"For the most part, men don't want to think about prostate cancer, talk about it or go to a doctor. This 'head in the sand' mentality is certainly not macho and may be deadly," says Bruno. "Hopefully, this wristband will help jumpstart a conversation for those guys who haven't been as mindful about their health as they should be," according to Bruno who designed the wristband to be worn by women as well as men. "Women are generally more pro-active about heath issues. I envision it being worn by family and friends whose lives are touched by survivors or in memory of those who didn't. So we wanted to include them in this awareness campaign," adds Bruno. "Most everyone's life has been touched by someone with prostate cancer. They can help create awareness and support an important organization by wearing the wristband for their husband, dad, brother, grandfather, uncle, partner, or friend who have the disease." According to Thomas N. Kirk, Us TOO president and CEO, "Grassroots awareness and peer-to-peer support and education are major efforts of our organization. We're committed to educating and empowering men to take better care of their health. Our non-profit organization was founded 20 years ago by five men who experienced a need for helpful information and support so they could make informed decisions about how to address their prostate cancer," says Kirk.
Leading Life-Threatening Disease for Men
Although prostate cancer is projected to kill more than 32,000 men in the United States this year, it is not always recognized as a serious health issue. According to estimates based on new National Cancer Institute data, more than 217,000 new prostate cancer cases will be diagnosed this year – exceeding the number of new breast cancer cases predicted. The new NCI numbers represent a 17 percent jump in deaths and a more than 13 percent rise in diagnosed cases this year as compared to 2009, which marks the greatest percentage increase since the mid-1990s. Despite these unsettling statistics, if detected early, prostate cancer is often treatable. But because the disease is generally asymptomatic until late in its course, too many men remain unaware of the risk and unaware of the resources Us TOO provides to those diagnosed, according to Kirk. This year, Us TOO celebrates 20 years of providing patient education and peer-to-peer support services for prostate cancer patients and their families around the world, yet we still often hear "I wish I had known about your organization six months ago when my husband was diagnosed." "We don't want to be a best-kept secret," shares Kirk. "From the time we were founded to today, the Us TOO name reflects our realization that breast cancer organizations are ahead of us in awareness, services and fundraising efforts, and are especially successful in their pink ribbon marketing and messaging campaigns. The men who we serve say: don't forget about the needs of prostate cancer patients; don't forget about us, too!" "With Joseph's Conquer Prostate Cancer wristband and outreach campaign to kick off Prostate Cancer Awareness Month this September, Us TOO encourages efforts to raise awareness and increase support for men afflicted with the disease," Kirk said, "and to just let people know we are here if they need us."
About Us TOO International
Chicago based Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education & Support Network is a source of peer-to-peer support and free materials for men and their families to make informed choices on prostate cancer detection and treatment options. Founded 20 years ago by prostate cancer survivors and their families "who recognized that cancer affects us, too," the grassroots 501(c)(3) non-profit is headquartered in Illinois and works with volunteers in 325 affiliated support group chapters worldwide.