The Petty family is well known for their generosity with the Victory Junction Gang Camp and worthy charitable organizations. In keeping with giving, this time Kyle Petty, awesome NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and son of “The King” Richard Petty is offering something different….encouragement, information while promoting awareness to a VERY important issue. This week Kyle is helping to kick off the Prostate Cancer Awareness Week.
I spoke with Kyle who had this to say, “Prostate cancer is an important issue for me, obviously, because my grandfather was diagnosed later in life with prostate cancer and my father was diagnosed 10 or 12 years ago. For me it’s one of those deals where I’m in a higher risk group because I have a family history of it. I’m approaching the age of 50 and there are other (higher risk) groups that need to be screened. African Americans (a higher risk group) also need to be screened for this.”
“We really feel the screening process goes a long way with getting ahead in this race to beat prostate cancer and to be able to cure some of it. So, we’re starting a program this weekend up here and kicking it off for Father’s Day, what better place or time, and it’s called ‘The Kyle Petty Prostate Inspection Pledge’. Basically we’re asking people to talk about prostate cancer this weekend to their families, to their husbands, to their fathers and to their uncles and brothers and to make sure they know their family history of prostate cancer and they know where they stand.”
“At the race track here we have a booth and it’s called ‘Stay On Track For Better Prostate Health’ and I’ll be out there hopefully tomorrow and maybe a little bit on Sunday and we’re giving out a manual that’s under the same name, the ‘Stay On Track Manual For Better Prostate Health’. It basically just encourages guys to talk to their doctors, find out what prostate cancer is, find out what their risks are and to be screened for it. You know guys don’t like to go to the doctor. That’s just a fact of life. We’ll work on cars or boats or motorcycles and stuff, but, we could care less about our own bodies until something happens. But, we need to do this for our families and I think that’s the bigger issue and how it affects the family, our family. so, this is the weekend and it’s a great weekend to kick it off at the race track. What better place than to have 100 to 150 thousand people there on Father’s Day where you can make a major impact on some of these people’s lives, hopefully?”
“You’ve just to get ahead of it. If you know you are going to have an issue 10 years down the road then you can mitigate that by trying to get ahead of it if you have a family history of this. Talk to your doctor. Your doctor will tell you if you need to be screened. Once he does the initial test he can tell you if you need to be checked again next year, in 2 years or in 10, whatever it may be. That’s between you and your doctor, but, the most important thing is to get these guys in there to make the prostate inspection pledge and to get in there to see their doctors.”
“I don’t know if there is a specific age for testing, but, I do know that I have been tested since I was forty years old because of my father and my grandfather. But, I do know you can go to the website which is www.pcaw.com or call 1-866-321-3114. That’s the Prostate Education Council and you can get information there or with the “Stay On Track Manual For Prostate Health’. There’s a lot of that information there.”
“I’m not driving this weekend. I’m doing the Turner Broadcast, so hopefully, I’ll get to talk a little bit about this to bring a little more awareness to it.”
I asked Kyle if listing symptoms of prostate cancer would be going a little too far. His response was, “Nope. That’s part of it, so, from Kyle Petty, myself and courtesy of the Prostate Cancer Foundation website:
Common Signs and Symptoms
Early prostate cancer usually does not cause symptoms, but prostate cancer can cause many of the same symptoms that are often seen in men with other prostate related problems, including:
—a need to urinate frequently, especially at night
—difficulty starting urination or holding back urine
—weak or interrupted flow of urine
—frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs
The Petty family is one with a great deal of integrity. I personally believe you will not find any family with more. They know, better than many do, how important testing and detection is for prostate cancer. My father was diagnosed with prostate cancer late in his life and treatment allowed us to enjoy and pamper him longer. So, race fans listen to Kyle Petty. Stay on track as Kyle suggests and talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Kyle Petty isn’t steering you in the wrong direction.