Father-and-Son Baseball Greats, Ken Griffey Jr. and Ken Griffey Sr., Step Up to the Plate with Bayer for Advanced Prostate Cancer Awareness
Baseball legends join Bayer’s Men Who Speak Up campaign on World Cancer Day to encourage men with prostate cancer to find their voices and speak up about their symptoms
PR Newswire, Whippany, N.J., February 4, 2016
Legendary Major League Baseball (MLB) players Ken Griffey Jr. and his father Ken Griffey Sr., a prostate cancer survivor, have joined Bayer’s Men Who Speak Up – a national campaign that encourages men with advanced prostate cancer to recognize the warning signs of advancing disease and helps them break the silence about these symptoms. As part of this educational effort, the Griffeys will appear in a national public service announcement, supported by ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer, to draw attention to the warning signs of advancing prostate cancer like fatigue, difficulty walking or climbing stairs, unexplained pain, troubled sleep and daily use of pain relievers.1
In the United States, prostate cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer and a leading cause of cancer-related death in men.2 In 2006, Griffey Sr. was diagnosed with prostate cancer, which had already taken the lives of four of his uncles.
“Given my family history with prostate cancer, my mother insisted I take my risk seriously and get regular prostate cancer exams,” said Griffey Sr., former Cincinnati Reds outfielder and three-time All-Star who won two World Series titles. “Still, despite how much our family talked about prostate cancer, when it came to my own diagnosis, I was struck by how hard it was for me to speak up and tell my family what was really going on.”
Nearly seven in 10 men (68 percent) living with prostate cancer admitted to sometimes ignoring symptoms, according to a survey commissioned by the International Prostate Cancer Coalition (IPCC) with the support of Bayer. A number of factors could contribute to this. More than half of respondents (55 percent) reported they feel their daily discomfort is just something they have to live with, and one in five respondents (22 percent) reported that talking about symptoms like pain makes them feel weak.3
“I’ll never forget the day I learned that Dad had prostate cancer. It was my mom who broke the news to me, because Dad was focused on being there for everyone else. It was a very scary time for us, especially since we felt we weren’t getting the full story from Dad about how he was doing,” said Griffey Jr., who played in MLB for 22 years, was an All-Star 13 times, and was recently elected to the Hall of Fame. “I know that it can be hard for men to talk about prostate cancer, because men want to be tough. My dad was trying to be strong for us – and over time, he realized it’s strong to speak up. I’m proud to stand by him and share our story, so other men with prostate cancer know what symptoms to look for and find the courage it takes to speak up, too.”
The goal of World Cancer Day is to unite people in the fight against cancer. The 2016 theme is “#WeCanICan” and explores how everyone, collectively or individually, can do their part to reduce the burden of cancer.
“World Cancer Day is a perfect moment to have the discussion about advanced prostate cancer,” said Shannon Campbell, vice president and general manager of Oncology at Bayer. “Bayer is committed to supporting patients living with advanced prostate cancer and their loved ones through Men Who Speak Up and we’re honored to team up with the Griffeys on this important initiative. We hope that ‘we can’ empower men living with prostate cancer to speak with their healthcare provider about symptoms that may indicate their cancer is progressing.”
About Men Who Speak Up
For men with advancing prostate cancer, discomfort can be a sign that something needs to be done. Men Who Speak Up is a nationwide movement that brings the symptoms of advancing prostate cancer to life for the community, so that men know when to speak up and take action against their disease. The program raises the collective voices of prostate cancer – the doctors who treat it, the patients and caregivers who live it, and the advocacy groups who support them – and delivers informational tools and resources to those who need them most. For more information, visit www.MenWhoSpeakUp.com.
About ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer
ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer is the leading national nonprofit organization with the mission to end prostate cancer. ZERO advances research, encourages action, and provides education and support to men and their families through our patient-centric programs. ZERO's premier activities include the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk, America’s largest men’s health event series. We are a 501c3 philanthropic organization recognized with four stars out of four stars by Charity Navigator, accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and 97 cents of every dollar donated goes to research and programs. For more information, visit www.zerocancer.org.
About Advanced Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men in the U.S. and the second leading cause of cancer death in men, as approximately one in 38 will die from the disease.2 It is estimated that approximately 220,800 men will be diagnosed with, and 27,540 men will die from, prostate cancer in the U.S. in 2015.2 The stage of prostate cancer is one of the most important factors in determining treatment options and the outlook for recovery.2 If prostate cancer spreads, or metastasizes, beyond the prostate gland, it often first grows into nearby tissues or lymph nodes before spreading to the bones.2 Approximately nine in 10 (90 percent) patients with advanced prostate cancer develop bone metastases, impacting survival and quality of life.4,5,6,7 Therefore, diagnosing and treating bone-related symptoms at the earliest onset is critical for patients.2
Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2014, the Group employed around 119,000 people and had sales of EUR 42.2 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.5 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 3.6 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to www.bayer.us.
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Bayer® and the Bayer Cross® are registered trademarks of Bayer.
1 Macmillan. Controlling Symptoms of Advanced Prostate Cancer. http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerinformation/Cancertypes/Prostate/Treatmentforadvancedprostatecancer/Controllingsymptoms.aspx. Accessed on December 17, 2015
2 American Cancer Society. “Prostate Cancer.” (Last revised: 2015). http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003134-pdf.pdf. Accessed on December 17, 2015.
3 Prostate Cancer Symptoms Survey: U.S. Results, 2015.
4 Petrylak DP, et al. Docetaxel and estramustine compared with mitoxantrone and prednisone for advancedrefractory prostate cancer. N Engl J Med. 2004;351:1513-1520.
5 Goh et al. New Multidisciplinary Prostate Bone Metastases Clinic: First of Its Kind in Canada. Current Oncology. Volume 14, Number 1.
6 Tannock IF, et al. Docetaxel plus prednisone or mitoxantrone plus prednisone for advanced prostate cancer. N Engl J Med. 2004;351:1502-1512.
7 Jin, Dayyani, and Gallick. Steps in Prostate Cancer Progression that Lead to Bone Metastasis. International Journal of Cancer. 2011.