Prostate Cancer Research Funding for Black Men Inadequate, Researchers Say
Participants at the Innovative Minds in Prostate Cancer Today 2007 meeting in Atlanta, which ends on Monday, "bemoaned the funding inequities and public ignorance" of a disease that mostly affects black men, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The four-day conference was sponsored by the Department of Defense.
Black men are more than twice as likely as white men to develop prostate cancer and die from it, the Journal-Constitution reports. In addition, on average, prostate cancer develops five years earlier, and the tumors grow and spread more quickly in blacks than in whites. Researchers attribute the disparity to biology, diet, environment and inadequate access to care. Only a small percentage of prostate cancer research funding goes toward finding the causes of disparities between black and white men, the Journal-Constitution reports.
Rep. Jim Marshall (D-Ga.) said, "There is no reason" that prostate cancer should not receive the same government funding and support provided for breast and cervical cancer among minority women. Marshall in May introduced legislation that would make prostate cancer screenings available to the poor, as breast and cervical cancer screenings are available at no-cost to poor women.
James Mohler, a leading clinical researcher, said about prostate cancer advocacy, "We're not in Washington, D.C., advocating. We're not out there screaming like we ought to be" (Foskett, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 9/8).