The Man Up! Campaign takes men’s health to another level

The Man Up! Campaign takes men’s health to another level

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown that death rates of African American men have far exceeded those of their Caucasian counterparts. Taking into account the leading causes of mortality, African American death rates have sky-rocketed up to approximately 40 percent higher than that of Caucasians.

To address this issue, sponsoring partners 100 Black Men of Greater Detroit, Inc. and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan held a men’s health breakfast titled, “Man Up!: Championing the Health of African American Men to Create a Healthier Michigan,” on Monday, June 7, 2010 at Fellowship Chapel in Detroit.

The program aimed to encourage African American men to take more initiative and ownership in their personal health and wellness.

A panel composed of cancer survivors and medical professionals provided their insights on how to help alleviate the harsh statistics of prostate cancer within the African American community. Dr. Isaac J. Powell, a professor at Wayne State University and the Karmanos Cancer Institute, reached out to men through his story of how he survived prostate cancer—simply by making a constant point to receive the necessary treatments.

Former Detroit Lion, Freddie Scott also shared his testimony of how he fought cancer by “keeping and acting out on faith.” Through their testimonies and expertise, Powell, Scott and the rest of the speakers each stressed the importance of routine check-ups, screenings and receiving more effective treatments for prostate cancer overall.

William Toples, Director of Community Responsibility for Blue Cross, and the Chair of Health and Wellness for 100 Black Men of Greater Detroit, Inc. provided some insight on the issue of men’s health in the African American community, stating, “African American men, specifically, just don’t go to the doctor.”

To get more of the community involved, Toples encouraged people to save the date for the sponsoring partners’ next event, which is the Man Up! Men’s Health Walk. The walk will take place on September 11, 2010 at Belle Isle Park. “This walk is critically important and we want to show all of southeastern Michigan how important this partnership is.”

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