BIKE TO FIGHT
By Rodney Folmar, Sr.
Prostate cancer is a serious disease for men, especially African American men. African American men are at increased risk to develop prostate cancer compared to Caucasian men.
One in six black men will develop prostate cancer in his lifetime. Black men are 1.7 x more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. And, 2.5 times more likely to die from prostate cancer than white men.
The key to improving the survival rates for prostate cancer is early detection through the use of screening tests. This includes a digital rectal exam and a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test. With a digital exam, doctors can identify abnormalities and swelling or inflammation that indicate a problem. A PSA test determines the number of antigens from the prostate found in the bloodstream. While these tests are incredibly simple and easy to undergo, men avoid the process and fail to schedule them with their doctors.
With black men dying from prostate cancer at such an alarming rate, these tests are vital when it comes to saving their lives. The main concern is that most men, black or white, don’t opt for a prostate exam as part of their wellness program. This lack of concern leaves them extremely vulnerable. “Men still do not put the importance or the emphasis on getting screened, says Ms. Spruill.
BIKING FOR A CAUSE
Renaissance Cyclists Defeating Cancer United is a charitable organization with 501c3 status. The organization’s ultimate goal is to raise awareness and show men how important it is to get screened for prostate cancer on a regular basis. The facts are clear. Early detection and education are two important factors in increasing the survival rate of black men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Add nutritional support and men of all races can improve their survival rates.
Renaissance Cyclists Defeating Cancer United raises money by hosting Bike-A-Thons, Walk/Rides, and other events. These events raise awareness by encouraging members of the community to come together and support prostate cancer survivors. Through this show of support, men learn the importance of prostate cancer screening and how effective that screening is when it comes to saving lives.
RCDCU receives financial donations through corporate and personal sponsorships. Donations are used to continue its mission of encouraging men to take a closer look at how important it is to be tested regularly. Education and early detection are the most effective tools available when it comes to saving lives and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Being able to provide men with free screenings will make it easier for many of them to get the answers they need.
With over $27,000 being raised over the past few years, over 2,000 men were able to receive free prostate cancer screenings. Other monies were raised to help provide financial support for families battling cancer during the holidays. Through continued support from those who promote the Bike-A-Thons and other events, more lives can be saved. As RCDCU continues to host these events, the survival numbers for black men diagnosed with prostate cancer continue to increase with each passing year.
Early detection and education open the door to more treatment options and an improved survival rate. In the past, prostate cancer was not discovered until it was advanced. This dramatically reduced the number of viable treatment options available and subsequently lowered the patients’ survival rate.
With RCDCU’s assistance, men are able to learn more about the disease and at the same time receive free screenings that will provide them with more treatment options and a much higher survival rate. For black men, this could mean a new lease on life and a healthier quality of life.