Scott D. Miller, M.D., a robotic prostate surgeon with Georgia Urology, was named co-chair of the Prostate Cancer Subcommittee for the Georgia Cancer Control Consortium (GC3), an initiative of the Georgia Department of Public Health.
The GC3, more commonly known as the Georgia Cancer Plan, is tasked with reducing the impact and burden in the state of cancer, which is the second-leading cause of death in Georgia. An estimated 16,840 Georgians will die of the disease in 2016, according to the American Cancer Society, and an estimated 48,670 new cases will be diagnosed.
Prostate cancer has the highest incidence rate in the state of any cancer for the years 2008 to 2012 at 150.1 cases per 100,000 and it has the second-highest death rate for the same period at 24.6 per 100,000. Prostate cancer also is expected to rank third in new cases among all cancers in Georgia with 5,570 and it is expected to be in the top six in deaths at 730.
Dr. Miller, who was appointed as co-chair along with Dr. Nannette Turner of Mercer University by the GC3â€™s Steering Team, is an advocate of Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) testing.
â€œStarting at age 40, every man should learn how to reduce his risk of dying of prostate cancer,â€ said Dr. Miller, the founder of ProstAware, a nonprofit that seeks to use the worlds of music, sports and technology to engage men and their loved ones to create awareness about the dangers of prostate cancer. â€œWaiting for symptoms to develop almost always leads to diagnosing the disease at an incurable stage. Furthermore, early PSA testing provides a baseline to help evaluate levels later in life, as the rate of rise can help predict prognosis and need for additional testing.â€
Nationally, non-hispanic black men suffer from prostate cancer at far greater rates than non-hispanic whites (an incidence rate of 208.7 per 100,000 in blacks compared to 123 in whites). Non-hispanic blacks also suffer from far greater prostate cancer death rates: 47.2 per 100,000 compared to 19.9 for whites. Georgia mirrors these trends.
â€œThe prostate cancer plight in Georgia is perpetuated by our stateâ€™s disparity in healthcare access and information,â€ Dr. Miller said. â€œUnfortunately, the population with lower access often overlaps with those groups at higher risk of developing prostate cancer.â€
Through his work with the GC3, Dr. Miller hopes to reduce prostate cancer deaths for all Georgians.