From New York to Seattle and Tampa up to Montreal, women are urging the men in their lives to get a simple blood test as part of the #SamadiChallenge. Created as a way to promote the importance of prostate health, the #SamadiChallenge is the brainchild of Dr. David B. Samadi, chief of urology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. The challenge has gone viral over Facebook.
“I asked women to have a man in their lives get their PSA (prostate specific antigen) and testosterone levels checked,” said Dr. Samadi. “They then had to record a message that challenged three women they know to do the same and post the video on the Women for Prostate Health Facebook page.”
Women for Prostate Health is a nonprofit organization Dr. Samadi founded in September, which is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, to educate women on men’s health issues, particularly dealing with the prostate or sexual function. Prostate cancer, low testosterone and erectile dysfunction are key ailments the organization focuses on. Since its inception over 1,000 women have volunteered to be involved with Women for Prostate Health.
“Statistics show that 70 percent of all medical decisions in a household are made by women,” said Dr. Samadi. “Women are the gatekeepers of health for their families. They are the ones who encourage men to come to my office. Women are also on top of their games when it comes to mammograms, Pap smears and colonoscopies. That is the reason why having an organization such as Women for Prostate Health is more important now than ever before. With the U.S. Prevention Services Task Force not recommending PSA testing until age 50, we need to educate women out there that prostate cancer is NOT the ‘old man’s’ disease. Younger men in their 40s get aggressive prostate cancer as well.”
Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in America, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, affecting 1-in 7 men. Men have an 80 percent chance of being diagnosed with prostate cancer by age 80. Early detection is vital for not only survival but quality of life. Screenings are advocated for men who are over 35 and are African-American, Hispanic, or have a family history of prostate cancer. All men over age 40 are recommended to get tested as well.
“Prostate health is not just about prostate cancer,” said Dr. Samadi. “The Women for Prostate Health website will focus on all men’s health issues including low testosterone and low libido, sexual dysfunction, prostatitis and enlarged prostate as well. All of these can affect HER life directly or indirectly. So I ask all women out there it is time to step up and keep your men healthy so you can have a better life.”
Lisa Hill of Georgia accepted the #SamadiChallenge. “The PSA is a quick and easy test,” said Hill, whose husband of 27 years was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year and was treated by Dr. Samadi. “It is the numbers that save lives. Know those numbers and what those numbers mean. Understand that symptoms do not need to be present for cancer to be present.” She challenged all of her female Facebook friends to have the men in their lives tested.
Dr. Samadi thinks he can already see an increase in the number of men being tested since the start of the #SamadiChallenge. At a screening clinic he participated in on Saturday in Harlem, the doctor said there were over 400 men there waiting to be checked; many there for the first time.