Great Prostate Cancer Challenge 5K draws record crowd to support awareness, research, screenings

Published On: 09/16/2008

TOWSON, Md. - The second annual Great Prostate Cancer Challenge 5K/1 Mile Fun Walk drew nearly 2,500 people to the St. Joseph Medical Center campus Sunday in support of prostate cancer awareness, research and screenings. Building on the inaugural event, 1,500 runners and walkers participated, and doctors screened 87 men for prostate cancer as free screenings composed an important portion of this year's event and will continue in conjunction with African American churches throughout October.

"The amazing turnout for this event demonstrates how prostate cancer touches the lives of so many whether it's the individual or someone's husband, father or brother," says Dr. Dr. Sanford Siegel, President and CEO of Chesapeake Urology Associates and organizer of the Great Prostate Cancer Challenge. "With early detection, particularly in the African American community where the risk is 60 percent greater than Caucasian men, treatment can be more successful and ultimately save lives. We're proud of all the men who took advantage of free screenings Sunday and at our earlier screening events in August."

Prior to race time, Dr. Siegel received a proclamation from Governor O'Malley as presented by Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger declaring September as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in the state of Maryland. The proclamation supports President Bush's commitment to prostate cancer health through his declaration of September as National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

The Great Prostate Cancer Challenge also drew support from local sport legends and prostate cancer survivors Lenny Moore, Art Donovan, Jim Mutscheller, Tom Matte and Dick Lehnert who urged men to take advantage of the free screenings. In addition, participants heard from WJZ's Kai Jackson, the event emcee; Sandra Vassos, Executive Director of the American Urological Association Foundation; Dr. Richard Boehler, St. Joseph Medical Center Chief Medical Officer; and Dr. Marc Siegelbaum, Chesapeake Urology Associates and Chief of Urology, Medical Director of the Urologic Oncology Institute at St. Joseph Medical Center.

In 2007, its inaugural year, the Great Prostate Cancer Challenge 5K earned the designation as the most successful first time event in Maryland. This year, CUA vowed a more aggressive approach to raise awareness and create screening opportunities. The Challenge began in August with free community screenings at African-American churches across Baltimore City and Baltimore County. In addition to the 5K/1 Mile Fun Walk, CUA also sponsored a benefit concert by Patti LaBelle to raise additional funds for the American Urological Association Foundation. The Great Prostate Cancer Challenge 5K also expanded to four new cities including Nashville, Tenn.; Richmond, Vir.; Harrisburg, Pa.; and Indianapolis, Ind.

"This year, more than 186,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and more than 28,000 will die from the disease," says Dr. Siegel. "Our goal is to do for men and prostate cancer what Susan G. Komen does for women and breast cancer. By creating a culture of awareness and regular screenings, we can achieve early detection and save lives."

Free Community Prostate Cancer Screenings
Free prostate cancer screenings* will be made available to African American men in cooperation with the following Baltimore area churches: Bethel AME Church, Calvary Baptist Church, Empowerment Temple, New Shiloh Baptist Church, The New Antioch Baptist Church of Randallstown, New Psalmist Baptist Church, and Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. The goal of the program is to help increase survival rates through early detection screenings and to raise awareness among African American men, who are 60 percent more likely than Caucasian men to develop prostate cancer.

For more information on the Great Prostate Cancer Challenge, visit www.gpccbaltimore.com.

As one of the East Coast's premier urology private medical practices, Chesapeake Urology Associates, P.A. (CUA) provides superior care often limited to university programs. More than 300 staff members, including a team of fellowship-trained urologists, treat men's health and women's health, as well as children, with the highest quality, comprehensive urologic care in an environment of compassion and dignity. CUA offers the most advanced minimally-invasive laparoscopic and robotics procedures and leading-edge diagnostic techniques at 20 offices in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area. For more information, visit www.chesapeakeurology.com.

*Eligible men must be age 50-75, or age 40 or older if African American, or have a first-degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer, and have not had a screening in the last 12 months. No health insurance is required.