Prostate cancer is a primary focus of the campaign. It is the most common cancer, other than skin cancers, in American men. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 186,320 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2008 and approximately 28,660 men will die of prostate cancer. The Illinois State Cancer Registry estimates approximately 8,340 new cases will be diagnosed in Illinois during 2008 and 1,330 men will die from it. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. Prostate cancer accounts for about 9 percent of cancer-related deaths in men.
Approximately 15 years ago, George Melton was diagnosed with prostate cancer after having blood work done as part of an annual physical exam offered by Caterpillar. His bottom line – get tested.
“There are contributing factors that are out of men’s control. Things like your relatives; if you have a history of prostate cancer in your family makes a difference. Race; prostate cancer is more common in black men. And, age; the older you get the more likely you are to have prostate cancer. All of these things are out of your control, but you need to find out if prostate cancer is there or not. Getting tested is within your control. Get tested.”
“Recognizing and preventing men’s health problems is not just a man’s issue. Because of its impact on wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters, men’s health is truly a family issue,” said Dick Kay. “Educating the public and health care providers about the importance of a healthy lifestyle and early detection of male health problems will help to reduce rates of mortality from disease, improve overall health and save healthcare dollars.”