MIAMI (CBS4) – A U.S. Congresswoman from South Florida stopped by a Miami Beach cancer center to help spread the word to men about the importance of having their prostate screened for cancer.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who survived breast cancer herself, was joined by doctors and other cancer survivors at the Mt. Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Center to emphasize the importance of early detection.
“The reason that I’m a survivor,” she said, “is because of early detection.”
She noted many clinics doctors and hospitals, including Mt. Sinai, offer free prostate cancer screenings, but most men do not take advantage of the testing.
Wasserman Schultz cited a survey by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality which found that “57 percent of men are likely to visit their physicians for routine care compared to 74% of women.”
“That’s a startling statistic,” said Wasserman Schultz.
Dr. Steven Zaran, a retired cardiologist who was diagnosed with prostate cancer several years ago, said he was thankful that he got tested.
“The treatment has come a long way. Surgery is now being done robotically like at Mt. Sinai and it’s much easier on the patient and radiation is very quick and very painless,” said Zaran.
Zaran said in his opinion there isn’t enough awareness about prostate cancer. Wasserman Schultz agreed.
“October 15th here in Miami, we’ll see probably 18,000 people at the Komen Walk walking to fight breast cancer. How many times have we seen thousands of people, even hundreds or dozens, walking to fight prostate cancer? We don’t,” said Wasserman Schultz.
The American Cancer Society projects that this year alone, some 240,000 men in America will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.