He is not only an example of a man who has overcome prostate cancer, but his wife suffered with breast cancer. Both of them, who are dear friends, have survived their battles and are shining examples of what faith in God can do. They fought both battles together and theirs is a success story of love for one another and faith in the power of prayer. They continue to inspire those of us who love them as they go forward each day and encourage others.
His email reminded me of our friendship, our strong church family and of the mutual friends we’ve had through the years who were not as fortunate to have survived cancer. I can think of a host of friends who died this past year suffering from various forms of cancer.
It is only fitting that I take this opportunity to remind readers that cancer is beatable, cancer is treatable and awareness is the key to early detection and treatment.
September is Prostrate Cancer Awareness Month. And while no man wants to think about it, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among American men. This year, thousands of men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and thousands will die from the disease.
While great strides have been made in the battle against prostate cancer, there is more work to do. During National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, it is important we renew our commitment to fight prostate cancer by finding better ways to prevent, detect and treat this deadly disease.
The national day of recognition dates back to 2005 when President George W. Bush issued a resolution committing his administration to “funding research for prevention and better treatments for prostate cancer.” That year alone, the National Institutes of Health invested an estimated $381 million in prostate cancer research, including $310 million at the National Cancer Institute. The Department of Defense's Prostate Cancer Research Program spent an estimated $85 million, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention devoted $14 million toward prostate cancer research. The results since that time have illustrated some progress.
The funding enables scientists to continue working daily to examine risk factors and identify ways to prevent this disease. New treatments are being introduced and with each new discovery comes quicker and less evasive treatments. This offers hope to men who are living with prostate cancer and those who are at risk.
As we observe National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, I encourage all men, especially those over the age of 50, to talk with their doctors about the risk of prostate cancer and the appropriate screenings. I commend those who fight this disease, and I applaud the dedication of researchers, health care providers and all who are working to increase our knowledge of prostate cancer. By raising awareness and supporting research, lives can be saved.
And on behalf of my friends who have won, and those who have lost their battles with any type of cancer, I do sincerely pray daily, “Dear God, I pray for a cure for cancer. Amen.”