Archive for Prostate cancer

Charlie Wilson Lends His Voice to Build Prostate Cancer Awareness to Black Community

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Health & Fitness with tags , , , on April 6, 2012 by Gary Johnson


Legendary R&B Musician and Prostate Cancer Survivor Lends His Voice to Build Prostate Cancer Awareness in the African-American Community

HORSHAM, Pa., April 2, 2012 – Grammy®-nominated singer, songwriter, producer and prostate cancer survivor Charlie Wilson and Janssen Biotech, Inc. are teaming up on Making Awareness a Priority: Putting Prostate Cancer on the M.A.P., a new program designed to raise awareness among African-American men and their families about prostate cancer and its disproportionate impact on the African-American community. With the highest incidence of prostate cancer of any race in the U.S., African-American men are 2.4 times more likely to die from the disease than Caucasian men. Making Awareness a Priority (M.A.P.) brings together leading voices in advocacy and health education through live events in select cities across the country.

In recognition of National Minority Health Month and National Minority Cancer Awareness Week, the program kicks off on April 21 in Atlanta, Georgia with program resources available online at My Prostate Cancer Roadmap® (

Charlie Wilson was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008. “At first, I never wanted to talk about my cancer. Then I realized that after spending a lot of my life performing, it was time to start informing.

That’s why I am continuing to raise my voice to help those with prostate cancer by joining with Janssen Biotech, Inc. in the Making Awareness a Priority program – to encourage African-American men to understand their risk factors for prostate cancer and start a conversation with their loved ones and doctors about this serious and deadly disease.”

The average annual prostate cancer incidence rate in the U.S. was 60% higher in African-American men than in Caucasian men between 2003 and 2007. Factors including family history, access to medical care and relevant support networks may contribute to the disproportionate impact. In addition to being at higher risk for prostate cancer, according to research of the impact of cultural factors on African-American men’s understanding of prostate cancer, these men often believe they do not have access to information about prostate cancer that takes into account their diverse values, beliefs, behaviors and social and cultural needs.

M.A.P. will address these issues head-on through informational and wellness events offering African-American men and their loved ones the opportunity to learn about prostate cancer risks and information and support resources available to them. The three-city tour of Atlanta, New York City and Chicago is sponsored by Janssen Biotech, Inc. and held in partnership with locally-based community organizations in these markets. Real Men Charities, Inc., the national not-for-profit organization, presents Real Men Cook® Father’s Day events as a national crusade to positively change the way the world views men in relationship to their families and the community. The Abyssinian Baptist Church in the City of New York, the oldest black Baptist church in the nation, is well-known for its leadership, social activism initiatives, and community reform programs to educate and empower its members and the Harlem community at large.

“When I first learned I had prostate cancer, I thought my career was over. I thought it was a wrap for me,” said Wilson, but his wife quickly proved to be his greatest supporter. “My wife stood tall and told me we were going to get through it. You just have to have a positive heart and go on. That’s what we did and now I want others to know about the resources that are available to them.”

At each event, Wilson will share his personal experience with prostate cancer and will be joined by Stanley K. Frencher Jr., MD, MPH, who through his work encourages African-American men to proactively speak with their doctors about prostate cancer, as well as journalist and author Andrea King Collier. As a strong advocate for empowering African-American women to take an active role in managing their loved ones’ health, Collier will emcee the events and share insights from her book, The Black Woman’s Guide to Black Men’s Health. The program also includes interactive prostate cancer information, resources and a cooking demonstration with healthy, cancer-wise food choices.

“African-American men are at a greater risk for prostate cancer and it is important that we support the African-American community with information that is both relevant and compelling,” said Robert Bazemore, President, Janssen Biotech, Inc. “Janssen Biotech is pleased to join Charlie Wilson and our local community partners to provide those who are at high-risk of, or living with, prostate cancer with the resources they need to help them navigate all aspects of their cancer journey.”

To register for an event or to find out more about Making Awareness a Priority, including live event dates and locations, visit The website is a unique educational and support resource for men with advanced prostate cancer and their loved ones sponsored by Janssen Biotech, Inc. in conjunction with the non-profit organization Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education & Support Network (

About Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer occurs when cancer cells form in the tissues of the prostate gland. Normally, cells within the prostate grow, divide, and die to make sure the prostate functions properly and are then replaced by new cells. Prostate cancer occurs when the prostate cells stop functioning normally.

These cells with uncontrolled growth don’t die as they should, creating a buildup of cells known as a tumor. Prostate cancer can occur as a slow-growing tumor to a very aggressive and potentially fatal disease that spreads throughout the body.

About Janssen Biotech, Inc.

Janssen Biotech, Inc. redefines the standard of care in immunology, oncology, urology and nephrology. Built upon a rich legacy of innovative firsts, Janssen Biotech has delivered on the promise of new treatments and ways to improve the health of individuals with serious disease. Beyond its innovative medicines, Janssen Biotech is at the forefront of developing education and public policy initiatives to ensure patients and their families, caregivers, advocates and health care professionals have access to the latest treatment information, support services and quality care. For more information on Janssen Biotech, Inc. or its products, visit

Janssen Biotech, Inc. is one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies dedicated to addressing and solving some of the most important unmet medical needs in oncology, immunology, neuroscience, infectious diseases and vaccines, and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Driven by our commitment to patients, we work together to bring innovative ideas, products, services and solutions to people throughout the world. Follow us on Twitter at

* Making Awareness a Priority (M.A.P.) is brought to you by Janssen Biotech, Inc. Charlie Wilson, Andrea King Collier, Dr. Stanley K. Frencher Jr., Real Men Charities, Inc., and The Abyssinian Baptist Church in the City of New York were compensated for their time in preparing for and participating in the program and were reimbursed for travel expenses related to the program.

Grammy® is a registered trademark of The Recording Academy®.

Media contact: Lisa Vaga, – 908-218-7316/(M) 908-670-0363 /

Let’s Talk About Prostate Cancer: An Interview with Harold P. Freeman, M.D.

Posted in Health & Fitness with tags , , , , on September 20, 2009 by Gary Johnson


Harold P Freeman, M.D., is the President and Founder of The Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention in New York City and Founder of The Harold P. Freeman Patient Navigation Institute. He is also the Senior Advisor to the Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Director of the NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities. Dr. Freeman is a past National President of the American Cancer Society. He served for 11 years as Chairman of the U.S. President’s Cancer Panel. Dr. Freeman pioneered the Patient Navigation Program.

Dr. Freeman recently took time out of his busy schedule to answer questions for this very important interview.

Black Men In  Dr. Freeman, you are the Senior Advisor to the Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and former Director of the NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities.  What is the number one health risk affecting black men?

Dr. Harold Freeman: Although the number one health risk affecting black men is smoking related disease such as lung cancer, prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in black men.

Black Men In  What are the risk factors for prostate cancer?

Dr. Harold Freeman: One of the main risk factors associated with prostate cancer is older age. Men over the age of 65 are more likely to get prostate cancer than younger ages. Changes in the prostate or genetic changes may also increase a man’s risk for prostate cancer. Having a family member such as a father, brother, or son can increase risk as well.

Black Men In  What are the symptoms?

Dr. Harold Freeman: There are no symptoms associated with early stages of prostate cancer. Some symptoms associated with later stages of prostate cancer mainly include urinary symptoms such as frequent urination, painful urination, trouble urinating or a weak urine flow. Other symptoms include difficulty having an erection, blood in urine or semen, and frequent pain in the back, hips, or legs.

Black Men In  What are the incidence and mortality rates for black men?

Dr. Harold Freeman: The incidence rate of prostate cancer among African Americans is 232.8per 100,000 men with a mortality rate of 51.1per 100,000 men. These rates are in comparison to an incidence rate of 163.1per 100,000 and a mortality rate of 23.6 per 100,000 for all men regardless of race.

Black Men In  What is some of the latest research on prostate cancer?

Dr. Harold Freeman: A recent study conducted by researchers at the National Cancer Institute found that a common genetic variation may be involved in developing prostate cancer. This study was one of the first to explain the biological mechanism underlying the difference in risk among individuals. Information about this study is available at

Black Men In  Why do black men have higher incidence and mortality rates?

Dr. Harold Freeman: It is not known why African American men have a higher incidence of prostate cancer. It is thought that higher prostate cancer mortality rates among African American men may be mostly due to late diagnosis and treatment.

Black Men In  Where do black men go for additional information on prostate cancer?

Dr. Harold Freeman: For more information, African American men may visit or call 1-800-4-cancer to speak with a specialist regarding prostate cancer.  Through the website and phone number, men can order free publications about prostate or other cancers.

Black Men In  What’s the official word on prostate cancer screening?

Dr. Harold Freeman: There is still some uncertainty regarding prostate cancer screening. Ongoing clinical trials are trying to determine whether prostate cancer screening reduces the number of deaths from this disease. The most important message is that men—and African American men in particular—speak with a physician regarding prostate cancer screening options.

Black Men In  Can you talk about the importance of the NCI’s Patient Navigation Program?

Dr. Harold Freeman: NCI’s Patient Navigation Program aims to develop interventions to reduce or eliminate cancer health disparities and test their efficacy and cost-effectiveness. Patient navigators eliminate barriers to timely screening, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The principal barriers are: financial (such as lack of insurance); communication barriers; medical system barriers (such as lost results, failure to get timely consultations); and fear, distrust and emotional barriers. This program is important in the quest for standard, equal care for all.

Publisher’s Note:  Thank you James Alexander, of the Multicultural Media Outreach Team of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Office of Communications and Education, Office of Partnerships and Dissemination Initiatives.

You can stay current and get the latest updates from the NCI Twitter page located at

Letter From “Uncle Charlie” Wilson About Prostate Cancer

Posted in Black Interests, Health & Fitness with tags , , , on August 18, 2009 by Gary Johnson


By Charlie Wilson

August 15, 2009

This is Charlie, Last Name Wilson and I’m reaching out to our community about prostate cancer.  September is Prostate Cancer Month and a perfect time for me to share some much needed information about this disease.

During a regular checkup last year, at the insistence of my wife, I was encouraged to take a PSA test.  Much to my surprise, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer.  Because it was an early diagnosis, I was able to research various treatments and select the one that was right for me.  Brachytherapy was the treatment we chose.  Today, I am cancer free.

During my research on the disease, I learned that 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and that 1 in 3 African American men will be diagnosed.  These numbers were astounding to me.  That’s why I have joined with the Prostate Cancer Foundation to educate the African American community on how important it is that our men get annual physical exams.

Prostate cancer is not just a man’s disease, it’s a disease that effects our entire family.  That’s why it is equally important for me to reach out to the women in our community.  I’m asking the ladies to please take control and persuade your husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers and

significant others to get yearly checkups which include a PSA test.  My wife took control.  Her insistence paid off and helped save my life.  I encourage all women in the African American community to do the same.

Enclosed are some “Tips for Prostate Cancer Awareness” that I have compiled, together with the Prostate Cancer Foundation.”  I want my brothers to live long, meaningful and healthy lives.

For more information please visit my website, and the Prostate Cancer Foundation at

Your attention to this important health issue is appreciated.


Charlie Wilson


Charlie Wilson’s Tips for Prostate Cancer Awareness

Understand prostate cancer and talk about it; share what you know with friends and family.

Know your family history and share it with your relatives, sons and grandsons.

Create a family health history document to share at family reunions and holiday celebrations.

Eat a diet low in fat, carbohydrates and processed sugars.

Do not char meats.  Charring creates carcinogens that collect in the prostate and interfere with DNA repair.  Marinate and flip meats on the grill frequently to minimize charring.  Better yet, try stir-frying meats.

Exercise regularly.

Take control of your health and get regular checkups.  Talk to your doctor about a baseline screening (PSA and DRE) when you are 40; develop a schedule of subsequent screenings based on your medical history.

If you don’t have insurance, do your research to learn about free clinics in your community.

Visit for more information or

CW Hats

You can also order “Uncle Charlie” Fedora Hats featuring Charlie’s initials “CW” on the right side and a dazzling pattern on the left-all made up of brilliant, shimmering silver gems. Available in 3 colors and 2 sizes. Grab one for every outfit! A portion of the proceeds benefit the Prostate Cancer FoundationClick here to go to Uncle Charlie’s store.

Nationwide Prostate Cancer Study Being Conducted

Posted in Black Interests, Black Men with tags , on December 2, 2008 by Gary Johnson


Volunteers needed to participate in clinical research study.

Researchers are currently conducting a study to compare the effectiveness of two procedures in treating low-risk, localized prostate cancer.

One of the procedures being tested is cryotherapy (freeze therapy), a commonly used minimally invasive treatment for localized prostate cancer that already is approved for treatment by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In the study, cryotherapy will be compared with an investigational procedure that uses high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). This procedure is not approved by the FDA. This comparison will help researchers and the FDA understand if HIFU is as safe and effective as cryotherapy.

Previous studies of this form of HIFU treatment conducted among men with low-risk prostate cancer in Europe have shown negative biopsy rates ranging from 82[1] to 93 percent.[2] Approximately 13,000 men have been treated to-date with HIFU worldwide.

A number of treatment options are available to men with low-risk prostate cancer, including prostatectomy, radiotherapy, and cryotherapy. Each comes with its own side effects that must be weighed carefully by men and their spouses and families when making treatment decisions.

In the last several years, minimally invasive treatment options, of which cryotherapy is one, have been examined more closely to determine what benefits they may offer over other standard therapies. The goal of minimally invasive options is to reduce the impact of the treatment on the patient, resulting in quicker recovery and fewer side effects, while maintaining the effectiveness of standard treatments.

To be eligible to participate in the study, volunteers must meet specific criteria, including having a diagnosis of localized prostate cancer and being a male, aged 60 or older. To learn more about the study, call toll-free at 1-800-288-0031 or visit

[1] Chaussy et al Curr Urol Rep. 2003;4(3):248-52;

[2] Blana et alUrology. 2004;63(2):297-300;

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