

MAN UP is a volunteer organization comprised mostly of African-American and Latino men, many of them prostate cancer survivors themselves. Its current seven-member Executive Committee includes former Buffalo Bill Charley Ferguson and prostate cancer survivors Richard Satterwhite and Ramon Luciano Jr.

“There was a real gap in terms of education when it came to this disease,” said Satterwhite, a Clinical Navigator for patients at RPCI. “But once we started getting out in the community, and people find out that there’s an organization that deals with these awareness issues — particularly one focused on men of color — the word spreads, and we’ve been getting so many requests to speak and share information.”

MAN UP has been working with pastors at 13 area churches with largely African-American and/or Latino congregations to share brochures, T-shirts and blue-ribbon pins to spread the word about the importance of early detection of prostate cancer. And in the coming weeks, MAN UP plans to take its message of awareness to such communities as the Seneca Nation in Cattaraugus County, NY, and to groups in Niagara Falls and Jamestown.

For more information about MAN UP, including information on coordinating prostate cancer awareness presentations for your organization, call (716) 845-4557 or (716) 845-1112.

The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. RPCI, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit RPCI’s website at http://www.roswellpark.org, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email askrpci@roswellpark.org.

Media Contact: 

Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager
716-845-8593; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org