Health News

Unite in the Fight Against Cancer Funding Free Prostate Screening for the Community

Written by Lindsey Morris


If you were to look at a map of Georgia and ask to point out the area that you believe has the highest rates of prostate cancer mortality, would you point out the CSRA?

“We are the higher number in the state of Georgia,” says Avirup Guha, the director of the Cardio-Oncology Program, at the Georgia Cancer Center.

Avirup Guha

In our area, the highest number for white men is slightly above the national average, but for black men, it is doubled. While lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in American men, prostate cancer is the second leading, according to the American Cancer Society.

These high numbers are troubling as most men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die from it and the death rate has steadily been declining over the past twenty years due to earlier detections and advances in treatment.

After looking at the rates for our area, Guha pulled together a team of collaborators, including members of: 100 Black Men of Augusta, ZERO Us Too Augusta Chapter, senior pastors Brandon Dotson and Daniel Smith, Reggie Tucker-Seely of Health Equity Zero Prostate Cancer, and Zachary Klaassen, MD, Martha Terris, MD, and Jorge Cortes, MD, of the Georgia Cancer Center, Medical College of Georgia, and Wellstar MCG Health.

They developed a plan where they would run four community screening events to encourage black men in the community to get screened for prostate cancer and to raise awareness of the disease. These events would take advantage of areas where people already gather, like churches and barber shops.

“I think we will be able to save at least 10 to 15 to maybe even 20 lives, which might have not been saved if this free screening was not available.”

For funding for the events and screening tests, Guha submitted his program, Prostate Specific Antigen-based Program for Reducing Racial Outcomes Gap in Rates of Prostate Cancer Survival in Southeast Georgia (PSA-PROGRESS), for funding provided by Unite in the Fight Against Cancer 2023.

Unite in the Fight Against Cancer is a one-mile walk that celebrates and honors all who have been affected by this disease while raising funds for patient-centered programs.

Guha’s program received funding from Unite 2023, along with six other programs, all with a focus on patient health and comfort.

“I couldn’t imagine a better alignment when it comes to the mission of Unite and our program, both with the aim to fight against the development and promote the treatment of cancer.”

Guha has big plans for this program and wishes to continue it on beyond four events with support from the community and local health organizations. If you would like to learn more about his work and keep up with this program, or get involved in some way, follow him on X (formally known as Twitter).

If you would like to learn more about this program, follow us on Facebook to be kept up to date on it and the other programs funded by Unite in the Fight Against Cancer. Unite in the Fight Against Cancer will be held on May 4th 2024. You can find more information by visiting our website and Facebook event page. We encourage all to join us in the fight against cancer.