April is National Minority Health Month (NMHM) and a good time to raise awareness about health disparities that continue to affect people from racial and ethnic minority groups. NMHM’s origins date back to 1915 when Black educator and leader Booker T. Washington launched National Health Improvement Week (later National Negro Health Week). He recognized and strived to share the message that progress for Black people could not be realized without first addressing the higher rates of illness and death that impacted the community, centering on awareness of issues, cleanliness, food safety, and school health.1
Today, Depend® – which offers incontinence solutions - aims to recognize the month and put the spotlight on the fact that prostate cancer disproportionately impacts the Black community. Studies show Black men are 75% more likely to develop the disease, and twice as likely to succumb to it.2
Fortunately, health education, early detection and control of disease complications can help address and combat prostate cancer for all populations. Prostate Cancer is 99% treatable if detected early. Depend® encourages readers to #KnowYourRisk by taking an easy online quiz to understand an individual’s risk and encouraging regular screenings.
Awareness is Key
Keeping an eye out for any signs of prostate cancer is crucial. Warning signs that require an immediate prostate checkup include difficulty or pain while urinating or blood in your urine or semen. Most doctors recommend regular prostate gland checkups for men 45-50 years of age and older. If you’ve celebrated your 45th birthday and haven’t had yours checked yet, schedule an exam soon.
For men who experience incontinence during the recovery period from surgery, Dr. Judd Moul, director of the Center for Prostate Disease Research in Washington, D.C. and Dr. Charles Myers, founder of the American Institute for Diseases of the Prostate and a prostate cancer survivor both recommend disposable absorbent garments, such as DEPEND® Guards for Men. While incontinence is certainly manageable it’s important that men discuss bladder control problems with their doctor during follow-up appointments after the surgery. This allows their healthcare provider to determine if it is part of the recovery process and not a separate problem that needs to be evaluated.
Research and Hope
Over the last two years, Depend® has donated more than $500K to prostate cancer research to benefit the Black community through their Stand Strong for Men’s Health™ initiative.
In addition, via partnerships with the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Depend provides intel and solutions to not only helps encourage individuals to be informed and get screened but also acknowledge and support the strength of those fighting prostate cancer. Incontinence issues is one of the leading side-effects for prostate cancer survivors.
About the Author
Charles J. Ryan, MD is the President and CEO of the Prostrate Cancer Foundation. Dr. Ryan is an internationally recognized genitourinary (GU) oncologist with expertise in the biology and treatment of advanced disease as well as the supportive care of all men with prostrate cancer. He was most recently the Director of the Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation Division in the Department of Medicine at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. He also served as the Associate Director for Clinical Research in the Masonic Cancer Center and the held the B.J. Kennedy Chair in Clinical Medical Oncology.