Prostate Cancer Awareness Month draws local, state and national support

Published On: 09/14/2008

BALTIMORE - Governor Martin O'Malley and the State of Maryland issued the state's first proclamation in support of the Great Prostate Cancer Challenge and the efforts of Dr. Sanford J. Siegel and Chesapeake Urology Associates (CUA) to raise awareness of prostate cancer, raise funds for prostate cancer research and increase prostate cancer screening opportunities. The state's proclamation follows President Bush's commitment to prostate cancer, marking September as National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

"My colleagues and I witness the devastating effects of undetected prostate cancer daily and we realized men need to understand their risk and the increased success of treatment with early detection," explains Dr. Sanford J. Siegel, President and CEO of Chesapeake Urology Associates. "We're grateful for the Governor's declaration of September as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, which helps to further promote the goals of the Great Prostate Cancer Challenge taking place this month."

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, which reaches a segment of the community with a 60 percent greater risk than Caucasian men; the screenings will continue through Oct. 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."

5K Run and 1 Mile Walk
On Sunday, Sept. 14, CUA and St. Joseph Medical Center will host the second annual Great Prostate Cancer Challenge 5K Run/1 Mile Walk at Baltimore's St. Joseph Medical Center. Last year, over 1,200 participants raised over $125,000. Based on this success, the 2008 5K Run/1 Mile Walk is planned to be even bigger, with 3,000 projected participants and a fundraising goal of $300,000 for prostate cancer research. After the race, free prostate screenings* will be offered to eligible participants from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Screenings will be conducted by CUA urologists in a comfortable setting at the Cancer Institute at St. Joseph Medical Center.

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.

*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.