/PRNewswire/ -- Prostate cancer is a serious health concern in Georgia. According to the American Cancer Society, the state of Georgia ranks 11th in number of estimated deaths per capita from the disease. In an effort to raise awareness about prostate cancer and ensure more men commit to be informed and screened, several companies and media organizations have joined the Georgia Prostate Cancer Coalition in launching a pledge campaign.
The Georgia Prostate Cancer Coalition, RC Cancer Centers and the Georgia Department of Community Health along with the Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Thrashers, UPS, CR Bard, WXIA Television, Morehouse School of Medicine, KISS 104.1 Radio and WSB Radio are supporting this initiative to increase prostate cancer awareness throughout the state of Georgia.
"Specifically, we are encouraging every man who is over the age of 40 in Georgia to speak to his doctor and take the pledge to get screened for prostate cancer," said Frank Catroneo, Georgia Prostate Cancer Coalition Board Member. "Our goal is to have 10,000 men in Georgia pledge to have the conversation with their doctors and/or be screened between now and April 20, 2011."
M. Rony Francois, MD, MSPH, PhD, Director, DCH Division of Public Health and State Health Officer said, "I look forward to the potential that this pledge campaign holds in increasing the number of men who talk to their doctor about prostate cancer screening."
To encourage prostate cancer discussions and screenings, the Atlanta Hawks and the Georgia Prostate Cancer Pledge committee will provide two tickets to several Atlanta Hawks home games, starting with the December 7 th home game versus the New Jersey Nets, to the first 2,000 men who commit to being screened for the first time. Men can visit www.hawks.com or www.GeorgiaProstateCancerPledge.com to make their screening pledge and redeem their complimentary tickets online.
There will be a number of activities and events to help educate men and their loved ones, and to bring awareness to the serious health impact of prostate cancer for all concerned. The events will culminate in April with a prostate cancer symposium, a golf tournament, a motorcycle ride, video testimonials of survivors and much more.
Michael Holton, president and COO of RC Cancer Centers, which specializes in the ProstRcision treatment for prostate cancer said, "Throughout the campaign, we will be offering free of charge PSA screenings for men over 40 years old, who have not been diagnosed with prostate cancer or previously treated for this disease. They can be screened at any one of our five locations in Georgia. For screening locations, visit www.RCCancerCenters.com."
Current data available from Georgia Department of Community Health, the Centers for Disease Control and the American Cancer Society show:
* Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer among Georgia males and accounts for 28 percent of all new cancer cases among males each year.
* Nationally, about one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime and more than two million men in the United States have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point and are still alive today.
* Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men and the second leading cause of cancer death, behind lung cancer.
"It is crucial for men to maintain an ongoing relationship with their healthcare provider as the risk for prostate cancer will vary from person to person," said Roland Matthews, M.D., from Morehouse School of Medicine and Director of Georgia Cancer Center for Excellence at Grady Health System.
A prostate screening PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) is a simple blood test which will not define a man's prostate cancer status, but provides the basis for men to start the right conversations with their doctor. When prostate cancer is detected early, it is a very curable disease.
To learn more about this prostate cancer initiative, visit www.GeorgiaProstateCancerPledge.com.
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