It’s not uncommon for the sons and daughters of professional athletes to follow in their parents’ footsteps, but few athletes get the chance to actually play alongside their mom or dad. That’s why Sept. 14, 1990 marked a special day in baseball history. When the Mariners played against the Angels in Anaheim, Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. appeared in the same lineup and became the first father and son to hit back-to-back home runs during a major league game. Fast forward to today, and you’ll find the retired father and son duo are teaming up again – this time to take a swing against advanced prostate cancer.
Why the Griffeys are speaking up about advanced prostate cancer
Three-time All-Star Ken Griffey Sr. knows all too well the devastating effects of prostate cancer. After losing four uncles to the cancer, Griffey Sr. learned at a young age the importance of regular screenings. It wasn’t until his own diagnosis in 2006, however, that Griffey Sr. realized how difficult it could be to talk about prostate cancer with loved ones and doctors.
To address the stigma around prostate cancer and help men with advanced disease speak up about the symptoms they experience, Griffey Sr. and his son, Hall-of-Famer Ken Griffey Jr., joined Bayer’s educational program, Men Who Speak Up. The Griffeys understand the difference speaking up can make in prostate cancer, and have been traveling the country with Bayer to speak to media – and with patients, at community events hosted by patient advocacy groups – about the importance of men with advanced prostate cancer breaking the silence about symptoms that may signal their disease is progressing.
About advanced prostate cancer
Griffey Sr. describes himself as fortunate because his prostate cancer was caught early, but other men are not so lucky. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S., and more than 26,000 American men will die from the disease just this year alone, according to the American Cancer Society. It’s crucial that men know the signs of advanced prostate cancer, such as fatigue or difficulty performing normal activities, and that they talk with their doctors immediately.
Finding your voice
Prostate cancer symptoms are serious, as they often do not emerge until the disease has advanced. When they do, it’s crucial to acknowledge them. If you’ve been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer or are experiencing symptoms, speak up. These five tips will help you prepare for an important conversation with your doctor.Prepare a list of questions you and your loved ones have about prostate cancer. Bring a pad and pen to jot down notes during the appointment.
- Keep a journal of symptoms you’re experiencing, and make note of any changes between visits. Even small changes in symptoms or your day-to-day activity is important for your doctor to know.
- Bring a loved one to your appointments for support.
- Discuss your treatment plan each visit to ensure it’s still the best fit for your current condition.
- Ask about any support groups or resources your doctor recommends.
Encourage others to break the silence on advanced prostate cancer
Men often don’t get the help they need when they need it, because they’re afraid to speak up about prostate cancer. Learn how you can stop the silence and instead raise awareness of advanced prostate cancer. Visit www.menwhospeakup.com to learn more.