Media Contact: Kate Lagreca
Experts Detail Latest Cutting-Edge Information on
Prostate Cancer Detection
Governor, Elected Officials, Prostate Cancer Experts, Advocates Come Together at
Annual State House Event
BOSTON, MA, March 31, 2016— AdMeTech Foundation today detailed new, cutting-edge information about prostate cancer screening at the 8th Annual Prostate Cancer Awareness Day at the State House.
Dr. Faina Shtern, CEO of AdMeTech, outlined new educational messaging for men, with primary focus on individuals at high-risk of prostate cancer and on reducing health disparities. Prior to the release of the new messaging, a multi-disciplinary Independent “Blue Ribbon” Expert Panel, including leaders in clinical care and research, health disparities, epidemiology and public health, have analyzed emerging and best evidence for several months and developed the consensus on educational messaging for men. The primary focus of this information was on men at high risk of prostate cancer, including life-threatening (aggressive) disease.
“This educational document was created to empower and encourage men to take charge of their health by initiating a discussion on prostate cancer screening with their physicians in order to make fully-informed and shared decisions, based on their personal risks and preferences,” said Dr. Faina Shtern, AdMeTech’s President and CEO.
AdMeTech’s Independent “Blue Ribbon” Expert Panel took an approach that highlighted five major areas:
- The importance of men’s awareness of the indicators of higher level of risks for aggressive prostate cancer, such as Black (including Hispanic) heritage, family history, increasing age (50 and above) and/or abnormal or suspicious screening results – and initiating discussions with their doctors;
- The best current evidence on the relationship between screening and patient outcomes, which indicates that early detection of aggressive prostate cancer saves lives;
- Men at high risk of aggressive prostate cancer are most likely to benefit from screening;
- There is low probability of finding prostate cancer and even smaller risk of diagnosing and treating slow-growing (harmless) prostate cancer in all American men who get screened each year. However, many individuals with screening-detected prostate cancer have harmless disease that historically, underwent invasive and unnecessary treatment, which may cause complications, reduce quality of life and increase health care costs;
- To reduce the risks of screening, it is critical for men to be aware that harmless disease can be safely managed with careful observation, termed “active surveillance”, which replaced invasive treatment in a significant number of men.
Additionally, the Independent “Blue Ribbon” Expert Panel unanimously adopted the screening guidelines issued only recently (on February 26, 2016) by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), consisting of 23 top cancer hospitals, including Dana Farber Harvard Cancer Center. The goal of the NCCN guidelines is closely aligned with the educational messaging: To improve detection of aggressive prostate cancer, while reducing over-diagnosis and over-treatment of indolent diseases.
According to AdMeTech Foundation, prostate cancer is the most common major malignancy in the U.S. and in Massachusetts, yet fewer men undergo screening compared to women’s screening with life-saving mammograms. Though prostate cancer is curable when detected early, it takes the lives of about 30,000 American men and over 600 Massachusetts men every year. With over 2.5 times higher mortality in Black men, prostate cancer has emerged as a greater health care disparity than any other malignancies, diabetes, stroke, heart and other major causes of death.
AdMeTech Foundation’s 8th Annual Prostate Cancer Awareness Day brought together Governor Charlie Baker, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, other elected officials, advocates and leaders of medicine, including Dr. Richard Babayan, Professor and Chair of Urology at Boston University School of Medicine and President-Elect, American Urologic Association and Dr, Mitchell Sokoloff, Professor and Chair of Urology at University of Massachusetts.
The event’s Masters of Ceremonies included Juan Cofield, President of NEAC NAACP; Karen Holmes Ward, Director of Public Affairs and Community Services for WCVB-TV (ABC affiliate) and ‘Silver Circle’ Lifetime Achievement inductee into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Boston/New England Chapter; and Dr. Mallika Marshall, an Emmy award-winning journalist and physician who serves as the regular Health Reporter at WBZ-TV in Boston. A practicing physician who is Board Certified in both internal medicine and pediatrics, Marshall serves on staff at Harvard Medical School and practices at the Massachusetts General Hospital’s (MGH) Chelsea Urgent Care Clinic and MGH Revere Health Center.
Also at the event, AdMeTech Foundation held an expert panel to facilitate education and complementary group, family and individual counseling on the most recent advances in screening, diagnosis, and treatment. This panel was moderated by Drs. Sokoloff and Chiledum Ahaghotu, Chief Medical Officer of Carney Hospital. The panel members included Dr. Mark Katz, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine; Dr. Natalya Lopushnyan, Urologist at Good Samaritan Medical Center; and Dr. Jennifer Rider, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health.
AdMeTech Foundation organized this event in cooperation with American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Massachusetts Prostate Cancer Coalition, Men of Color Health Awareness and New England Area Conference of NAACP. Sponsors included Bayer Healthcare, Carney Hospital, Genentech, Good Samaritan Medical Center, Hitachi and Sotio.
About AdMeTech Foundation: A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, based in Boston, MA, AdMeTech Foundation established the Manogram® Project, providing international leadership for groundbreaking programs in research, education and awareness to expedite advancement of precision approach to screening, early diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer (www.admetech.org).