For once it’s not global warming–just a new generation of men emerging, and talking…
Last night, as I witnessed LA City Hall and the iconic LAX light towers glowing blue in support of prostate cancer awareness, I had to smile and think, what a difference a few years make… In the four and half years since I arrived at the Prostate Cancer Foundation, I am seeing a palpable thaw in public reaction to this disease and increased support for awareness. I know around the country, other cities and landmarks are also turning blue this month; media partners are donating ad space and electronic billboard space in Times square. More articles are appearing and I am now much less surprised to run across these efforts when I do.
It makes an ardent advocate like me smile.
I’ve given this shift a great deal of thought since last night and realized I shouldn’t be surprised at all… For the past decade, we’ve had some solid partners and programs chipping away at the lack of understanding and awareness about prostate cancer: more than a decade of the Home Run Challenge supported by Major League Baseball, ten years of annual in-store campaigns supported by Safeway Stores, years of support from FOX Sports and FOX Sports Supports (view the television public service spot), Movember men growing moutstaches around the world to support research for cures, corporate support from NASDAQ… the list goes on.
Over time, these efforts have reached an important audience of baby boomers and younger young men who are active and, most importantly, vocal advocates of their health. They are more proactive in prevention and early detection, and are ready and willing to talk about issues whether they occur above or below the belt. With the help of living in a world that is now linked 24/7 by social media, our world is finally–about time–changing. Prostate cancer is coming out of the shadows.As we mark National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, I believe we should celebrate those organizations and new age thinkers who are making this sea change posssible.
The more we focus attention on this disease and more we talk about it, the faster we will save more lives, overtreat less, and raise the research funding to find the cures that are so much needed for so many men and theiar families.
As I often tell fellow patients–there is no better time to be a patient, if you have to be one, than today. May we all reap the benefits of increased awareness and accelerated scientifc discovery.