Community outreach program addresses disparities through awareness and education.
To combat prostate cancer in South Florida communities, the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Game Changer vehicles are driving awareness and education to make an impact on survival rates.
The mobile vehicle brings health education and free screenings for many cancer types to South Florida communities in need and is, for the first time, offering prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening for prostate cancer. Sylvester’s mobile PSA screening program is one of the first in the nation.
“When we catch prostate cancer in the early stages, there is a 95% chance that we can cure it,” said Brandon Mahal, M.D., assistant professor of radiation oncology at Sylvester. “The PSA is the best screening test that we have in terms of being able to catch cancer early and being able to cure it.”.
Black men are at especially high risk for prostate cancer, which makes PSA testing via Sylvester’s mobile units in communities like Little Haiti even more important, according to Dr. Mahal.
“This initiative, which is a collaboration between Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, the organizations represented in the Southeast Florida Cancer Control Collaborative, and ZERO– The End of Prostate Cancer, highlights the importance of strong community academic partnerships in addressing the needs of the community, with the objective of achieving health equity,” said Paco C. Castellon, M.P.H., M.B.A., director of Sylvester’s Community Outreach and Engagement Program.
Sylvester researchers are collaborating with international colleagues to develop a first-of-its-kind, point-of-care PSA test.