Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in men in the United States. It is also the second-leading cause of cancer death in men. One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and for African Americans that rate is one in three. Yet, many men don’t know if they are at risk.
Being African American and having a family history of prostate cancer are two main factors that increase a man’s risk for the disease. Former NFL cornerback and Pro Football Hall of Fame Member Mike Haynes did not always know that these things put him at risk. “It wasn’t something my family talked about when my grandfather was sick,” he explained. “When I learned that this disease affects one in six men and one in three African American men, I knew I had to help spread the word to everyone. That motivated me to become the spokesperson for the Know Your Stats About Prostate Cancer® campaign.”
In 2008, Mike was tested for prostate cancer through a program the Urology Care Foundation and NFL Player Care Foundation provided for retired players. “When I was diagnosed, I learned as much as I could about the disease from my doctor, the Urology Care Foundation, and by talking to other survivors. I think it’s really important to be as informed as possible and know all of your options” he said.
To learn more about your risk for prostate cancer and to find resources to help start a conversation with your doctor, visit the NFL Total Wellness site. As Mike says, “the best offense is a good defense.”