July 11, 1997

Event set to boost prostate cancer awareness

Event set to boost prostate cancer awareness

On Tuesday, July 15th, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. a special event focusing on prostate cancer awareness will be held at the Northwest Center YMCA in Bordeaux.

The event targets African-American men, who are at an increased risk for prostate diseases. The Northwest Center YMCA is located at 3700 Ashland City Highway.

Former pro football great Rosey Grier will be a guest speaker at the program. The event, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Metropolitan Times.

³Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in this country,² said Dr. Joseph A. Smith, Jr., professor and chair of the Department of Urologic Surgery at Vanderbilt. ³The disease occurs even more commonly in African-American men. Ongoing studies are looking into whether genetic, lifestyle, or dietary factors account for this.²

Grier, an NFL Hall of Fame defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams, has been working with CaP Cure, a foundation which promotes and funds research into new treatment efforts for prostate cancer. CaP Cure has provided funding for innovative research projects around the world, including a study of gene therapy conducted by Dr. Smith at Vanderbilt.

State Senator Thelma Harper and other local officials, along with Grier, will be speaking at the event. There will be refreshments, music, and door prizes.

A major focus of the event will be to provide information about how men can detect or avoid prostate problems by participating in a trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. The trial is currently enrolling patients through VUMC, with participation from Meharry Medical College.

Interested persons may find out more about the prostate cancer awareness event, or the NIH sponsored trial, by calling 343-5633.