Monday, September 01, 2008
Pints for Prostates: September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. As some of you know, I was diagnosed with the disease earlier this year and had surgery in April in Chicago. Luckily, my cancer was caught early. I've had two follow up PSA tests since the surgery and both have come back at 0.0. This is the best news that my family and I could have received. My recovery has progressed rapidly and I'm back doing the things I enjoyed before the surgery.
I was lucky. I did not have any symptoms and my primary care physician told me I did not need a PSA test until I turned 50. At the urging of a good friend who was previously diagnosed with the disease, I insisted on having the PSA blood test. The test caught the cancer early and saved my life.
Since my surgery, I've talked to all of my friends about getting tested and started a campaign called Pints for Prostates to use the universal language of beer to reach men about the importance of prostate health screenings. The program (www.ustoo.org/pints) has resulted in ads running in about a dozen publications, articles in a number more and a good level of buzz on websites and blogs. The goal is to raise awareness about prostate cancer, which when detected in the early stages can be treated and cured.
As part of the effort there will be several events at retail locations and Pints for Prostates will be present at both the World Beer Festival in Durham, N.C., on Oct. 4th and the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colo., from Oct. 9-11. All funds raised through the campaign go directly to Us TOO International, a 501(c)3 group that works to support, educate and advocate for men with prostate cancer and their families. If you cannot make it to one of the events and want to help Us TOO, you can send the group a check or use the handy ChipIn donation tool above.
As we head into National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month what can you do?
1. If you are a male and 40-years-old or older, schedule a visit to your doctor and get the simple PSA blood test.
2. Tell the men in your life over 40 years old to get tested. There are more new cases of prostate cancer detected in the U.S. each year than breast cancer cases in women. The problem is that people don't talk about prostate cancer and the silence is costing men their lives. The good news is that because of early detection and advances in treatment, the death rate from prostate cancer is dropping.
3. Visit www.ustoo.org for more information. There is a ton of useful information on the Us TOO website. It is a great group and worthy of support.
4. If you have a website or blog, consider running the Pints for Prostates banner ad or badge during the month of September. You can get the code in the "Support the Cause" section at www.ustoo.org/pints. The more men reached with the message about PSA testing and regular prostate health screening, the more lives that will be saved.
Thanks for all of your kind words and support. Hopefully, we'll meet up at one of the Pints for Prostates events and we can have a beer together!