Black Men Experiencing Prostate Cancer Receive Support from Men Moving Forward Through Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin

16-Week Program

One out of every six Black men in America will most likely be diagnosed with prostate cancer. According to health officials, it is unknown why so many Black men are the most affected by this disease. To find answers and hopefully stop this disease from being so frequent in the Black community, the study Men Moving Forward was created to help men who have had prostate cancer adopt healthier lifestyles.

Men Moving Forward is through Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin.

Melinda Stolley, PhD, associate director for Population Health at the Medical College of Wisconsin, is among leaders at the MCW Cancer Center (the research arm of the Froedtert & MCW Cancer Network) who are trying to reduce differences in how Black men survive cancer.

According to MCW, researchers already know some of the factors that lead to cancer disparities for Black men and the cause of more aggressive forms of cancer like stress, income, and lifestyle. Yet, other factors aren’t as clear, which is where Men Moving Forward comes into play.

Education Program

Men Moving Forward is a 16-week program aimed at educating Milwaukee Black men about the benefits of eating healthy and exercising regularly to prevent the cancer from coming back. The program will enroll Milwaukee-area men in phases over the next several years. It’s open to Black men who’ve finished prostate cancer treatment at least six months before joining the study or men who have slow-growing prostate cancer and are being checked regularly by their doctor. Men are interviewed and tested to measure strength and body composition before and after the program to see how well the study worked.

The MCW team conducted nine focus groups in the Milwaukee area. The in-depth qualitative interviews shed light on individual experiences with cancer screening, knowledge of cancer disparities, and what participants think makes a healthy community. The groups consisted of cancer survivors and those who didn’t have cancer, along with one group that was only for men and focused on prostate cancer.

Men Moving Forward awareness event.
Men Moving Forward awareness event. (Picture by Medical College of Wisconsin)

Research Program Director Shannon Reed has been in his position for a few months being a connector between the research and the community. Reed wants people to realize how common this disease is but also that it’s preventative.

“It’s something that’s very common [but] when you have education around it, you have better chances to prevent it or stop it,” said Reed.

Reed is a health advocate and has been on his health journey for the last three to five years. He said the data collected from Men Moving Forward will help them create a path to spark change.

He said throughout the program, which is expected to continue in 2024, some men have gone from using canes and walkers to being able to walk on their own.

“Take the chance to check up on your health,” said Reed.

And those who come through the program receive a lifelong community of support.

“You’re never alone. There’s always someone who is concerned and can be of help,” he said.

Nyesha Stone founded Carvd N Stone in 2017 to cover positive news while attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Stone has a B.A. in Journalism. She has raised over $30,000 to award grants and scholarships. She has also been featured in ESSENCE and worked with the American Black Film Festival.

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