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Prostate Cancer Awareness: Because Men Matter Too

In 1989 the week of September 17th to September 24th was chosen as Prostate Cancer Awareness Week. For those seven short days, non-profits like Prostate Cancer Foundation worked tirelessly to try to bring attention to a disease that kills over 29,000 men a year, a disease that few people know very much about.

One of the problems prostate cancer awareness advocates have faced is that the disease has a difficult time competing against its’ more popular counterparts. While breast cancer awareness can be fun to campaign for—with little pink ribbons, “save the tatas” bracelets and catchy slogans like “big or small, save them all!”—prostate cancer is one form of cancer that it seems to make people uncomfortable to talk about.

It’s not as glamorous as some other diseases, the slogans aren’t as catchy, and there’s little you can do to make the disease responsible for the second most cancer deaths in the US among men seem lighthearted. You can’t “decorate a prostate”, you’ll never sell “save the prostate” bracelets successfully, and it’s difficult trying to raise awareness about a disease that makes most people blush or cringe when mentioned.

Despite these obstacles, prostate cancer awareness advocates have fought tirelessly to do just that: to get people out of their comfort zones and start paying attention to a very serious disease that impacts a large portion of the population. Over the years, their efforts have finally started paying off.

Ten years after Prostate Cancer Awareness Week was founded, the entire month of September was officially designated as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, bringing more attention to the disease. We’re thrilled that the disease is starting to garner more attention, that it’s something that’s beginning to come to the forefront of conversation in regards to men’s health.

This month, we encourage you all to familiarize yourself with the details of prostate cancer, to get yourself screened if applicable, and to do everything you can to spread awareness among your friends and families about the disease, its prevention, and treatment options. It’s time for ALL of us, not just those of us in diagnostic imaging, to consider Prostate Cancer just as important as Breast Cancer. It’s time to care about our men as well as our women.