June 11, 2007
Melanie N. Cross
A necktie is the quintessential Father's Day gift -- dads have been receiving (and sometimes pretending to love) these tokens of affection for decades. But if you're going to give Dad a tie, why not honor him with a necktie that can save his life?
The Tulane Cancer Center and Tulane University Health Sciences Center's Department of Urology teamed up a few years ago to develop a designer necktie and lapel pin that would serve as symbols of prostate cancer awareness.
The 100 percent silk tie is given as a thank-you to anyone wishing to support the Tulane Cancer Center Prostate Cancer Research Fund at the $50 level. For an additional $5 donation, supporters will receive one of the cancer center's unique necktie lapel pins. All contributions are tax-deductible.
"This necktie and pin were born of a desire to raise as much awareness among men about prostate cancer as the pink ribbon did for women and breast cancer," says Roy Weiner, director of the Tulane Cancer Center.
"We knew men weren't going to connect with a ribbon, but we thought we could challenge them to associate this daily ritual of tying their neckties with prostate cancer awareness and the importance of early detection. "We hope that this symbol will become accepted nationwide as the symbol for prostate cancer awareness."
Although increased screening and early diagnosis have led to a decrease in prostate cancer deaths over the past few years, the American Cancer Society estimates that 219,000 men in the United States will learn they have prostate cancer this year, and more than 27,000 will die from the disease.
In Louisiana, 3,640 of our fathers, brothers, uncles, husbands and friends will learn they have prostate cancer this year, and 530 of them will die from it, Weiner says.
According to Weiner, innovative basic and clinical research aimed at finding a cure for prostate cancer are just part of Tulane Cancer Center's total prostate care program, which also includes:
"This is another example of Tulane Cancer Center and the urology department working together on the front lines in the fight against prostate cancer," says Raju Thomas, professor and chair of urology. "These ties are a great opportunity to recognize dad and to contribute to prostate cancer research as well. And don't forget to remind dad to get his PSA checked when you present him with his beautiful necktie."
Prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, is a protein produced by the cells of the prostate gland. The PSA test measures the level of PSA in the blood. It is normal for men to have low levels of PSA in their blood; however, prostate cancer or benign (non-cancerous) conditions can increase PSA levels.
Regular PSA tests, along with digital-rectal exams to help detect prostate cancer, are recommended for all men who are 50 and older. These diagnostic tests are recommended earlier for those at increased risk for prostate cancer, including those with a family history of the disease and African-Americans.
Donations to Tulane Cancer Center's Prostate Cancer Research Fund can by made by calling the center at 504-988-6064 or by mailing a check made payable to the Tulane Cancer Center to Keadren Green, Tulane Cancer Center, 1430 Tulane Ave., SL-68, New Orleans, LA 70112. For more information, visit the Tulane Cancer Center's website at www.canceriscurable.com.
Melanie Cross is a public relations and marketing coordinator for the Tulane Cancer Center.
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 firstname.lastname@example.org