Dad has enough ties. He has enough golf balls. Even though he'll always love receiving them, he even has enough homemade cards.
There are tangible gifts that encourage a dad's healthy habits, and then there are the more abstract ones. It's not as fun and it's not as hip, but giving your father the gift of health is considerate, long-lasting and good for both of you. Simple habits you can instill in dad can ensure he sticks around long enough to wear all of those ties and hit all of those golf balls.
In recent years, focusing on prostate cancer has become a particularly popular way to give dad the gift of health on Father's Day.
There are plenty of ways to participate. A number of towns and cities hold annual runs or walks to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer on Father's Day. Even events not held on Father's Day attract father-child participants, like Jennifer Moore and her dad Ken Dibb, who was diagnosed with the disease at 47, Patch reports.
You could also simply speak up about men's health. ESPN correspondant Erin Andrews became the first woman spokesperson prostate cancer after her father was diagnosed in November 2009. She encouraged women to tell the men in their lives to get checked during an appearance on "Good Morning America." "It was so hard for me," Andrews said about talking to her father about prostate cancer. "We have to get this in the conversation."
That conversation might involve encouraging dad to get screened, to shed excess weight (which has been linked with prostate cancer recurrence) or to eat more fruits and veggies, since a high-fat diet may be a contributing factor in developing the disease, according to WebMD.
Or, it could be something entirely different. This year, ZERO, a national non-profit organization, is hijacking dad's special day and reinventing it as Prostate Day, in hopes of facilitating the conversation through humor.
The campaign for Prostate Day, created by W+K 12, a school that is part of ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, centers around one very angry prostate.
Taking the form of a walnut, this prostate says he is sick and tired of Father's Day -- "He doesn't need another tie, he needs a ... functioning prostate, ya got that?" -- and names his terms for helping dad stay healthy.
Watch the whole (NSFW!) video below:
Of course, the connection between Father's Day and prostate cancer isn't all fun, games and cursing walnuts. There are many sons and daughters who, this Father's Day, will be remembering a father who lost his battle with prostate cancer. And there may be fathers just learning of a diagnosis.
In a moving feature titled "For Father's Day, get yourself a checkup" for CNN, Andrew Webster writes:
I'm a 47-year-old husband and father of one -- with another on the way -- and the results came as a complete shock. I had no symptoms, and up until this point, I thought I was healthy as a horse. How was I going to tell my pregnant wife that I had prostate cancer?
If you find yourself in a similarly trying situation this Father's Day, remember that a diagnosis isn't a death sentence. In some cases, prostate cancer may never actually cause symptoms and require only "watchful waiting" in terms of treatment. Focus instead on the ways you can still give dad the gift of good health -- take a walk together, cook a healthy meal, let him sleep in or spread the word.
Helping to do just that are a number of famous faces who have lent their A-list names to prostate cancer awareness. Here are a few of the celebrities who have been touched by the disease:
The long-time "Law & Order" star announced his prostate cancer diagnosis in late 2004, at the age of 69. His manager said that he had been <a href="http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/6765565/ns/today-entertainment/t/law-order-star-jerry-orbach-dies/#.T42htzLLzac" target="_hplink">receiving treatment since the spring</a>, and the series creator Dick Wolf told "People" that Orbach was <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,845383,00.html" target="_hplink">expected to make a full recovery</a>, but he <a href="http://gothamist.com/2004/12/29/farewell_jerry_orbach_has_died.php" target="_hplink">died just a few weeks later</a>.
Robert De Niro
Little was disclosed about the actor's battle with prostate cancer, other than his 2003 diagnosis and the fact that <a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2003-10-20/entertainment/deniro.cancer_1_prostate-cancer-stan-rosenfield-full-recovery?_s=PM:SHOWBIZ" target="_hplink">doctors predicted a full recovery</a>, according to De Niro's spokesman. <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2003-10-21-prostate-cancer-cover_x.htm" target="_hplink">His father died of cancer</a> in 1993 at the age of 71, according to <em>USA Today</em>, but De Niro was given a clean bill of health, even <a href="http://www.everydayhealth.com/prostate-cancer-pictures/famous-men-who-battled-prostate-cancer.aspx#/slide-2" target="_hplink">becoming a father for the sixth time in 2011</a>.
The former South African president was diagnosed with prostate cancer in July 2001, at the age of 83. Sixteen years earlier, he had surgery to remove some <a href="http://www.everydayhealth.com/prostate-cancer-pictures/famous-men-who-battled-prostate-cancer.aspx#/slide-11" target="_hplink">benign tumors on his prostate</a>, but a spokeswoman said the tumor was "microscopic" and would not require surgery this time. Instead, Mandela was treated with <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/1454103.stm" target="_hplink">seven weeks of radiation</a>.
The former New York City mayor's father died of prostate cancer, so when he was diagnosed, he told <em>USA Today</em>, "I wished it would just go away." He said he didn't have any symptoms, but after a routine physical his doctor wanted him to see a urologist. After he was diagnosed, he opted for hormone therapy and radiation treatment and <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/spotlighthealth/2002-10-14-giuliani_x.htm" target="_hplink">urges all men over 50 to get screened</a>.
"In 1999 when I was first diagnosed <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/spotlighthealth/2003-06-10-torre_x.htm" target="_hplink">I had no symptoms</a>," the retired baseball manager, told <em>USA Today</em>. "When my prostate was removed, it was actually very normal looking. That's why they call it a silent killer." He was 58 at the time -- and his daughter only 3. "I wanted to be around for her," he told the <em>New York Times</em>, opting for <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/29/sports/baseball/joe-torre-and-baseball-putting-the-focus-on-prostate-cancer.html" target="_hplink">aggressive surgery</a>. He has since spoken out in hopes of raising awareness.
The former Secretary of State had successful surgery in 2003 to <a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2003-12-15/us/powell.surgery_1_prostate-cancer-slow-growing-cancer-hormone-therapy?_s=PM:US" target="_hplink">remove his prostate</a> at age 66. Doctors didn't expect him to require much further care after <a href="http://www.webmd.com/prostate-cancer/news/20031215/colin-powell-undergoes-prostate-surgery" target="_hplink">two weeks of recuperation after the operation</a>.
The senator underwent surgery in 2003 to remove his prostate, after being diagnosed with the disease that <a href="http://www.salon.com/2003/02/13/kerry_7/" target="_hplink">killed his father only three years earlier</a>. "Senator Kerry is a poster boy for early detection," his surgeon said in a statement. "We caught this very early and for that reason the prognosis couldn't be more optimistic." "It may sound strange to some of you, but I really feel very lucky as I stand here," Kerry said at a news conference, the <em>New York Times</em> reported. "And the reason I feel lucky is that <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/12/us/kerry-to-undergo-surgery-for-prostate-cancer-today.html" target="_hplink">I'm going to be cured</a>."
Andrew Lloyd Weber
In 2009, at age 61, the composer behind musicals including "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Evita" announced he was being treated for <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20315334,00.html" target="_hplink">early stage prostate cancer</a>. In 2010, after getting a clean bill of health, Lloyd Weber, who was <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,569475,00.html#ixzz1sK0TNL9f" target="_hplink">knighted in 1992</a> and named to Britain's House of Lords in 1997, spoke out in favor of prostate cancer <a href="http://www.webmd.boots.com/prostate-cancer/news/20100720/lloyd-webber-demands-prostate-cancer-screening" target="_hplink">screening for all men over 50</a>.
The golf legend was in the news recently after being hospitalized for <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/26/arnold-palmer-high-blood-pressure-hypertension-medication_n_1379959.html" target="_hplink">high blood pressure as a result of a new medication</a>, but he also made health headlines for beating prostate cancer in 1997. Deciding to have surgeons <a href="http://www.everydayhealth.com/prostate-cancer/0606/arnold-palmer-tees-up-for-prostate-cancer-awareness.aspx" target="_hplink">remove his prostate completely</a>, Palmer later told WebMD, "was probably the best thing I ever did."
The actor, best known for starring in "Easy Rider," lost his battle with prostate cancer in 2010 <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20337801,00.html" target="_hplink">at the age of 74</a>. He <a href="http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/gossip/2010/01/dennis-hopper-divorce-prostate-cancer.html" target="_hplink">filed for divorce</a> in the middle of his illness, just as he began a round of chemotherapy, saying in a statement "I... only want to spend these difficult days surrounded by my children and close friends." He was honored with a <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2010/may/30/local/la-me-hopper-20100530" target="_hplink">star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame</a> in March, just months before passing away.
The now-retired Kansas senator was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer in 1991. He credits <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1992-05-18/news/9202140781_1_prostate-cancer-early-detection-dole" target="_hplink">early detection</a> as key to beating the disease, and afterward gave interviews, appeared in TV ads and spoke to Congress to promote communication between men and their doctors about <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-204_162-9004.html" target="_hplink">prostate-related problems</a>.
In the mid-90s, the singer was diagnosed with prostate cancer after a routine checkup. Surgeons successfully <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20142089,00.html" target="_hplink">removed his prostate</a> and he began to speak out in hopes of raising public awareness of a disease he called "an epidemic." He focused in particular on how men in the past seemed <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/1997-04-21/news/ls-50829_1_prostate-cancer" target="_hplink">too "macho" to discuss prostate cancer</a>. He told the <em>LA Times</em>: <blockquote>The prostate is something that attacks that central part of the male body that men are very preoccupied with. Somehow, any disorder there means your life is over, you can't be a man anymore, you are now something less.</blockquote>
The former president of France was diagnosed with prostate cancer soon after he was elected in 1981, but didn't announce his illness to the public for more than 10 years, after he had <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1996/01/10/news/10iht-mitt.t_0.html" target="_hplink">surgery in 1992</a>. Only <a href="http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,984025,00.html" target="_hplink">one in 10 men with his diagnosis survives</a> longer than a decade, according to "Time," but he did, thanks to a treatment regimen of hormones and other therapies, according to the <em>New York Times</em>, until his <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/january/8/newsid_4489000/4489322.stm" target="_hplink">death in 1996</a>, at 79, from the disease.
Country musician and member of Montgomery Gentry band said in a statement that he had been <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20443662,00.html" target="_hplink">diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010</a>. "I will be undergoing surgery to remove the cancerous tumor in December," he said. "I will be back in January ready to rock for all the fans!" "People" reported.
The controversial radio host announced his diagnosis of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/16/don-imus-i-have-prostate_n_175203.html" target="_hplink">Stage 2 prostate cancer</a> on his morning show in 2009. He <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20265826,00.html" target="_hplink">said the prognosis was positive</a>, and that he had great faith in his doctors, People.com reported. "I'll be fine. If I'm not fine, then I won't be fine. And it's not a big deal," he said.
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