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Prostate Cancer Conference, March 27, 2010, Manhattana

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The world-famous New York-based Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) is joining forces with the Jamaican Consulate-General in New York to host a prostate cancer conference entitled “Prostate Cancer:  Current Status and Future Directions/Unique Impact on Caribbean and African-American Men,” on Saturday, March 27 at its Rockefeller Research facility in Manhattan.  The Jamaican Diaspora N.E. (USA) Health Sector is also partnering on the conference.

The prostate cancer conference is the initiative of Jamaica’s Consul-General in New York, Geneive Brown Metzger, who in 2008 founded the Consulate’s Medical and Health Care Council.  The Council’s mission is to support the development of Jamaica’s medical and health care delivery system through strategic partnerships with world-class health care institutions, such as MSKCC.    

The conference will present the latest findings on prostate cancer and unique impacts on Caribbean and African-American men. The free educational event seeks to increase awareness among healthcare professionals and the community regarding prostate cancer, and features a faculty of prominent experts who will address a variety of issues relating to prostate cancer and its impact on Caribbean and African-American men.

“Prostate cancer is most common in Jamaican males, and its incidence has been increasing steadily since the inception of PSA screening in Jamaica in 1983,” according to Dr. Barrie Hanchard, a consultant with the Department of Pathology at the University of the West Indies at Mona, in Kingston, Jamaica. In the United States, African-American men are at greater risk of prostate cancer than whites and also are more likely to have an aggressive form of the disease. 

“This Conference is a unique opportunity for our community and for Jamaica.  We hope that it will lead to a long-term collaboration between Memorial Sloan-Kettering and the medical community in Jamaica,” said the Consul General.  “Collaboration across borders is a platform for information exchange and skills transfer,”  the Consul General continues.

Primary care physicians, community oncologists, urologists, urologic nurses, internists and other healthcare professionals whose patients may include Jamaican men are invited. Those eligible will receive continuing medical education credit.  In addition, members of the Jamaican and African-American community are welcome and may be particularly interested in the afternoon topics regarding barriers to early diagnosis and treatment; genetic information; and a discussion about prostate cancer in Jamaica and the Jamaican healthcare system.  

Among the conference’s featured participants are legendary singer/activist Harry Belafonte as keynote speaker, and renowned experts from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the Jamaican Government, the University of the West Indies, Monroe College, the Jamaican Cancer Registry, the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care & Prevention, and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Jamaica’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Shirley Campbell-Forrester, will speak about the island’s health care systems, and Dr. Hanchard will focus on the scope of prostate cancer in Jamaica.

According to Attending Physician Genitourinary Oncology Service in the Department of Medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Dr Lewis J. Kampel “This Conference will include an overview of the current state of the art of the treatment of prostate cancer, and will also provide an update on what we know about the impact of that disease in Caribbean and African American men.  We hope that this is a first step in a collaboration that will lead to earlier diagnosis and effective treatment for men from these communities, and we hope to do further research on its cause” 

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Written by Staff Writer