Post Content

Last week I was delighted to join local TV legend Susan Wornick in emceeing the 6th Annual Prostate Cancer Awareness Day at the Massachusetts State House. This is always such a special event, and this year was no different.

Organized by the AdMeTech Foundation in cooperation with the Massachusetts Prostate Cancer Coalition and Men of Color Health Awareness Project, Prostate Cancer Awareness Day highlights our common goal to make Massachusetts a model of national leadership in prostate cancer research, education, and awareness resulting in improved patient care.

PCAD Group

Rep. Ron Mariano, co-emcee Susan Wornick, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, AdMeTech President Faina Shtern, Commissioner Bartlett, Bill Rodgers and Rep. Denise Garlick

The facts about prostate cancer are compelling.

After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common major cancer in men – and one of the most lethal. Research has shown that family history, age, and ethnicity can be factors that contribute to a man’s chance of having prostate cancer.  But when it comes to the successful treatment of prostate cancer, make no mistake – early detection and screening is the key to saving lives. With early detection, men have a 100% survival rate in 5 years. With late diagnosis, that figure drops dramatically, with a 28% survival rate in 5 years.

Sadly, there is a health disparity angle to this story as well. Prostate cancer is 60% more common in African-American men than in other ethnic groups – and what’s more, 250% more lethal.

This is a disease that is not talked about as much as others, and in Massachusetts we’re actively taking steps to change that. Speakers at last week’s event included Senate President Therese Murray and Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, who discussed the Legislature’s efforts to support and fund essential prostate cancer research and related activities. Other speakers, including Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Boston Marathon legend Bill Rodgers, brought a personal touch to the day by sharing their own stories of conquering cancer and describing the vital role that research, education, and awareness play in improving health outcomes for men diagnosed with prostate cancer.

As a nurse, I’ve seen firsthand how advances in diagnostic technology, when paired with education, can help men make informed decisions about their health. My good friend Jim Silverman shared his experiences about his recent diagnosis of prostate cancer and described how, through connecting with the appropriate resources, he was able to pursue options in his care and treatment that eliminated invasive, and in his case, unnecessary biopsies and surgery.

It was an empowering experience to hear these stories and celebrate these outcomes. Each is a testament to all of the tremendous work going on all over Massachusetts to combat prostate cancer.  I’m so proud to be playing a role in this lifesaving initiative.

Written By:


Commissioner of the Department of Public Health

Tags: , , , ,

Recent Posts

Juntos, estamos listos: Consideraciones para las personas con necesidades de acceso y funcionales posted on Sep 17

El Departamento de Salud Pública de Massachusetts está comprometido con el enfoque de “toda la comunidad” para la gestión de emergencias, que fue iniciada por la Agencia Federal para el Manejo de Emergencias (FEMA, por sus singlas en inglés) en 2011, cuando FEMA reconoció la   …Continue Reading Juntos, estamos listos: Consideraciones para las personas con necesidades de acceso y funcionales

Juntos Estamos Prontos: Considerações sobre os indivíduos com necessidades funcionais e de acesso posted on Sep 17

O Departamento de Saúde Pública de Massachusetts adotou a metodologia de “Toda a Comunidade” para lidar com emergências. Esta metodologia foi iniciada pela Agência Federal de Administração de Emergências (FEMA) em 2011, quando reconheceu a necessidade de um esforço coletivo entre o setor privado, as   …Continue Reading Juntos Estamos Prontos: Considerações sobre os indivíduos com necessidades funcionais e de acesso

Partnering with the Legislature to Prevent Suicides and Save Lives posted on Sep 17

Governor Patrick recently signed into law An Act Relative to the Reduction of Gun Violence, reforming the state’s gun lawsin an effort to reduce gun violence and create safer and healthier communities across the Commonwealth. These newly enacted provisions are focused on four key areas:   …Continue Reading Partnering with the Legislature to Prevent Suicides and Save Lives