UH Cancer Center’s Quest for a Cure Educates about Prostate Cancer

updated October 18, 2023

The Quest for a Cure event returned in-person to the University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center after a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2023 Quest for a Cure, generously supported by the Friends of the UH Cancer Center, was a three-part series of monthly public education hybrid talks by researchers from the UH Cancer Center, clinician partners from the oncology community, cancer survivors, and/or caregivers. The goal was to empower those going through their cancer journeys with information, resources, and support. Topics included patient empowerment and clinical trials awareness.

The final event of the year, Quest for a Cure: Prostate Cancer, was held in September during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in the UH Cancer Center’s Sullivan Conference Center. Speakers from various medical institutions in Hawai‘i and researchers of the UH Cancer Center addressed the impact of prostate cancer in Hawai‘i and advances in the diagnosis and treatment, including genetics and imaging.""

“Prostate cancer remains the most common cancer among Hawai‘i's men, with approximately 900 individuals newly diagnosed each year and 125 prostate cancer deaths,” said Brenda Hernandez, PhD, MPH, Hawai‘i Tumor Registry Principal Investigator and UH Cancer Center Researcher. “Primary prevention of prostate cancer is challenging with few known risk factors.” Hernandez was one of several panelists at the event and spoke on prostate cancer disparities in Hawai‘i.

""Charles Kim, MD, urologist at Hawai‘i Pacific Health and event moderator, was among other physicians on the panel. “We wanted the event to be inclusive of not only the different disciplines which involve urology but the different institutions in Hawai‘i treating prostate cancer,” said Kim. He was joined by Thomas Sanford, MD, urologist at Hawai‘i Pacific Health, Marc Coel, MD, nuclear medicine at The Queen’s Medical Center, and Ryon Nakasone, MD, oncologist at Hawai‘i Oncology, Inc.

“Because of its prevalence, it is important that our community is aware of prostate cancer,” Kim added.

Also on the panel was prostate cancer survivor Gary Kim who talked about his cancer journey. Kim also serves as a facilitator of the Us TOO/ZERO Prostate Cancer support group, which aims to help men and their families make informed decisions about prostate cancer and provide opportunities for peer-to-peer support.

In 2024, the Cancer Center looks forward to the next series of monthly public Quest for a Cure talks. While continuing to educate about different cancer topics, the events will connect the community with cancer researchers who are doing incredible work here at the UH Cancer Center.