Despite better means of diagnosing and treating prostate cancer, the disease still is the most prevalent form of cancer found in men in Delaware.
After lung cancer, it’s also the second-most leading cause of cancer deaths in men in this country.
Increasing awareness of prostate cancer is one aim of the annual “Pedal Away Prostate Cancer” health fair, planned for Saturday, Sept. 16, said Dr. Michael Zaragoza of Urology Associates of Dover.
The rain-or-shine event is at the Eden Hill Medical Center at 200 Banning St., Dover, he added.
There are two bike events: a competitive race, with prizes for the top three finishers in each category and a more leisurely ride that’s not timed. There will be separate start times for each.
The competitive race also serves as the 40-kilometer race for the Delaware Senior Olympics.
Although 2017 is the ninth year the event has taken place, this time there’s something new, Zaragoza said.
“We’re really beefing up the health care aspect,” he said. “We figure that since we’ve got men there as sort of a captive audience, we want to address other men’s health issues.”
In addition to vouchers and appointments for free prostate screenings and exams, men also can get vision and hearing tests, skin cancer checks and even nutrition counseling and massages.
And the event isn’t just for men. Zaragoza said.
“It’s all open to the public,” he said. “We’re trying to promote health issues to people who don’t necessarily want to take part in the race.”
There’s even wine and beer available from Harvest Ridge and Dogfish Head, as well as a picnic, Zaragoza said. Although all of the screenings and exams are free, there will be a $5 charge for the picnic for those not taking part in the biking event, he added.
The Pedal Away Prostate Cancer event is sponsored by the Delaware Prostate Cancer Coalition, founded in 2011 by Zaragoza’s father, Dr. Rafael Zaragoza. Money raised helps pay for the free community prostate screening programs and ongoing educational efforts.
Zaragoza said the event also will feature speakers who have survived prostate cancer. Although it is considered a deadly disease, people should know it’s not always fatal.
“What they’ve found is that all prostate cancers are not the same,” Zaragoza said. “There are slower, non-aggressive cancers. They can be detected, and we can follow it and observe it.
“But there also are fast-growing cancers, and those are the ones that need treatment,” he added. “But you don’t know which is which until you go through the screening.”
Men should get a baseline cancer exam when they turn 40, with the results of that test determining how often additional tests are undertaken. Once a man reaches age 50, the test should be done annually, he said.
One out of every seven men are diagnosed with some form of prostate cancer, Zaragoza said
And just because the event only is three days away, it’s not too late to sign up: visit Bikereg.com/Pedal-Away-Prostate-Cancer to learn more or register for the race. Admission to the health fair is free.