September 10 , 2007
State Public Health Director announces $290,000 for prostate and testicular cancer screenings
EVANSTON – Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today awarded $290,000 to 15 health departments and organizations to conduct prostate and testicular cancer screenings and educational activities during fiscal year 2008. Prostate and testicular cancer is the second most common type of cancer in American men behind skin cancer.
The grant will be used to fund prostate cancer outreach activities for uninsured and under insured men 50 years of age and older, as well the high risk population that includes all African-American men older than 40 years of age, and men over the age of 40 who have a family history of prostate disease.
“This year alone, we estimate about 1300 men will die from this disease,” said Dr. Whitaker. “With the programs in place to screen men, we expect to diagnose more than 8,000 new cases of prostate cancer in Illinois. Early detection is critical so early intervention and treatment can begin.”
The IDPH Wellness on Wheels van was also onsite at Carepoint Adult, Child and Family Services during the announcement to offer free prostate exams and other health screenings.
While scientists do not yet know what causes prostate cancer, some factors increase the risk including family history or race. Men with a father or brother who has had prostate cancer are at greater risk and the disease is more common in African American men. In fact, African American men are about one-third more likely than Caucasian men to develop the disease, and have the highest incidence rate for prostate cancer in the world. It is less common in Hispanic,
The program also focuses on Illinois males, ages 14 to 35, since the at-risk population for testicular cancer is much younger.
Grants have been awarded through a competitive process to the following agencies:
Prior to this year, more than 1,400 men who were screened for prostate cancer were discovered to have abnormal PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood tests (the primary screening test for prostate cancer) or an abnormal DRE (digital rectal exam). These men were unaware of their potential health issues until the collaborative efforts provided the opportunity for screening at a local level and the incentive to seek medical consultation and care.
The program has been in operation since legislation was passed in 1999 establishing the Prostate and Testicular Cancer Program. Since the year 2000, grants have been awarded to local health departments and community-based organizations that have reached out to more than 40,000 men with health screenings and educational efforts. Grantees provide:
For more information, please contact the Illinois Department of Public Health at 217-782-3300.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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