The fifth annual Prostate Health Education Symposium is scheduled for Bethel AME Church of Freeport on Long Island, N.Y., Saturday, Aug. 5, at 9 a.m. and ending at 1 p.m. The church is located at 420 N. Main St., (Nassau) Freeport, N.Y. The event is a partnership between the Rev. Stephen M. Lewis and the Prostate Health Education Network, Inc., a nationwide patient education and advocacy organization.
The Bethel AME Church of Freeport event is No. 12 of a series of 21 prostate health symposia taking place in Atlanta, Boston, Nashville, Dallas, Oakland and other cities until October. All symposia are free and open to the public.
The symposia are an integral aspect of PHEN, the nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support and education to African-American men. It was founded in 2003 by Thomas A. Farrington, a Massachusetts business and community leader who is now a 17-year prostate cancer survivor and serves as PHEN president. “There is currently a prostate cancer crisis in Black America,” said Farrington. “Black men have a 130 percent higher death rate than white men. It makes this the largest racial disparity for any type of major cancer among men or women.”
Farrington added, “Thank heaven for enlightened church partners like Bethel AME Church of Freeport who are willing to step up and help us educate men and their families about their prostate cancer risk, treatment and support strategies, so they can lead long and healthy lives.”
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death in African-American men, behind lung cancer. When compared with all causes of death, prostate cancer is the fourth leading cause of death among African-American men over age 45. Approximately one in five African-American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, with the highest prostate cancer incidence and mortality in the United States.
The symposium will focus on specific prostate health topics, including screening and early detection, treatment options, diet and nutrition, managing treatment side effects, advanced prostate cancer and the importance of faith when facing cancer. The program is structured for healthy men at high risk for prostate cancer, prostate cancer survivors, caregivers and family members. The free public event includes breakfast for all attendees, as well as prostate cancer screenings.
“What a special opportunity sponsoring this event is for both Bethel and the greater Long Island community,” said Lewis. “It is critical for our congregation to be involved in raising awareness within our church and extended family about prostate cancer, and show the connection between faith and healing when it comes to a prostate cancer diagnosis.”
Those who plan to attend are encouraged to pre-register at http://prostatehealthed.org/symp/.