The state of prostate cancer care

Thomas Crawford with Johannes Vieweg, M.D.

In Florida, one in four men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer —  more than the national average — and black men are nearly three times more likely than white men to die from the disease.

But new Florida legislation that took effect in July aims to change these statistics with the establishment of a state of Florida Prostate Cancer Awareness Program, coordinated through the UF Prostate Disease Center. The program will bring together experts and leaders from across the state to tackle prostate cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the state.

“Prostate cancer is a complex disease requiring a multidisciplinary approach,” said Johannes Vieweg, M.D., executive director of the UF Prostate Disease Center and chair of the UF department of urology, who led efforts to get the bill passed and establish the program. “It is a hidden disease no one wants to talk about. This is the No. 1 cancer in men throughout the nation, and our efforts will impact not only Floridians, but patients in adjacent states as well. This bill holds great potential to develop a national precedent for how prostate cancer care, education and research will be conducted in this country.”

As part of this new program, Vieweg established a Prostate Cancer Advisory Council, which includes partners from the Mayo Clinic, the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, the American Cancer Society and the University of Miami, among others. Physicians, researchers, advocates, survivors and other prostate disease and cancer leaders comprise the group, which will submit its first report to state leaders in January. — April Frawley Birdwell

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