Prostate Cancer Screening
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It’s Fun with a Purpose!
What would you do if you or someone you loved had just been diagnosed with prostate cancer? It has become a reality that more men and their families are having to face. The good news: if detected early enough, prostate cancer is curable.
For the past six years, 50 Hoops has helped men nationwide to gain access to free screenings and information to detect and help treat prostate-related illnesses—men who otherwise might go untreated. This summer, 50 Hoops will hold tournaments and health fairs in Philadelphia, PA July 12 at McGonigle Hall; in St. Louis, MO August 2 and 3 at the Missouri Black Expo, America Center; and in Dallas, TX on September 6 (venue to be announced).
Free prostate cancer screenings are being provided by locally by Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.
“50 Hoops is a tremendous opportunity for the St. Louis community and Siteman Cancer Center of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine to partner to address an important health problem for all men and their partners. Prostate cancer is a particular threat to elderly and African American men. Education and screening are our key weapons against prostate cancer, and these are the targets of the 50 Hoops program. The Siteman Cancer Center is privileged to host this event, a collaboration that will have important long-term and potentially life-saving effects,” Timothy J. Eberlein, MD, Director, Siteman Cancer Center, said.
Research by the American Cancer Society shows prostate cancer as the number one cancer killer among men, and cites a particularly high risk for African American men (about 65%). There is no measure to the value of such an event as the 50 Hoops project that educates and aids this target group.
A multi-dimensional educational and entertainment event, the tournaments feature basketball competition for men ages 50 and older. A new division for men 30-49 has been added for 2003, as well as a women’s division (21 and older). Workshops featuring noted urologists, men’s health professionals, and prostate cancer survivors offer opportunities to discuss the difficult issues faced by those affected by the disease. “Women Only” workshops offer support for spouses, friends and female relatives.
Through participation by physicians and pharmaceutical companies, workshop facilitators can bring their expertise directly to the community while discussing why prostate cancer is killing African American men at such an alarming rate.
The National Physician and Family Referral Project will be conducting surveys to recruit Black families affected by prostate cancer at all events. These efforts will support ongoing research to locate a gene believed to cause prostate cancer specifically in African American men.
“We are very excited about 50 Hoops bringing their health program to America’s Center during Black Expo weekend,” said Tom Bailey, president of the Missouri Black Expo. “Prostate cancer is the type of issue that should be addressed on a large scale, and we are very hopeful that this program will improve awareness among African American men. We must get the message out that they should be proactive in their pursuit of better health.”
As a grassroots community outreach vehicle, 50 Hoops works closely with local and national African American, health, men’s and faith-based organizations. During closing ceremonies, local ministers, celebrity supporters, sponsors and community leaders are recognized for their contributions along with prostate cancer survivors.
“The Kappas continue to be a forerunner in the fight against prostate cancer,” commented Richard Snow, executive director of Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc., 50 Hoops co-sponsor.
Snow has traveled to more than a dozen cities throughout the country with renowned entertainer and prostate cancer survivor Harry Belefonte to educate men on prostate health.
“There is a huge awareness that needs to happen. I don’t think prostate screening is at the forefront [of awareness] as breast cancer or colon cancer,” says Lori Roberts, representative for Norvartis Pharmaceuticals. Rich Murphy, deputy director of Men’s Health for Bayer, added that the 50 Hoops program interacts directly with the public on a sports and community level and is devoted to getting men and women the type of education that they need to fight this disease.
Local churches, community and health organizations are working in conjunction with 50 Hoops to raise awareness in each of the tournament cities. To join these efforts or obtain more information, please call 1-800-677-8429, visit the website at www.50hoops.org, or visit 50 Hoops in Hall 2 at America’s Center, August 2 and 3