Barbers Against Prostate Cancer: Moffitt Cancer Center partners with local community to reduce health disparities

April 18, 2008

Tampa, FL Men can get a haircut and life-saving information all at the same time.   Barbers Against Prostate Cancer (BAPC) is a joint research project between Moffitt Cancer Center, the Tampa Bay Community Cancer Network (TBCCN) and the Community Health Advocacy Partnership (C.H.A.P.). The National Cancer Institute-funded project aims to reduce cancer health disparities in Tampa Bay by providing prostate cancer information to those who are at greatest risk. The BAPC kick-off will be held during National Minority Cancer Awareness Week on Monday, April 21, at 10 a.m. at Cole’s Barber and Beauty Shop, 3407 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Tampa.

“When looked at from a scientific perspective, African-American men die disproportionately and suffer disproportionately from every major disease out there,” said Brian Rivers, Ph.D., assistant professor of Health Outcomes and Behavior at Moffitt and executive director of the Florida Prostate Cancer Network.

The American Cancer Society provides staggering statistics on the burden of prostate cancer disease in the African-American community.

  • Prostate cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths for men in the United States.
  • African-American men have the highest incidence rate for prostate cancer in the United States and are more than twice as likely as white men to die of the disease.
  • It is estimated that 186,320 men will be diagnosed with and 28,660 men will die of cancer of the prostate in 2008 in the U.S.
  • More than 2 million men in the United States who have had prostate cancer are still alive today.
  • Florida is the No. 2 state in the nation for prostate cancer diagnosis and death.

Emerson Tillman, the owner of Tillman’s Barbershop, gives advice to his customers on staying healthy and feels that Moffitt is reaching out into the community to provide education on an important health topic.

“Everybody visits the barbershop. They are not necessarily going to go to a doctor,” said Tillman. “Barbers are providing life saving information one haircut at a time.” Barbers are known as business leaders and opinion shapers in the community, and barbershops serve as a vital source for information, including health.

The project will take place at four barbershops in East Tampa and will target barbershop clients who are African American men over the age of 40.

About H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute

Located in Tampa, Florida, Moffitt Cancer Center ( is the only Florida-based cancer center with the NCI designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center for its excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 15 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer, as well as for ear, nose and throat. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.

About the Community Health Advocacy Partnership, Inc.

C.H.A.P. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity, community based, heath prevention, education and advocacy organization. The mission of C.H.A.P. is to advocate, promote and protect the health and safety of every community member." Its main strategies for accomplishing this mission are facilitating access to quality health services, promotion of health care quality standards in service delivery, health education of individuals, and strategic partnerships with public and private entities with shared vision and mission.