The push to eliminate prostate cancer

ST. LOUIS - September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and the push is on to reduce cancer deaths to zero.

The annual Zero Prostate Cancer Walk/Run is September 15. The journey to zero is driven by understanding and early screening. The Empowerment Network and the Moline Acres Police Department have joined forces to spread the word.

Police patrolling the streets of Moline Acres commit to protect and serve the public. Now, every officer patrols and promotes smart screening.

An estimated three million men in America have prostate cancer. One in six African-American men will develop prostate cancer. Moline Acres Police Chief Col. Gregory D. Moore likes the partnership.

“It gives us an opportunity to approach that person with brochures in hand, this is what we’re doing, we’re making people aware,” Moore said.

The Empowerment Network, a non-profit organization, offers inspiration and information for prostate cancer survivors. The Network’s co-founder, Mellve Shahid Sr., joined police in announcing the partnership.

“Too many men in this community, in the entire St. Louis area, are losing their lives to this very treatable disease,” he said.

A simple blood test can determine if you’re at risk. The Prostate Specific Antigen Screen or PSA helps determine the best course of action.

“Cancer information and resources are generally attached to hospitals and medical centers. But now through the work of the empowerment network, it’s now in the community,” Shahid said.

The Empowerment Network is there before and after medical treatment. The group's prayer team visits patients before surgery. Families appreciate the emotional and tangible support according to Shahid.

“We give the patient an after-surgery kit, full of the hygiene products he’ll need when he goes home. Many of the men we reach through the Empowerment Network are single men. They won’t be able to go and run to the drugstore, for the first two weeks,” Shahid said.

Chief Moore is challenging other departments to get involved. Moline Acres plans to promote awareness year-round according to Mayor Michele DeShay.

“Anything that we can do in this community to help people, we should do it,” said Mayor DeShay.