When visiting the doctor, have you ever felt like even though you move from the waiting room to the exam room you’re still waiting at least 20 more minutes before you actually lay eyes on a doctor? I’ll admit: I’ve wandered around an exam room counting the tiles on the floor, reading the posters on the walls, picking up the knee hammer and putting it back down quickly as if someone is going to come in and scold me for touching it.
On my most recent doctor visit I was relieved to see my general practice physician had brought in a TV stocked with videos to fill up all that empty time. I no longer had to covertly examine the medical equipment to pass the time. I was psyched to see that on that TV was ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer featured in one of the videos.
ZERO is a national nonprofit organization with the mission to end prostate cancer. More than that, we’re on a mission to educate men and their families about the disease and the importance of talking to their doctor about testing. This is why we’re thrilled to partner with Outcome Health to bring this vital awareness to men where it will be most impactful: in their doctor’s office. Launching this campaign during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in September just brings even more awareness to the table for folks in local communities who may not be aware they’re at risk for the disease: This September, we want more men to know how vital early detection is.
That time in the “smaller waiting room” (aka exam room) is the perfect opportunity to not only wait for your doctor, but to focus on what you as a patient can do to make smarter and healthier decisions. You’re already in the mindset of talking about your medical history and any problems you may be having, so it’s the perfect time to face your health issues straight on.
Including information about prostate cancer risk and early detection in a doctor’s office such as the one I recently visited in Boston is critical. Early detection saves lives 99 percent of the time, but we find that too often men don’t talk to their doctor about prostate cancer risk. Engaging a patient with a video about prostate health *during their already scheduled appointment* can encourage the patient to talk about risks and when to be proactive about screening. They will already be in the right frame of mind, so a reminder about the disease itself could save their life. I don’t mean to scare you, but prostate cancer kills a man every 18 minutes and symptoms don’t appear until the disease has progressed to a late stage.
But that doesn’t have to happen to you. Prostate cancer screening is a simple blood test coupled with a physical exam. If you have questions or you or someone you care about is fighting prostate cancer, we’ve got your back. Visit us at ZeroCancer.org. Don’t forget: early detection saves lives, and having a conversation with your doctor about screening and your risk only takes a few minutes. It’s that few minutes – at the beginning or end of your already scheduled appointment – that could make all the difference.
As President & CEO of ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer, Jamie Bearse is committed to championing the cause while stewarding this leading cancer organization. Bearse has been with ZERO for 16 years and has been a critical member of the leadership team since 2005. He is recognized as the key architect of several of ZERO’s strategic objectives and programs including the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk, it’s Endurance Team initiative, co-pay relief program, and ZERO360 Patient Navigation. Jamie is a black belt in karate, a blogger, and he lives in Boston, MA with his wife and three children.