A team of more than 40 students and faculty from Fairmont State University School of Nursing added momentum to a national run/walk campaign to eliminate prostate cancer.
The ZERO Prostate Cancer 5K Run/Walk was held on Aug. 26 at Morgantown’s Milan Park. This year, Fairmont State joined the initiative.
ZERO Prostate Cancer is a nonprofit organization that works with groups around the country to sponsor awareness events, largely centered on 5K run/walks. These events have been held in more than 50 cities in the United States including San Diego, Tampa and Cincinnati.
“The College of Nursing was excited to help raise awareness about prostate cancer by participating in the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk held in Morgantown,” College of Nursing Dean Laura Clayton said. “This was the first time we participated in the walk, but it was the second time the walk was held in Morgantown.”
Despite being new to the walk, the College of Nursing team brought more participants than any other group. “The College of Nursing team won two awards,” Nursing Professor Denice Kirchoff said. “We had the largest team and the second highest in donations. But just as important, students learned about prostate cancer from local physicians as well as the latest advancements in beating this disease.”
According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is second only to lung cancer in prevalence among men. It is estimated that 288,000 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, and 34,000 will die from it. Since 2014, the incidence rate has increased by 3 percent per year overall and by about 5 percent per year for advanced-stage prostate cancer. However, most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die from it. Today, more than 3.1 million men in the United States who were diagnosed with prostate cancer are still alive. The key is early detection through screening.
“Men should talk with their healthcare provider so they can make an informed decision about being screened,” Clayton said.
Men at high risk for prostate cancer may choose to be screened starting at age 40. Those at average risk may consider being screened beginning at age 50 according to the American Cancer Society. Screening for prostate cancer is done through a simple blood test.
ZERO Prostate Cancer, based in Alexandria, Va., has raised more than $32 million since its inception in 2007. More than 170,000 people have participated in ZERO run/walks across the country.
The organization has been recognized for its strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency, and its mission has been consistent: Boost awareness and research for prostate cancer. Proceeds from the run/walks are also directed to families affected by prostate cancer.