Rally Against Prostate Cancer

The PHEN Rally Against Prostate Cancer (RAP Cancer) is a set of initiatives addressing the African American prostate cancer crisis through education and awareness outreach. This national effort uses a network of prostate cancer survivors and their family members, partners, and a high level of public visibility for maximum impact.

Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer and second leading cause of cancer deaths among men in the United States. However, the African American prostate cancer incidence rate is 60% higher, and mortality rate 150% higher compared to any other racial or ethnic group; this is the largest racial disparity for any type of cancer afflicting men or women. All African American men are considered to be at high risk for the disease, and those with a family history to be at an even higher risk.

One of the major contributors to the prostate cancer crisis is a lack of awareness and knowledge about the disease. Knowledge is critical to surviving prostate cancer. Knowledge about risk level, early detection testing, treatment options including whether to treat or not to treat, and survivorship issues are all important. African American men have not been properly educated about prostate cancer and armed with the knowledge to make informed decisions on how best to face and survive the disease.

PHEN views the prostate cancer crisis as a family and community issue and not just a problem affecting men. Accordingly, PHEN education and awareness outreach efforts are designed to reach and involve all those impacted for a collective response.

PHEN’s public visibility at the national and grassroots levels aim to transform the culture of silence surrounding prostate cancer to one of openness, knowledge and action.

  • The PHEN Survivor Network was established in 2003 mobilizing Black prostate cancer survivors nationwide working towards eliminating the disparity.

  • Monthly Support Group Meetings began in Boston, MA in 2003 in partnership with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Live Webcasts of the educational component of these meetings began in 2011.
  • The Annual African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit* began in 2005 convening survivors and leaders within medicine, research, government and industry to address education and policy issues towards eliminating the disparity. 
  • PHEN Online Television began broadcasting in 2007 reaching men and their families at home with educational program content developed from PHEN's monthly meetings and summits.
  • The Annual Father’s Day Rally was launched in 2009 in partnership with churches. This faith-based initiative is now PHEN's largest outreach effort with goals of reaching one million persons during the combined Father's Day rallies held in churches nationwide.  
  • PHEN’s Monthly Treatments and Clinical Trials e-Newsletter  began publication in 2012 as a part of ongoing education and awareness outreach.
  • Educational Symposiums are hosted in conjunction with PHEN church partners in multiple cities with medical experts as faculty. This effort began in 2013. 

    *The United States Senate Passed a Resolution in 2012 “recognizing prostate cancer among African American men to be of epidemic proportions” - a landmark action resulting from PHEN’s Annual Summits.
The ongoing success of each of these initiatives is the foundation for the Rally Against prostate Cancer. PHEN has developed partnerships to support these initiatives with major cancer institutions, medical specialists, churches, political leaders and industry organizations that continue to enhance the effectiveness of each.

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