Lee Moultrie sits in front of his house with his hands clasped in front of his knee

AMEN Program: Prostate Cancer Screening for African American Men

The South Carolina Prostate Cancer Screening Program for African American Men (SC AMEN Program) is an innovative and timely approach from MUSC Hollings Cancer Center to address prostate cancer disparities. The overarching goal is to reduce these disparities by increasing prostate cancer screening rates among African American men aged 40–65 in South Carolina through patient education, navigation to screening, and follow-up.

The program is generously supported by funding from the TD Charitable Foundation, which aims to drive social, economic, health and environmental impact in order to create more equitable health care outcomes for all.

Disparities in South Carolina

South Carolina's population is racially diverse, with African Americans making up 27% of the state and minorities representing 37% of the population overall. More than 75% of the state is rural and all 46 counties contain areas designated as medically underserved by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

In 2019, 25% of African Americans in South Carolina had incomes below the poverty line. Economic factors, along with geographic and sociocultural barriers, contribute to poorer cancer and other health outcomes for African Americans. At a national level, African Americans have the highest cancer mortality rates of any racial or ethnic group, according to the American Cancer Society.

The South Carolina Cancer Alliance, in collaboration with Hollings, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, and other organizations published a report focusing on cancer in African American men in the state.

cancer in african american men in South Carolina report cover showing a middle aged man and a teenage boy

Special Report

The report addresses the many cancer-related challenges facing African American men in the state.

Read the report

Prostate cancer burden in African American men

  • Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and second leading cause of cancer death among African American men in South Carolina.
  • The incidence rate of prostate cancer in African American men in South Carolina is two times higher than the incidence rate in white men.
  • The prostate cancer death rate is almost three times higher among African American men than among white men in the state.
  • Overall, South Carolina ranks 15th in the nation for prostate cancer incidence and 6th for prostate cancer deaths, with African American men being the primary drivers of both statistics.

Addressing the problem

graphic showing the Amen Program aims of education, navigation, and follow-up assessment survey

The SC AMEN Program achieves its goals through the following:

Education

Deliver a monthly prostate cancer education session to 15–20 African American men (per session) to focus on prostate cancer screening uptake.

Navigation

Provide navigation services for the participants in each of the educational sessions to address barriers related to prostate cancer screening.

Follow-Up

Administer a follow-up survey to each participant to assess prostate cancer screening rates among participants following the education session.

The work in this high-impact program goes far beyond prostate cancer screening. It also guides the development and implementation of cancer prevention, control, and treatment strategies focused specifically on African American men, which will ultimately create a framework for increasing health equity among other medically underserved and racially and ethnically diverse populations.

Contact

For more information about the SC AMEN Program, please contact Melanie Slan at slan@musc.edu or 843-876-2427.

Dr. Marvella Ford in the hallway at MUSC.

Let the People Say AMEN!

Dr. Raymond N. DuBois and Dr. Marvella Ford discuss cancer health disparities, prostate cancer in Black men, and Hollings' innovative community outreach efforts like the new SC AMEN Program.

Episode & Transcript