Most people know someone affected by prostate cancer in some way. Prostate cancer is one of the most common non-skin cancers in America, affecting 1 out of 9 men during their lifetime. Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is a time to honor all those affected, promote education and early screening, and drive fundraising for research.
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is held each year in September in the United States. Not only is this an important opportunity for public awareness about the prevalence of prostate cancer, but it also offers support to those who need it the most.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What's National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month?
- How Did National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month Get Started?
- What Month Is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month?
- What Colors Symbolize Prostate Cancer Awareness Month?
- How Can You Acknowledge Prostate Cancer Awareness Month?
Do you know someone affected by prostate cancer or have you received a diagnosis? This September is an opportunity to get involved. In this guide, we’ll share everything you need to know about Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, how it’s observed, and how to take action.
What’s National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month?
National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is a month-long event organized by leading cancer fundraising organizations. As the second most common cancer in American men, it’s important to make sure the general public understands early signs and symptoms of prostate cancer as well as ways to help.
National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month has several key goals:
- Education: Many don’t realize prostate cancer affects so many. With 1 in 9 men getting a prostate cancer diagnosis in his lifetime, this is a widespread disease.
- Early detection: Like most cancers, early detection makes all the difference in prognosis. One of the main goals of this awareness month is to encourage men to get pre-screened regularly.
- Fundraising: This is an important month for boosting fundraising efforts toward research and patient support.
- Support: Everyone wants to feel supported, especially if they’re currently undergoing cancer treatment or know someone who is. This is a month for honoring all that they go through. From positive messages for cancer patients to just being there, this makes a big difference.
- Remembrance: Last but not least, National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is when loved ones honor those they’ve lost to prostate cancer.
There are no limits to how or when you spread awareness about prostate cancer. That being said, having a specific month to honor those affected ensures there’s some stability in the ongoing fight for research.
How Did National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month Get Started?
National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month began in 1999 with a designation from the American Foundation for Urological Disease. This began as a way to inform the public about the prevalence of prostate cancer.
This wasn’t a nationally recognized event until 2001 when Senate Resolution 138 created Prostate Health Month to encourage early screening. This was to happen annually, and President George W. Bush voiced support for the month as well. This is when it turned into National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. It was officially given this title in 2015 under President Obama’s Administration.
What Month Is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month?
September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. September was chosen to give special time specifically for prostate cancer, a highly common cancer in men.
This month is very meaningful. It marks the beginning of autumn in the United States, indicating a time of change and evolution. Though it might sound unusual, September is also associated with luck, strength, and wisdom. Like those affected by prostate cancer, this month is a reminder that perseverance is worthwhile.
What Colors Symbolize Prostate Cancer Awareness Month?
Each cancer has a corresponding color that symbolizes support. These colors are flaunted on ribbons, each showing subtle solidarity with those affected. For prostate cancer, the color of support is light blue.
This color is a symbol of healing, health, and understanding. It’s a peaceful, calm color, like the steady strength of those who fight prostate cancer each day. Wearing light blue, whether it’s a ribbon or another symbol, helps honor those currently affected by prostate cancer.
How Can You Acknowledge Prostate Cancer Awareness Month?
From learning what to say when a loved one’s family member has cancer to volunteering locally, there are so many ways to honor Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Each September, you’ll find plenty of events, fundraisers, and online activities. Here are the best ways to get involved.
The best way to acknowledge Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is to support those in your life affected by this disease. Knowing how to support a loved one with cancer isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Sometimes the best way to be there is to simply show up and help in any small way you can.
If you do nothing else during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, educate yourself about the early signs and symptoms. Early detection is key to successful treatment. Understanding the signs and symptoms means you become an advocate for yourself and your loved ones.
If you have the financial resources, consider donating in honor of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. There are a number of effective, inspiring groups to donate to. Whether you donate in someone’s honor or just because you’re joining a force for good.
Where should you donate to have the biggest impact? Finding top-notch charities isn’t always easy. Here are the top-rated prostate cancer research organizations according to Charity Navigator:
- Zero: The End of Prostate Cancer: As the name implies, Zero fights for the end of prostate cancer entirely. Not only do they fight to improve the quality of life for those diagnosed, but they also hope to end prostate cancer once and for all.
- Prostate Cancer Foundation: Started in 1993, this organization funds research toward the detection and treatment of prostate cancer.
- Prostate Cancer Research Institute: This organization helps prostate cancer patients and caregivers understand their options after diagnosis.
Eat It to Beat It
During Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, the Prostate Cancer Foundation holds an event called Eat It to Beat It. This is a challenge to eat 30 healthy foods over the 30 days of this month-long observance. Research reveals that one’s diet affects one’s risk level for prostate cancer, so this is a reminder to eat healthy every day.
Even if you don’t want to participate in this specific event, you can still incorporate healthy eating into your lifestyle. Not only does this better your own health, but it’s also a great way to encourage everyone in your family to get involved as well. David Ricketts’ Eat to Beat Prostate Cancer Cookbook has everyday foods for men battling prostate cancer as well as for their families.
During this month, you should also wear light blue to show your support. This is a simple way to promote prostate education and also support those affected. You can wear a blue shirt, awareness ribbon, or any other symbol of support.
Post on social media
The Prostate Cancer Foundation urges people to step up on social media to share prostate cancer awareness. During September, tag #StepUp on social media to share your own experience with prostate cancer or to simply show support. This is an easy way to use your social media influence for good.
Another way to make a difference is to volunteer your time. We all likely have time to spare, whether we collect gifts for children with cancer or help with a local fundraiser.
Not sure what to do? Find a local organization to partner with. Even if there is no existing organization, you can always start your own chapter, plan your own event, or work together with your own social circle to make a difference.
Read books and watch films
Sometimes the best way to understand a specific cancer is through books and film. While science-based facts are always helpful, it’s even more powerful to make a personal connection by hearing someone’s experience in their own words.
The Men’s Retreat (2013) documentary by the Prostate Cancer Foundation shares the emotions and challenges faced by 11 prostate cancer patients. Better yet, it’s free to watch on YouTube. For informative and interesting reads, try The First Cell by Azra Razu and You’ll Get Through This by Max Lucado.
Shop Amazon Smile
Lastly, Amazon Smile is a way to shop on Amazon while giving a portion of each purchase to a cause of your choice. A number of prostate-focused charities like Zero make it easy to give through Amazon Smile while you shop. This is a great alternative to donations that you can use every time you shop on Amazon.
Make a Difference During Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
Many are surprised to learn that prostate cancer affects so many. While it primarily impacts older men, everyone likely knows someone who has been directly affected by prostate cancer. Luckily, there are so many organizations and leaders at the forefront of the action. By joining with them during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, we can make the future a brighter, healthier place.
Change doesn’t have to start big. It can start with small, individual actions. These ideas above are the perfect way to get involved this September. As long as you’re educating yourself and raising awareness, you’re a part of the movement to advance cancer research.