Urologists, NFL launch cancer effort

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The American Urological Association is partnering with the NFL for a GlaxoSmithKline-supported prostate cancer awareness campaign with the message that men should start getting tested at age 40.

The “Know Your Stats About Prostate Cancer” campaign includes print and broadcast PSAs featuring 27 retired NFL Hall of Famers, including prostate cancer survivor Michael Haynes, diagnosed with the disease last year through a free NFL Player Care Foundation screening conducted by the AUA Foundation.

One in six men will be diagnosed with the disease and African-American men like Haynes are twice as likely to die from the disease.

Haynes, 56, made his name playing cornerback with the New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders. The campaign, which launched in September and is set to run through 2010, also features a website, KnowYourStats.org. Zeno Group holds the PR assignment for the effort, while Boston Group handled the ads and built the website. DXD Sports produced an educational DVD for distribution to physicians.  

GSK, which is investigating a possible prostate cancer indication for Avodart, donated $1.2 million to the effort. The company funded and executed a recent prostate cancer awareness PSA campaign featuring tennis great John McEnroe in conjunction with the AUA and the Entertainment Industry Foundation, among others.

In April, at its annual meeting in Chicago, the AUA rolled out new guidelines lowering the recommended age at which men should start getting prostate-specific antigen tests to 40 from 50.

“The guidance is very comprehensive, but the summary is that men at age 40 should really start thinking about their prostate health, consult with their physician and have that conversation with them,” said Sandra Vassos, executive director of the AUA Foundation.
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