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Promote prostate cancer awareness


By Eshan Singh, Staff Reporter

You walk into school and your eyes are immediately overwhelmed with one color: pink. Pink shirts, pink tutus, pink donuts and pink ribbons. The point of all this pink is to raise awareness for breast cancer. By the time Pink Day ends, it’s safe to say that you — along with everyone else in the school — will be more conscious about breast cancer. But I doubt most of these people give prostate cancer a second thought.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) in October has been a huge success, so we should start making as big of a deal about Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in September. Yes, that’s a thing.

A big reason for BCAM’s success was first lady Betty Ford, who underwent a mastectomy to treat her breast cancer in 1974. Ford’s openness about her experience greatly increased public awareness of breast cancer.

BCAM especially gained popularity in 1993, when cosmetics company Estée Lauder started handing out pink ribbons at makeup counters. Today, BCAM has completely permeated society; even the NFL started to incorporate pink during October 2009.

There are numerous benefits of increased cancer awareness. According to Comprehensive Cancer Centers, higher levels of awareness can lead to earlier detection, a better understanding of treatment options, prevention and more support from loved ones. In addition, fundraisers can help raise money for cancer treatment.

It’s time to expand these benefits to prostate cancer.

According to the American College of Surgeons, prostate cancer affects about one in eight men in their lives and has a mortality rate of about 12%, making prostate cancer the second most deadly cancer for men by volume, behind only lung cancer.

Unlike breast cancer, no one has raised prostate cancer awareness to the level Ford did, and there haven’t been any marketing campaigns celebrating blue, the color of prostate cancer awareness, during September. This means that if we want to treat prostate cancer awareness like the big deal it is, we’ll have to start from the ground up. Thankfully, BCAM provides a template on how to do that.

We can start by having a Blue Day and promote it as much as we do with Pink Day. People affected by prostate cancer can take to social media during September and share their experiences, hopefully inspiring companies and organizations to start putting more emphasis on the disease.

And it doesn’t have to stop with prostate cancer. Increasing awareness of lung cancer, blood cancer and any other cancer can only have positive effects.

However, some might say that putting more focus on other cancers will take the spotlight away from breast cancer, but as we see with the successful trifecta of Black History Month in February, Women’s History Month in March and Pride Month in June, there’s plenty of attention to go around.

So, I hope that one September day, kids will wear all blue and buy blue donuts, increasing awareness of and helping to fight prostate cancer.

Eshan Singh can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Eshan Singh, Staff Reporter
Eshan Singh is a sophomore and Staff Reporter for The Spoke. He currently writes for the Opinion section but has previously written for the Sports section. He is also a member of the Conestoga Investment Club and Model UN.