For the first time, landmarks in all 50 U.S. states were illuminated in blue on Sept. 3 to launch Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
The Prostate Cancer Foundation‘s “Light It Blue” effort is aimed at heightening disease awareness, supporting patients, and encouraging action. More than 174,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, according to the foundation.
U.S. residents are asked to continue to show support the initiative throughout September by installing blue bulbs in their homes and workplaces and then posting photos with the hashtag #LightItBlue on social media. People may also suggest a local landmark to be lit blue for the month by connecting with the foundation on Facebook, Instagram @prostatecancerfoundation, or Twitter @pcfnews. Blue is the official color for prostate awareness.
“More than four million American men are living with prostate cancer today, and one in nine Caucasian men and one in six African-American men will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime,” Jonathan W. Simons, MD, president and CEO of the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF), said in a news release. “Although we have made considerable advances in prostate cancer research and treatment over the past 25 years, the job is not done.”
Prostate cancer patients and survivors, along with celebrities such as James Pickens, Jr. and Tommy Chong, witnessed the lighting of the iconic Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier in California. Other landmarks included the Aloha Tower in Honolulu, Hawaii, and the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, Michigan. Go here for a complete list.
“Lighting America blue is a milestone for the Prostate Cancer Foundation,” Simons said. “The more people we reach with the latest information about prostate cancer, early detection, research and treatment, the more lives we save. And it starts by having a conversation and knowing the facts. It’s critical that men are aware of prostate cancer and become more proactive about their health.”
The PCF has also issued a health, nutrition and wellness guide, titled “The Science of Living Well, Beyond Cancer,” which includes the latest scientific recommendations for cancer prevention as well as actionable tips.
“Diet and lifestyle modifications have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer development and progression, including prostate cancer,” Simons added.