Mount Sinai Partners With National Black Church Initiative to Raise Awareness of Breast and Prostate Cancer

Mount Sinai is working with the NBCI to raise awareness in the African-American community of breast and prostate cancer treatment options.

New York, NY
 – November 12, 2010 /Press Release/  –– 

Mount Sinai School of Medicine has partnered with The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), a coalition of 34,000 African-American churches across the nation, to recruit participants for an ongoing study to evaluate the most effective way to deliver information about breast and prostate cancer treatment options to patients. Additionally, researchers will evaluate the success of the NBCI partnership by tracking the number of African-American participants who reference their church as a referral source. The partnership marks the first time NBCI has partnered with a research hospital.

According to the National Cancer Institute, African-American women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have a 71 percent rate of survival five years after diagnosis, compared to 86 percent among white women. Death rates from prostate cancer among African-American men are about 2.4 times higher than in white men.

"Traditionally, health education outreach to African-American communities from government and private organizations has not reached the patients most in need of the information," said Michael Diefenbach, PhD, Associate Professor of Urology, and Oncological Sciences at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "We’re hopeful that working through community organizations will prove more effective, and we are excited to work with the NBCI to bring needed information to African-American cancer patients. This program is tremendously important for the public health of the African-American population."

To recruit study participants, the NBCI will organize distribution of information through church bulletins and announcements urging patients recently diagnosed with breast or prostate cancer to contact study coordinators. Those who choose to participate in the study will be randomly assigned to either receive written materials through the mail, or a multi-media education tool containing a medical treatment decision support aid, either on-line or by CD-ROM.

All participants will be given the same information in different format regarding breast or prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment, including medical treatment options, potential side-effects, dealing with emotions, communication with medical staff, and getting the most from doctors’ visits. They also will be asked to complete brief phone interviews two and nine months after enrollment that will assess their health and their experiences with the materials. Researchers will track and compare how many study participants in each group seek treatment to evaluate the effectiveness of the distribution methods.

Diagnosis and treatment information will be made available to all those individuals who request it, even if they decide not to participate in the study.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center

The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Established in 1968, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of few medical schools embedded in a hospital in the United States. It has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 15 institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institute of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report. The school received the 2009 Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation's oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks The Mount Sinai Hospital among the nation's best hospitals based on reputation, patient safety, and other patient-care factors. Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 530,000 outpatient visits took place.

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