Blue Jacket Fashion Show raises awareness, funds for prostate cancer

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The funds will support ZERO Prostate Cancer’s Black Men’s Prostate Cancer Initiative, which provides aid to Black and Brown communities who are at higher risk of prostate cancer.

On February 1, 2024, the eighth annual Blue Jacket Fashion Show took place in New York City to raise awareness on the importance of prostate cancer screening and address health care inequities among Black patients, the Latino community, and other underserved populations.

Ashutosh Tewari, MD

Ashutosh Tewari, MD

The annual event is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson and benefits ZERO Prostate Cancer, a nonprofit working to provide education, testing, and advocacy for prostate cancer. Specifically, the funds will support ZERO Prostate Cancer’s Black Men’s Prostate Cancer Initiative, which provides aid to Black and Brown communities who are at higher risk of prostate cancer.

It is currently estimated that 299,010 men in the US will be diagnosed with prostate cancer over the next year.2 Black men are both more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer and twice as likely to die of the disease compared with White men, according to data provided by ZERO Prostate Cancer.

“I think increasing awareness is one of the most important things. There will be a lot of men who are walking. There are celebrities, sportscasters, TV personalities, some doctors. It just validates that men needs to talk about prostate cancer screening. As long as we can weave into the discussion [the importance of] PSA [screening], I think it’s a victory. My victory is if men start looking for PSA testing right there,” said Ashutosh Tewari, MD, on the goals of the event in an interview with Urology Times. Tewari, who walked in the fashion show for the second time this year, is a urologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, New York.

The main event took place at Moonlight Studios in New York City. Virtual viewing parties for the fashion show were also held in Dallas, Washington DC, Philadelphia, South Florida, and St. Louis as part of a partnership with Fashion Group International.

The show featured a number of celebrities on the runway, including Rodney Peete, Don Lemon, J. Harrison Ghee, Billy Porter, and more.

In addition to the actual fashion show, the event also held free cancer screenings across 3 locations in New York City. The screenings were sponsored by Carver Federal Savings Bank and provided by Mount Sinai Hospital.

One of the screening locations held just outside of the event included a mobile screening unit that was developed by Tewari in order to increase access to preventive care in underserved populations. Notably, the mobile unit just hit a major milestone by screening 5,000 patients just ahead of its 2-year anniversary.

In the interview with Urology Times, Tewari emphasized the importance of finding prostate cancer early, explaining, “Another aspect is that not only do people die due to prostate cancer, people who live with prostate cancer sometimes have a quality of life impact on their sexual and the urinary control, which is very much dependent on when we find the cancer. If we find the same cancer today vs 2 years later, 2 years later there will be higher mortality. But more than higher mortality, even if it's a curable cancer, they will have more chances of having a non-nerve sparing procedure done because the cancer has already creeped into the nerves, and those nerves are no longer part of the body, they have become part of the cancer. So, delay has impact not only on mortality, but what kind of a treatment and solutions will come to this patient.”

You can learn more about the Blue Jacket Fashion Show and donate to ZERO Prostate Cancer here.

References

1. 8th Annual Blue Jacket Fashion Show. ZERO Prostate Cancer. https://zerocancer.org/help-and-support/regional-chapters/blue-jacket-fashion-show-february-1-2024

2. Siegel RL, Giaquinto AN, Jemal A. Cancer Statistics, 2024. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.Published online January 17, 2024. Accessed February 8, 2024. doi:10.3322/caac.21820

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