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Smokey Robinson Joins American Cancer Society in Fight Against Cancer

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Grammy “Living Legend” award-winning singer records public service announcements to raise awareness of prostate cancer risks and screening guidelines.

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Smokey Robinson, Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer, founding Motown executive, composer of 36 Top 40 songs and winner of the Soul Train Heritage Award has turned his velvet voice to the fight against cancer as a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society.

Robinson, a preventive health advocate who follows American Cancer Society early detection guidelines, recently recorded several public service announcements urging men over age 50 to get the facts about prostate cancer. The PSAs were produced at no cost by KKBT “The Beat” radio in Los Angeles for national distribution.

"I've lost so many of my friends and family to cancer," Robinson said. “People need to know their risk, know their family history, know when to get tested and know that the American Cancer Society is available in every community to lighten the cancer load.”

During Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, the American Cancer Society will present several education and screening programs, including:

June 19

• Community prostate cancer symposium at the Grand Event Center, 4101 East Willow, Long Beach, 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m..

June 23

• Free prostate cancer screening/education at Methodist Hospital, 300 W. Huntington Drive, Arcadia, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Many African American men don’t realize they are at higher risk for prostate cancer and are twice as more likely to die from the disease as other American men. And for all men, age and family history are risk factors. The American Cancer Society estimates more than 29,000 men in the United States will die from the disease this year, accounting for approximately 10 percent of all male cancer-related deaths.

That’s why the American Cancer Society strongly urges universal access to and education about prostate screening options. The Society recommends both the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal exam (DRE) for men who decide to be tested. Once diagnosed, the prognosis for any prostate cancer patient depends on the extent of the cancer, the course of treatment selected and other individual factors.

The current American Cancer Society guidelines are recommendations, not rules. Written for both doctors and the public, the guidelines are flexible in order to accommodate individual medical and personal needs, and are subject to revision based on new research evidence. They are:

• Men 50 and older should be offered early detection tests (PSA and DRE) annually.

• Men at high risk (family history, African Americans) should begin early detection testing (PSA and DRE) at age 45.

• Prior to testing, all men should be provided with information about the benefits and limitations of testing.

On the advocacy front, the American Cancer Society works, both independently and collaboratively with others, to help create, change and influence public policies and legislation that can help reduce cancer disparities, such as better insurance coverage of cancer screening and treatment. In addition, for several years the Society has focused research efforts on cancer in the poor and underserved, and we have reached out to racial and ethnic groups with culturally sensitive programs and services.

Some of these programs and services, all offered free of charge, include:

• Let’s Talk About It® – Talks to African American men about prostate health.

• Man to Man® – Helps men cope with prostate cancer by providing community-based education and support to patients and their family members.

• 1.800.ACS.2345 – Callers speaking English, Spanish and other languages can obtain information about prevention, early detection, and treatment and can be linked with community resources – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

• Body & Soul – A nutrition education program especially for African American churches, in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute.

• Road to RecoverySM – Provides transportation for cancer patients to and from their treatments.

• American Cancer Society Relay For Life® – Offers communities an opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer.

The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service.

Founded in 1913 and with national headquarters in Atlanta, the Society has 14 regional Divisions and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across the United States. For more information anytime, call toll free 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.

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