Sparrow hosts forum about diagnosis, treatment of prostate cancer

LANSING, Mich. - A forum was held at Sparrow's St. Lawrence Campus Thursday night that educated nearly 100 people about prostate cancer, the second-leading cause of cancer death in American men and a particular risk for African-American men.

Retired MSU Athletic Director Dr. Clarence Underwood moderated the forum, and several Sparrow physicians spoke, as well as prostate cancer survivors and representatives from the Prostate Cancer Support Group of Mid-Michigan.

Sparrow physicians, including Sparrow Emergency Department Chair Timothy Hodge, DO, stressed the importance of regular prostate exams, especially for those at high risk for the disease. There are typically few warning signs for people who have prostate cancer, and about 1 in 6 men will develop the disease in their lifetime.

"Having a prostate check is simple, easy and almost painless," said Dr. Hodge.

Hodge and other Sparrow physicians also reminded the audience that African-American men are at a higher risk of getting prostate cancer and the disease is often more aggressive in African-Americans. The forum was scheduled to coincide with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to raise awareness of those risks.

The event was sponsored by Sparrow Cancer Center, Capital Area United Way, the A. Philip Randolph Institute, UAW Local 4911 and the Prostate Cancer Support Group of Mid-Michigan.

For more information on this story, contact Laura Hall at 517.364.2216.