M. D. Anderson, African-American churches team up for prostate cancer prevention study

HOUSTON - The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center is teaming with more than 40 Houston-area African-American churches to encourage men in their congregations to participate in a prostate cancer prevention study, the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT).

SELECT Sunday - a nationwide effort to increase the number of African-American men enrolled in SELECT - will be launched Sunday, Nov. 16, during morning church services throughout the nation, including more than 40 participating churches in the Houston area.

Elise D. Cook, M.D., M. D. Anderson's SELECT principal investigator, is national chair of the SELECT Minority and Medically Underserved Committee, which conceived the idea of a nationwide SELECT Sunday.

During SELECT Sunday, pastors will speak briefly from their pulpits about SELECT. This event includes distribution of study information in the churches through flyers, revival fans, bulletin announcements, bulletin boards and church Web sites.

SELECT, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Southwest Oncology Group (an NCI-supported national research group), is designed to determine whether selenium and vitamin E, or both, can prevent prostate cancer, the third leading cancer killer in men.

Increasing enrollment of African-American men is important because they are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer and are twice as likely to die from the disease than men of any other racial or ethnic background.

"SELECT Sunday was developed to increase enrollment of African-American men because the study is below its national target of 20 percent enrollment for this racial group," Cook says. "For this reason, we are placing a strong emphasis on recruiting African-American men." At 27 percent African-American enrollment, M. D. Anderson has exceeded its 20 percent African-American enrollment goal, and is participating in SELECT Sunday to support reaching the natio

Contact: Alison Ruffin
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

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