The teenagers and preteens who swung bats and fielded groundballs on the turf at NYA Sports & Fitness Center earlier this month were carefree, and feeling good. Men over the age of 40 — although maybe not as limber and free-spirited on the whole — may have about the same level of overall comfort in their health as these young athletes. But they are at risk of dealing with something that can become deadly if not spotted early and treated properly: prostate cancer.
The disease, which often has no symptoms and must be attacked early on, was the basis for which the Ed Randall All-Star Wiffle Ball Tournament was held.
Randall, who hosts a popular Sunday morning talk show on WFAN radio, Talking Baseball, uses his popularity in sports talk — and past battle with prostate cancer — to increase prostate cancer awareness and education. Soon after going into remission, about a decade ago, Randall realized there must be thousands, perhaps millions, of men just like him who felt fine but were developing the deadly disease. Randall, after all, didn’t feel any differently when he was diagnosed. That’s when he created Ed Randall’s Fans for the Cure, a 501(c)( 3) organization dedicated through the world of sports and athletes to increase the awareness of prostate cancer in men and educate them and the people who love them about the most current techniques in treatment, prevention, and early detection.
“We like to say that if we’re saving one life we’re batting 1.000,” said Randall, who brings up the importance of men monitoring their health and taking steps to avoid the disease on his talk show.
The All-Star Wiffle Ball Tournament was held primarily to get the word out about prostate cancer, with proceeds going to Fans for the Cure. The timing of the event is appropriate with September being Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
Although Randall is a diehard baseball enthusiast, he recognizes that catching the disease early is more important than teams catching base runners. The level of interest that baseball draws, however, gives him a platform for getting the word out — and even doing some screenings.
Fans for the Cure hosted a screening at Yankee Stadium during a ball game in early September. Randall, as in tune now as he is to how prevalent the disease is, was shocked to learn that a whopping 33 of 125 men screened were found to have elevated PSA.
According to Randall’s Fans for the Cure website, there is a 96–97 percent cure rate if the disease is caught early. Among the other statistics on the site are the following: Every hour 24 men are diagnosed with the disease in the United States, men are 33 percent more likely to get prostate cancer than women are likely to get breast cancer, and prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in American males today. The website also provides screening and diagnosis information, and mentions risk factors, which include diet, age, hormone levels, and environmental agents.
For more information, visit fans4thecure.org.