The Game Plan: Beat Prostate Cancer through Awareness & Early

The Game Plan: Beat Prostate Cancer through Awareness & Early

Prostate Pep Talk panelists (L to R) are: cancer survivor Richard Smith, Steve Largent, Dr. Michael Payne, CTCA medical director of radiation oncology, Ed Too Tall Jones, and CTCA CEO Jay Foley.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men. Nearly one in seven men (and one in five African American men) will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. But if detected early, this is a disease that can have very effective treatment options. That is, if men will go get screened.
In an effort to increase awareness of the disease, the benefits of early screening, and to give guys the extra “nudge” they need to follow a good game plan for their health, the National Football League Alumni Association (NFLA), Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) and LabCorp are teaming up.
The Prostate Pep Talk Partnership
The three organizations launched the Prostate Pep Talk campaign across the country with patients, oncologists and NFL legends. The goal is two-fold: to educate men about prostate cancer stats, risks and symptoms as well as to increase access to screenings.
Through Oct. 15, up to 2,000 men, ages 40 and older, who meet eligibility requirements, may sign up to receive a free Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) screening at most LabCorp locations. After the first 2,000 spots are filled, qualifying men may still schedule a screening at the discounted price of $25 through mid-October.
Dr. Michael Payne shared why CTCA partnered in this important program during national Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, September 1-30. “The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates there will be 161,360 new prostate cancer diagnoses in 2017,” said Payne. “The ACS recommends that men who are considered high-risk get screened beginning at age 40. Risk factors for being at higher risk can include family history and race, with African-American men having a more than 20 percent higher likelihood of developing prostate cancer. The oncology community recommends the men at average risk should be screened starting at age 50. More men need to be aware and take action.” CTCA of Tulsa hosted a panel discussion on August 30 for patients, community business leaders, cancer support organization representatives, as well as legislative and chamber guests and featured a prostate cancer panel discussion. The informative session was followed by a “meet and greet” reception with former NFL players Ed “Too Tall” Jones and Steve Largent. The football greats shared stories of how their lives, and lives of players or coaches close to them, have been impacted by this specific type of cancer.
Life Lessons from Legends
The NFL Alumni Association is a nationwide group of former NFL players, coaches, staffers, cheerleaders, spouses and associate members whose mission is to serve, assist and inform former players and their families. The Association offers a variety of medical, financial and social programs to help members lead healthy, productive and connected lives. The partnership fit well in their mission and the retired football icons were more than happy to be in the Prostate Pep Talk lineup.
Former Seattle Seahawk Largent shared his memorable story of good friend, Oakland Raider Mike Haynes. “Mike had retired and was inducted into the Hall of Fame and got a job with the NFL out of New York City. While doing a promotion tour for prostate screening, he got screened himself. His test came back positive.”
“It was a shock,” said Largent. “Here was this guy with a similar career to mine and in his early 50s. He had prostate cancer. Cancer doesn’t care if you look healthy, are 6 foot 4 and weigh 250 pounds. It can impact anyone.”
Patients Given a Winning Chance
Norman resident and cancer survivor Richard Smith knows that first-hand. “I had no symptoms,” noted the Tulsa CTCA patient who shared his personal prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment journey alongside the NFL alums.
“I was at an age my doctor recommended the PSA test during a routine check-up. My numbers came back high,” explained Smith. “And I was inclined to do nothing more. But my doctor persisted in encouraging me to follow up further on the results. I finally did and those test revealed I had the cancer.”
The parting advice from all of the panel participants in Tulsa was this: be the champion of your own health. No excuses, fellas.
“We caught it early enough for me to be here to tell my story,” added Smith. “My advice: get the test. Listen to your doctor. Win at life.”
To sign up or learn more about eligibility, men can visit www.prostatepeptalk.com. Testing will be performed at most of LabCorp’s patient service center locations across the country. No case is typical. You should not expect to experience these results.

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