‘Movember’ Mustaches Promote Prostate Cancer Awareness

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Man Up Mahoning Valley, HMHP Cancer Centers, HMHP Development Foundation and NEO Urology Team Up to Drive Age-Appropriate Prostate Cancer Screenings.

We hope we’ll have men throughout the entire community challenging their friends, families and coworkers to grow mustaches and spread the word about the importance of prostate cancer screenings.

One in seven American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives. More than 233,000 will be diagnosed this year and 29,480 of them will die.

Still, many men – including an unusually high percentage of men in the Mahoning Valley – don’t get age-appropriate prostate cancer screenings.

As part of an ongoing effort to change that, Man Up Mahoning Valley, HMHP Cancer Centers, HMHP Development Foundation, NEO Urology, Dr. Dan Ricchiuti and several community leaders are joining forces to generate awareness about prostate cancer and encourage men to get the age-appropriate screenings that could save their lives.

“We’re localizing the international Movember campaign,” Dr. Ricchiuti explained during a ceremonial Movember kickoff at Partners for Urology Health in Austintown this morning. “It’s a fun way to get involved and raise awareness and it doesn’t cost anything.”

Movember takes place Nov. 1 to 30. Participants start the month clean shaven but grow and groom their mustaches the rest of the month. “The mustaches, especially on men who don’t usually have one, are a conversation starter,” Dr. Ricchiuti said. “When somebody says something about it, that’s an opportunity to say ‘I’m growing it to raise awareness about prostate cancer and the need for age-appropriate screenings.’ ”

With prostate cancer, there are no symptoms until the disease is in advanced stages, Dr. Ricchiuti said. Because most prostate cancers can be cured if they are discovered early, routine screenings are imperative.

Screenings consist of a digital rectal exam and a blood draw to check the level of prostate specific antigen (PSA). It’s important to get both the exam and the PSA test, Dr. Ricchiuti stressed, because with many men, suspicious findings are detected by one and not the other. He recommends men begin annual prostate cancer screenings at age 40 – earlier if there is a family history of prostate cancer.

African-American men in the Mahoning Valley are twice as likely to get prostate cancer and to die from it as any other race, according to Man Up Mahoning Valley.

“Our goal is to raise awareness about prostate cancer and encourage men to talk with their doctors and get annual screenings,” Dr. Ricchiuti said. “We hope we’ll have men throughout the entire community challenging their friends, families and coworkers to grow mustaches and spread the word about the importance of prostate cancer screenings. We hope women will get involved too. Women can’t grow mustaches, but they can encourage the men. Women are very important,” Dr. Ricchiuti continues, “because they are the ones who often insist that the men in their lives see their doctors.”

For more information about the Movember campaign, visit http://www.facebook.com/ManUPMahoningValley.

About Humility of Mary Health Partners
Humility of Mary Health Partners is an integrated health system in the Mahoning Valley, which encompasses the Youngstown/Warren metropolitan area – Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties in Ohio. It is a key market of Mercy Health (formerly Catholic Health Partners) in Cincinnati, the largest health system in Ohio and one of the largest Catholic health systems in the United States. HMHP provides a full spectrum of health care services – acute inpatient and trauma, outpatient and ambulatory, rehabilitation, behavioral, emergency and urgent care, primary care physicians in patient-centered medical homes, specialist physician care, home health, home medical equipment, long-term care and hospice care, as well as the HMHP Foundation. Major sites are St. Elizabeth Health Center, St. Joseph Health Center, St. Elizabeth Boardman Health Center, HMHP Physician Associates, HMHP Care Network, The Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center, HMHP Cancer Care Centers in Warren and Boardman, Howland Surgery Center, St. Elizabeth Austintown Emergency Care, St. Joseph Andover Emergency Care, HM Home Health Services, HM Durable Medical Equipment, HM Home Pharmacy Services, The Assumption Village, Humility House and Hospice of the Valley. Learn more at http://www.HMpartners.org.
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Maraline Kubik