NFL alumni promoting screening for prostate cancer
The NFL Alumni Association has chipped in with the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, and LabCorp to educate men on the need for early screening for prostate cancer.
They also are increasing access to such screenings across America through Oct. 15.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, with one in every seven men predicted to be diagnosed with the disease. So those who meet eligibility requirements have been able to sign up to receive a free prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening by any of LabCorp’s 1,750 locations nationwide. Once 2,000 such screenings are filled, a discounted price of $25 is available.
”We felt a lot of our colleagues, whether it was coaches or players, didn’t understand how simple it is to get these tests,” says former NFL player and coach Herman Edwards, a spokesman for the movement Prostate Pep Talk and the Alumni Association’s role in it. ”Just go get a test, it is not that hard. We really are concerned with our colleagues.
”I went through seeing it with the Chiefs when (team owner) Lamar Hunt had a bout with it and it ended up taking his life. He didn’t get it checked.”
Edwards, Bill Cowher, Dick Vermeil, Jon Runyan, Mike Quick and Beasley Reece are among the NFL alumni publicizing the program.
”We get a lot of positive feedback,” Edwards says. ”Taking the time to go do it is very important; the only person who can really take care of your health is you. As men, we want to provide for our families, and the way we can do that is to take care of ourselves. Sometimes we get so caught up in our work: Lamar Hunt, stories like that resonate to a lot of people.”
Experts recommend that men who are considered to be at high risk get screened beginning at age 40. Risk factors include family history and race, with African-American men having a more than 70 percent higher likelihood of developing prostate cancer.
For more information visit (www.prostatepeptalk.com )
FERTILE TURF: St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, had 12 alumni on NFL rosters to start the season, by far the most of any high school.
Long Beach (California) Polytechnic was runner-up with seven. Players hailed from 1,363 schools in 46 states and the District of Columbia, seven countries and American Samoa.
Florida has the most NFL players with 212, and Miami leads all cities with 25.
The Aquinas alumni: DT Geno Atkins and RB Giovani Bernard, Bengals; DE Joey Bosa, Chargers; WR Phillip Dorsett and RB James White, Patriots; OL Marcus Gilbert, Steelers; G Bobby Hart, Giants; CB Lamarcus Joyner, Raiders; G Brandon Linder, Jaguars; K Michael Palardy, Panthers; QB Jake Rudock, Lions; and T Sam Young, Dolphins.
LET `EM STAY DOWN: Bengals cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones watched an opening 20-0 loss to the Ravens on television as he served his one-game suspension from the league for an offseason conviction. One thing that he saw jumped out: young Bengals players occasionally helping opponents up after a tackle.
Some players consider it good sportsmanship to help an opponent up. Jones thinks it goes against the competitive nature of the game, and he wants none of it. Jones has told teammates to leave `em down after they’ve made a tackle.
”Helping guys up – I’m not a big fan on that,” Jones said. ”I ain’t saying play nasty or nothing. I’m just saying you ain’t got to help nobody up. You hit them and you run back to the huddle. Is there something wrong with that?”
DAN ROONEY PACE: Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney, who died in April, will have a harness race named after him.
The $250,000 Dan Rooney Pace will be run at Yonkers Raceway on Oct. 14 as part of a $3.3 million card that includes the $1 million Yonkers International Trot.
The race has been established by his brother, Timothy, president and CEO of Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway.
For decades, the Rooney family has been involved in harness racing.
Dan Rooney not only ran the Steelers through their six Super Bowl seasons, he also was a powerful NFL owner who implemented the Rooney Rule to provide greater opportunities in coaching and league front office positions for minorities. Rooney also served as the ambassador to Ireland in the Obama administration.
”My brother’s contributions in sports and to the community were significant, many and lasting,” said Tim Rooney. ”It is appropriate that we pay tribute to him annually with the Dan Rooney Pace on our biggest day of the year on the Yonkers International Trot card.”
AP Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner and Sports Writers Steven Wine and Joe Kay contributed.
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