Cancer Journeys Foundation has announced that Al Roker, a 66-year-old TODAY weatherman and co-host has revealed his prostate cancer diagnosis and that he will be undergoing surgery for the removal of his prostate. He also revealed that he wants to emphasize the fact that 1 in 7 African American men, 1 in 9 men overall, are expected to get diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. He will be undergoing surgery to be performed by Dr. Vincent Laudone at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. More about this can be gleaned at https://www.today.com/health/al-roker-reveals-prostate-cancer-diagnosis-today-t197701.
Al Roker has been a long-time advocate of prostate cancer awareness and he actually did the popular “Get Checked PSA” segment with Craig Melvin in 2019. He did practice what he is preaching and got tested for prostate cancer, which was why they were able to detect the cancer while it was still limited and confined to the prostate. However, since the cancer appeared to be more aggressive than usual, his doctors decided that they needed to treat it, and after some discussion on the possible options, they settled on removing the prostate.
Mr. Roker has decided to share his journey as he gets his prostate cancer treated to motivate others at risk, especially Black men, to make sure that they get the proper checkups to detect the cancer early, at a stage that it is very treatable.
Robert Hess, CEO of Cancer Journeys Foundation, says, “We here at Cancer Journeys Foundation wish Al a speedy recovery. He is such a public figure that sharing his journey will make other men aware of the importance of screening. Women can play an important role in getting men to take an annual PSA blood test. Beating any cancer is always a team effort.”
The Cancer Journeys Foundation has established the Prostate Cancer Awareness Project to help in getting more people aware about this type of cancer and the importance of getting a yearly prostate cancer PSA blood test as a way to detect it early. They also offer the ProstateTracker, which is a free Internet-based app that tracks men’s annual PSA blood test results. Through this app, men can easily see if their PSA is rising, which means that they need to consult with their doctor as soon as possible.
The Cancer Journeys Foundation also provides several prostate cancer resources on its website. While they don’t provide medical advice, they do suggest that men start getting tested for prostate cancer at age 35. This is due to a number of reasons, including the fact that: more than 40 percent of prostate cancers occur before the age of 65; aggressive prostate cancers tend to develop earlier; prostate cancer shows no symptoms until it is advanced and difficult to cure; and having an annual PSA test and tracking the results lets men see if their PSA trend is rising, which is an early indication of possible prostate cancer.
It should be noted that prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in the US. Risk factors for this type of cancer includes: age, family history, race, genetic factors, dietary habits, and lifestyle. Risk factors for aggressive prostate cancer include: high calcium intake; sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise; tall height; family history, African American race; and exposure to Agent Orange.
The goal of Cancer Journeys Foundation is the creation of a comprehensive listing of survivor journey mapping resources that will allow cancer survivors and their families to plan for their future. The organization’s vision is a future where no one dies from cancer because the disease was not detected early enough for effective treatment or because they were not aware of the steps they could take to keep their cancer at bay.
Those who would like to learn more about the PSA blood test and the services offered by Cancer Journeys Foundation may want to check out their website, or contact them on the telephone, or through email. Those who want to use the organization’s ProstateTracker can sign up at https://prostatetracker.cancerjourneysfoundation.org/_layouts/login_pcap.aspx.
The Cancer Journeys Foundation provides support to the 14 million cancer survivors in the United States and their families and care givers as they move through their individual cancer journeys.
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