This year marks the ten year anniversary of the Urology Care Foundation's Know Your Stats About Prostate Cancer ® campaign. To honor the occasion, the Know Your Stats team led by spokesperson and prostate cancer survivor Mike Haynes visited the Hall of Fame to raise awareness.
During the much anticipated Enshrinement Week, National Football League (NFL) fans from around the globe came to Canton, Ohio (home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame) to welcome the new class of Hall of Famers.
Aside from the fact that Mike was enshrined as part of the class of 1997, Canton and the Hall of Fame holds a very special place in his heart.
It was ten years ago, nearly to the day, that the Know Your Stats campaign was born. In 2008, Mike was caught off guard when he learned there was an issue with his prostate health after a screening held at the Hall of Fame.
As part of his prostate cancer screening, Mike was asked some key questions to help find out more about his prostate cancer risk. That's when his doctor told him 1 in 9 men would be told they have prostate cancer. And their odds increase to 1 in 5 if they have a family history of the disease. He asked if anyone in Mike's family had the disease, but Mike did not know.
Mike was also not familiar with his baseline Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) level and its relation to his prostate health. Prostate cancer is the most serious cause of a high PSA level result, but other non-cancerous prostate health issues will also signal a high PSA level.
"I was told 1 in 6 African-American men will find out they have prostate cancer," Mike said. "I learned more men would have prostate cancer, than women would have breast cancer, and that was just startling."
After talking with his primary care doctor, Mike had a biopsy that showed he had prostate cancer. Following a successful treatment, he has been cancer-free ever since.
Mike began working with the Urology Care Foundation and the NFL on the campaign shortly after that screening in Canton. It was there that Mike had what he'd later call the "most powerful moment of his life." As spokesperson for Know Your Stats, he educates men and their families about their prostate cancer risks and the importance of talking with their doctor about prostate health.
The campaign is led by some of our favorite heroes of football. As part of the tenth anniversary of Know Your Stats, Mike will be sharing with NFL fans, his story of how prostate cancer caught him "off guard" ten years ago.
Mike's story gives hope to those newly diagnosed, or in treatment, and also reminds families to talk about their family health history. "I am one of nearly 3 million prostate cancer survivors in the United States," said Haynes. "If caught early, prostate cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer. By sharing my story, I can educate more men on knowing their risk for prostate cancer and make a difference in their lives."
Today, Mike and the campaign continue to encourage all men and their loved ones to visit KnowYourStats.org for information about prostate cancer.