Neckties promote prostate cancer awareness

November 27, 2000

Heather Heilman

There's a handsome new green-and-blue-striped necktie now on sale at the bookstore. You could wear it to show your pride in Tulane, but it represents more than that. It's also a way of raising awareness of prostate cancer and supporting research at the Tulane Cancer Center.

In the last decade, the pink ribbon became a symbol that helped bring public attention to breast cancer. But if women once felt awkward talking about breast cancer, men are even more reluctant to talk about their prostate. Bettina Beech, a former cancer center faculty member, had the idea of associating a man's daily ritual of tying his tie with prostate cancer awareness, and Mary Coniglio, a social worker formerly with the cancer center, came up with the slogan Tie on Awareness.

Roy Weiner, director of the cancer center, and Raju Thomas, chair of the urology department, had a hand in the tie's conservative and tasteful design. A tie-shaped pin was also developed. A patent is pending on its design in the hope that it will be adopted as a nationwide symbol of prostate cancer awareness.

By mail order, the tie is available for a tax-deductible $50 donation to the cancer center. At the bookstore, it sells for $39.95, but the purchase is not tax-deductible. The pin is available for a $5 donation through mail order or at the bookstore. The funds will support prostate cancer research. Prostate cancer is diagnosed in more than 180,000 men in the United States each year.

Although early diagnosis has led to a decrease in deaths over the past five years, almost 32,000 men still die of prostate cancer each year. Research can change these statistics dramatically. To order a tie or pin, call 1-888-255-4244 or visit the Cancer Centers Web site at

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