One in seven American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
And if detected early, survival rates after 10 years can be higher than 90 percent.
But ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer, a nonprofit national organization that seeks to educate people about early detection and screening, wants to work towards eradicating the diagnoses altogether.
They’ll take another step towards that on Saturday when groups show up for the first ever Central Valley fun-run to support the mission and the people battling with the diagnosis.
“This is the first-time that we’ve ever held an event like this in the Central Valley and it’s all about raising awareness and letting people how they can get involved,” said ZERO Marketing and Communications Coordinator Amanda Pini. “We have a great couple that are working as captains for the event and it’s a chance to let more people know about who we are and what it is that we’re doing.”
The day is scheduled to begin on Saturday, Oct. 24, with registration and the pre-race packet pickup beginning at 7 a.m. At 8:15 a.m. there will be a Kids Superhero Dash for Dad, and the 5K fun run and walk will begin at 8:30 a.m. All events start and end at Valley Cancer Medical Center located at 1138 E. Norman Drive.
Those wishing to participate need only to arrive between 7 and 8 a.m. and fill out the necessary paperwork. All of the proceeds generated by the race, which vary depending on the type of race from $15 to $35, will go towards ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer’s efforts towards educating men and their families about when to get checked and what to look for in terms of warning signs.
According to Pini there are 2.8 million men in America right now living with prostate cancer and every 19 minutes another man dies from the disease. More than 21,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year.
Screenings for men, which are suggested to be scheduled a doctor when a man turns 40, require both a digital rectal exam and a blood test for prostate-specific antigens. Pini said that most men start undergoing annual examinations when they reach 45 years of age.
The group hopes that by promoting events such as the run – which take place in 34 cities across the country – promoting the awareness of needing to be screened and the high success rates for early detection will encourage people to pay more attention to that aspect of their health.
“The money that is raised goes back into the communities in which they’re raised and to services that we offer across the nation,” Pini said. “It goes to help fund cancer screenings for the men that need them and the promote the awareness that working together and in close proximity with doctors and treatment center is the best course of action towards prevention.
“One of the things that we want to push is the prevention aspect of the disease and not just reacting when a diagnosis comes.”
For more information about the organization or the upcoming run visit www.zerocancer.org.