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Cancer Care Chronicles
August 2016

Replacing Urban Myths About Cancer With Community WisdomPutting a Finger on Cancer Disparities

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
JAMA Oncol. 2016;2(8):996-998. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.6566

In the examination room was Rodney, an “otherwise healthy” 47-year-old black man with newly diagnosed, high-grade prostate cancer (PC). Exuding an enthusiasm rarely seen in my clinic, he said, “Finger me, Doc.” “Sorry?” I responded, half-amused, half-alarmed. He replied, “Those words saved me. After ignoring urine problems for a year, I finally went to my doc and requested a prostate exam. He felt a lump, referred me to an urologist who found the tumor, and here I am. Never had a PSA test, so if it wasn’t for the finger, who knows where I’d be?”

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