BOCA RATON, Fla. — Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men. In an effort to increase awareness of the disease and the benefits of early screening, the National Football League Alumni Association (NFLA), Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) and LabCorp® are teaming up to educate men and increase access to screenings. Beginning Sept. 1 through Oct. 15, 2,000 men, ages 40 and older, who meet eligibility requirements, may sign up to receive a free Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) screening by LabCorp at any of its 1,750 locations throughout the U. S. After the first 2,000 free PSA screening spots are filled, eligible men may still schedule a screening at the discounted price of $25 throughout the sign-up period. Screenings must be performed within six months of the sign-up date.
With one in seven men predicted to be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, the American Cancer Society estimates there will be 161,360 new prostate cancer diagnoses in 2017. Experts recommend that men who are considered high-risk get screened beginning at age 40. Risk factors include family history and race, with African-American men having a more than 70 percent higher likelihood of developing prostate cancer.
As part of the Prostate Pep Talk campaign, public service announcements featuring legendary former NFL head coaches Herm Edwards, Dick Vermeil, and Bill Cowher will raise awareness of prostate cancer risks and encourage men to get screened for the disease. The public service announcements will air nationally throughout September, which is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
“I know several colleagues and friends who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer,” Edwards said. “First, the former owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, Lamar Hunt, who sadly lost his fight, and my father-in-law who was diagnosed eight years ago and had prostate surgery. We’re hoping this campaign will raise awareness of the need to get screened.”
Sean Cavanaugh, MD, Chief of Radiation Oncology at CTCA® at Southeastern Regional Medical Center, Gary M. Huff, CEO of LabCorp Diagnostics and Carl Baylor, a stage IV metastatic prostate cancer survivor and advocate for early PSA screening, also will be in attendance. Additionally, campaign events will be held in conjunction with the Cancer Treatment Centers of America hospitals in each of the following cities:
- Atlanta: An event at City Hall for more than 200 employees featuring former NFL player DJ Shockley
- Chicago: A CTCA hospital event for the local community, patients and US Too (a prostate cancer education and support network) featuring former NFL player Dan Hampton
- Phoenix: A CTCA hospital event in conjunction with the City of Goodyear featuring former NFL players Simeon Rice and Nick Lowery
- Tulsa: A CTCA hospital event for patients, local college and high school coaches, cancer support organization representatives and local community leaders featuring former NFL players Ed “Too Tall” Jones and Steve Largent
“Screening is the first defense against prostate cancer,” Cavanaugh said. “That’s why we are proud to work with the NFLA and LabCorp to raise awareness about the importance of screening, as well as advances in screening techniques, diagnosis and treatment options, including active surveillance, for prostate cancer. A PSA test that falls outside a specific range considered normal does not always mean cancer and it does not dictate the type of treatment you receive. However, a high PSA level may indicate an increased risk for cancer and should be discussed promptly with a physician.”
Eligible men may order their free or discounted PSA screening by visiting Prostate Pep Talk or Health Testing Centers – Prostate Pep Talk. Testing will be performed by LabCorp at any of LabCorp’s patient service center locations across the country. Men who have an elevated PSA outside a specific range considered normal may be at increased risk for cancer and should consult with their physician to determine the next steps that best suit their needs. Elevated PSA levels do not always indicate prostate cancer.
“LabCorp is pleased to team up with the NFLA and Cancer Treatment Centers of America to increase awareness of prostate cancer and provide free and reduced-cost PSA screenings,” said Huff. “The Prostate Pep Talk campaign will help to improve health and improve lives for men across the country. Getting a PSA screening will help men and their loved ones make more informed monitoring and treatment decisions.”
For more information visit Prostate Pep Talk.