Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of male cancer-related death in the United States, with an estimated 35,000 new cases occurring in African American men in 2011. African American men are at special risk for the disease and have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world. The American Cancer Society estimates that one in five African American men will get prostate cancer at some time in their lives. The chances of getting prostate cancer increase if you have a close relative (for example, a father or brother) with the disease.

The better news is that, with early detection, early screening and early treatment, prostate cancer is more than 95 percent curable. The death rate has been dropping over the last 10 years because men are getting tested and treated earlier. African American men should start screening at age 45, and those with a family history of the disease should start at age 40. Be sure to know your risk and talk with your doctor about prostate cancer.

There are no noticeable symptoms of prostate cancer during the early stages. That is why screening is critical. With widespread screening, about nine out of 10 cases are now found early—giving men a good chance of treatment and recovery. Nearly 100 percent of men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the early stages are alive five years from initial diagnosis.

You can be involved in the following ways:

• Bring a team of runners and walkers to the Man Up Fathers Day events at Heinz Field on Father’s Day. The Obediah Cole Foundation will be celebrating its 10th annual race/walk anniversary in 2012.

• Have your church, organization or company sponsor a health fair/screening event.

• Support the start of a Pittsburgh chapter of Women against Prostate Cancer.

The Obediah Cole Foundation for Prostate Cancer teams with the Allegheny County Health Department and UPMC to provide free screenings around the Pittsburgh area.

For more information about prostate cancer, visit the Obediah Cole Foundation’s Web site at http://www.obcolefoundation.org or call 412-572-6830.

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