Fraternity encourages men to be aware of their health


Self-checks for breast cancer are normalized for women as soon as puberty starts. For years, “I love boobies” bracelets were sold in stores across the United States to promote breast health. However, prostate cancer is rarely spoken of in the same way.
Members of Omega Phi Psi fraternity noticed this and organized a prostate cancer awareness walk on Oct. 19, to try to break through the resistance the male population has when it comes to getting regularly examined and openly discussing men’s health. The fraternity hoped to create a relaxed atmosphere that will convince men of the importance of having their prostate examined for cancer.
“I have noticed that it has been thoroughly indoctrinated by our society concerning breast cancer but there is little to no awareness of prostate cancer,” said Eugene Burns, the walk’s chairman.
The prostate is a small gland in the man’s pelvis next to the bladder. It also is the second-leading cause of cancer death for men. According to the Urology Health Foundation, one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and it is estimated that about 175,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2019 alone.
Teddy Jefferson, an Omega Phi Psi member, said he thinks it’s important to do things like this to educate the community on the risk of prostate cancer. He also said it is important to uplift the survivors of prostate cancer and the family of people that are dealing with prostate cancer.
ULM’s pharmacy school attended the event to hold a small health fair where they gave out free information on preventative measures for various common diseases in our community. The pharmacy school also brought in medical laboratory scientists and nurses to take people’s blood to test for prostate cancer.
Sharon Burns, the walk chairman’s wife, said this event struck a chord with her as her father had been diagnosed with prostate cancer recently.
“This event is an opportunity for the community to come together and educate themselves on the dangers of prostate cancer,” Sharon Burns said. “Although my father is doing well now, I would advise people to educate themselves. Knowing the signs, be very aware and being active can reduce the risk.”