Nearly 30 patients, patient advocates, and healthcare providers gathered in Atlanta last week for a panel discussion sponsored by Astellas aimed at raising awareness about prostate cancer. Local physicians, educated the audience about the risk of prostate cancer, risk factors and ways that patients and healthcare providers can work together to better understand prostate cancer. Chatman Carruthers, a patient advocate with the Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN), was on hand to share his experience with his prostate cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery.
According to the American Cancer Society, one out of every seven Georgians will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and for African American men, the odds are even higher – one out of every five men will be diagnosed. Those at highest risk, though, are men with a family history of prostate cancer. “Education is so important, especially for prostate cancer, because early intervention is important when treating this disease, ” said Dr. Vahan Kassabian, a urologist with Georgia Urology.
“Without awareness it is difficult to encourage men to have the sometimes difficult conversations with their doctors that may lead to prostate cancer screenings,” stated Dr. Bradley Carthon, assistant professor of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University.
“Being aware of my own personal risk and my risk factors allowed me to be diagnosed early and beat prostate cancer. It’s important for me to tell my story so that hopefully I can reach some of the many Georgians who will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year. I want to provide these men with comfort while also educating them about their condition and urging them to talk to their doctors about their individual risk,” said prostate cancer survivor Chatman Carruthers and a member of the PHEN Survivor’s Network.