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June 11, 2007

Gov. Blagojevich launches Men’s Health Week in Illinois by encouraging men to take an active role in their health
State grants $1.2 million for prostate cancer awareness and education grants

SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to increase awareness of the medical conditions affecting men and the need to live a health lifestyle, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich proclaimed June 11-17, 2007 Men’s Health Week in Illinois.  Men's Health Week is celebrated each year as the week leading up to and including Father's Day with the goal of raising awareness of preventable health problems and encouraging early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.
“It’s important to make sure our fathers, brothers and grandfathers are taking good care of themselves and the first step in living a healthy lifestyle is education,” said Gov. Blagojevich.  “I want to encourage men to take an active role in their health this week, starting by setting up an appointment for a checkup.”
Men, on average, live six years less than women.  One in four men has high blood pressure, one in five will develop prostate cancer, one in five can expect to have a heart attack before the age of 65, one in 12 can expect to develop diabetes and one in 22 will suffer from depression at some time in his life, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).
“Some factors such as family history or racial and ethnic background can increase your odds of having these diseases.  But men can improve their chances of living a healthy life by practicing some common sense habits, like eating healthier foods, staying active, drinking in moderation, kicking the tobacco habit and getting annual checkups and screenings,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Eric E. Whitaker.
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in American men (excluding skin cancer).  Approximately one out of every six men will develop the disease in his lifetime.  The most current data from the IDPH Illinois State Cancer Registry reports 8,011 men with prostate cancer in 2004.  Approximately 15 percent of the men who develop prostate cancer die from the disease, including 1,228 men in 2004.  It’s estimated approximately 8,240 men will be reported with prostate cancer in 2007.  More than 65 percent of prostate cancer cases are in men 65 years of age and older. African-American men have a rate that is 50 percent higher than white men for developing the disease and have the highest incidence rate for prostate cancer in the world. 
Certain factors increase the risk of developing prostate cancer:
  • Being over 50-years of age
  • Being an African American
  • Eating a diet high in fat
  • Having a family history of prostate cancer
It is important to remember that, while these factors may increase a person’s risk of developing the disease, they do not cause prostate cancer.  Many men with these risk factors never develop prostate cancer; others, who have prostate cancer, have no known risk factors.  Prostate cancer is diagnosed by screening procedures that can detect the disease in its earliest stages, many times before there are any symptoms.
All men 50 years of age and older should ask their doctors about prostate cancer testing every year.  African Americans and men with close family members who have had prostate cancer should talk to their doctors about starting screenings at a younger age.
The Illinois Department of Public Health Communities of Color Initiative awarded $1.2 million for prostate cancer awareness and education grants in fiscal year 2007.

100 Black Men – Alton
100 Black Men – Chicago
Alivio Medical Center
Beloved Community Family Services, Inc.  aka Englewood Redevelopment
Bethel Community Facility
Chicago Heights
Broadcast Ministers Alliance
Casa Aztlan Community Center
Centro Sin Fronteras
Champaign-Urbana Public Health District
Chicago Chapter National Black Nurses
Communities of Color Prostate Cancer Initiative – Outreach and education materials
Cook County Department of Public Health – Project Brotherhood
Oak Park
Cook County Physician’s Association Southside Health Association-Luck Care Ctr.
Crossroads Coalition/St. James Hospital
Chicago Heights
East Side Health District
East St. Louis
Erie Family Health Center
Fathers Who Care
Fellowship Baptist Church
Genesis Community Services
Harvey Brooks Foundation
Hoyleton Youth and Family Services
Illinois Migrant Council
Illinois Primary Health Care Association, Access Community Health, Federally Qualified Health Centers
La Voz Latina
Latino Organization of the South West
LePenseur Youth and Family Services
Mujeres Latinas en Accion
Our Lady of Mount Carmel School
Melrose Park
Peoria City/County Health Department
Real Men Cook Charities, Inc.
Resurrection Health Care St. Elizabeth Hospital
Sankofa (Westside)
Thapelo Institute
Total Resource Community Development Organization
United Neighborhood Organization
Universidad Popular
Winnebago County Health Department

Men’s Health Week events in Illinois sponsored by the Illinois Department of Public Health include:

• Thapelo Institute
5th Annual African-American Male Health and Fitness Expo
Malcolm X College, 1900 W. Van Buren St., Chicago
June 16, 2007
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The event includes a wide range of health seminars and free screenings to include prostate cancer exams, glucose, cholesterol, kidney disease, blood pressure, body mass index, and HIV.

• Real Men Cook Health and Wellness Pavilion
18th Annual Real Men Cook
South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. Shore Drive, Chicago
June 17, 2007
3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

In conjunction with Real Men Cook’s annual Father’s Day event, the Illinois Department of Public Health will sponsor a health and wellness pavilion.  The pavilion will include information on healthy cooking, fitness, family wellness, bone marrow donation, prostate cancer, and free screenings to include glucose, blood pressure, and HIV.
• African-American Male Retreat
Springfield Hilton
June 28, 2007

One day conference targeting 100 African-American men from throughout Illinois to address the disproportionate rate of incidence for African-American men related to HIV, prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease.  Conference outcomes will include, but not limited to, the development and implementation of a joint HIV, prostate cancer, and cardiovascular disease outreach, education and awareness campaign.
The Governor’s Proclamation is as follows:
WHEREAS, since 1994, Men’s Health Week has been observed during the week preceding Father’s Day; and
WHEREAS, the state of Illinois is committed to the prevention of illness, to the promotion of good health among all of its residents and to recognizing our responsibility to all our citizens; and,
WHEREAS, despite advances in treatment and medical research, men continue to live an average of six years less than women; and
WHEREAS, significant numbers of male related health problems, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, infertility and colon cancer could be detected and treated if the awareness of these problems were increased; and,
WHEREAS, Men’s Health Week strives to raise public awareness of the importance of engaging in a healthy lifestyle and of early detection and treatment of health problems affecting men and their families to assist in gaining a better understanding of these illnesses and confront them with preventive health actions; and,
WHEREAS, alliances between public health and private sectors, business, and elected officials have been formed to further our efforts in promoting health and preventing disease, injury, and disability to encourage men to take an active role, with regular physician visits for basic treatment and examinations that could significantly reduce the rate of male mortality; and
WHEREAS, the men of the state of Illinois are encouraged to increase awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle, regular checkups and physical activity;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rod Blagojevich, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby proclaim June 11 – 17, 2007 as
in the State of Illinois, and I encourage all citizens to join in this observance to promote and improve the health of men and to urge all men in the Land of Lincoln to visit their physician for a preventive health check-up and examination where they renew their commitment to a healthy lifestyle for themselves, and for their families.


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