Women don't have a prostate, but PHEN recognizes that outreach to women and educating them about men's prostate health will save lives.
PHEN's national radio awareness campaign has been bolstered by the active participation of "CONGRESSWOMEN" who are members of the Congressional Black Caucus. These include; Corrine Brown (FL), Stephanie Tubbs Jones (OH), Eddie Bernice Johnson, (TX), Maxine Waters (CA), and Diane Watson (CA). Recognizing the need for women to support the prostate health of the men in their lives, these Congresswomen have recorded messages urging their female constituents to do so.
Some studies show that more than 50% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer are made aware of their condition after being urged or forced into taking an examination by a caring woman in their lives. "It was my wife who literally forced me to get an exam which detected prostate cancer. When you look at the reality of the data, we may actually make more progress with prostate health education and awareness by targeting women than men, so our strategy is to target both", PHEN founder and president, Thomas Farrington points out.
PHEN believes that if Black women become more aware of the prostate cancer risk factors, screening guidelines, treatment options, and post treatment care they can make an enormous impact on reducing the high rate of prostate cancer deaths experienced by their husbands, fathers, sons and other loved ones. The prostate cancer racial disparity for Black men is 140% higher than for all other men in the United States. Conversely, the breast cancer disparity for Black women compared to white women is 30% higher. PHEN does not consider this wide difference to be by chance. "The women in our lives have been primarily responsible for managing family health care from the time we are brought into this world as babies, this is a valuable expertise. Most men never seriously consider their health care until they feel pain, and this may be too late for prostate cancer. A disease that is curable with early detection but becomes deadly at later stages", says Farrington.
The PHEN summit also highlighted the important role women play in men's prostate health during the opening ceremonies on the very first day of the summit. Howard University's Cancer Center Director, Dr. Lucile Adams Campbell, and Ms. Alexine Jackson, representing the National President of The Links, Inc. participated in these ceremonies.
PHEN plans to expand the participation of women in its awareness and outreach initiatives.