|September 3, 2004||Prostate Cancer Fact Sheet|
PROSTATE CANCER AWARENESS EFFORT SET FOR SEPTEMBER
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. The Illinois Department of Public Health is embarking on a $1.4 million prostate cancer awareness effort this month that includes $230,000 for statewide radio advertisements to encourage men to get a prostate examination.
"Early detection through regular screening can help in finding and treating prostate cancer, when treatment might be more effective," said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director. "I urge men, particularly those over age 50 and African-American's over age 40, to learn more about the disease and talk with their health care provider about prostate cancer."
Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich has designated September as National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in Illinois and urged all men to educate themselves about the importance of a healthy lifestyle and preventative health practices that can result in the early detection and treatment of prostate cancer.
The radio ads, which will begin airing Monday (Sept. 6) feature a pirate and a wrestler who say it may come as a surprise that tough guys like them get a prostate examination. The tag line for each says: "You don't have to be a tough guy to get an easy exam make an appointment to get your prostate checked it could save your life."
In Illinois, about 8,400 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed each year and more than 1,400 men die annually from the disease. Prostate cancer is second to lung cancer as the most common form of cancer among men in the United States. A man in his lifetime has about a 1 in 6 chance of being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
While scientists do not know what causes prostate cancer, some factors increase risk including family history or race. Men with a father or brother who has had prostate cancer are at greater risk and the disease is more common in African-American men. In fact, the incidence rate for African-American men is 60 percent higher than for whites and the mortality rate for blacks is double that of whites. It is less common in Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander and Native American men than in white men.
Men aged 65 years of age or older make up about 70 percent of all diagnosed prostate cancer cases.
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that only men have and is part of the reproductive system that's makes the fluid that carries sperm.
"Many men with prostate cancer often have no symptoms, but signs indicating problems with the prostate gland include frequent, weak or painful urination" Dr. Whitaker said. "If any of these symptoms are present, see your doctor as soon as possible."
The Department awarded prostate cancer grants to a number of organizations throughout the state for targeted approaches to raise awareness about the disease. These included faith-based organizations, physician groups, federally qualified health centers, hospitals and local health departments. The organization and grant funds awarded include:
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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