Thursday, July 10, 2008

Pints for Prostates Campaign

The symptoms of prostate cancer rarely show before the
disease has progressed, but a simple PSA blood test can serve as an early
warning and save men's lives. But how do you reach men in their late 30s and
early 40s, when statistics show they often skip regular physicals and avoid
doctor's offices?

"Pints for Prostates is an awareness campaign designed to reach men through
the universal language of beer. We want to communicate with them in a
friendly and non-threatening way about the need for regular PSA testing,"
says Rick Lyke, a 47-year-old Charlotte, N.C., marketing executive and drinks
journalist who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in February. "Early
detection is the key to fighting prostate cancer and a PSA test and a
physical exam are the best method to catch it early."

"There are more than 230,000 cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in the US.
each year, more than the number of new breast cancer cases in women. The
problem is that prostate cancer does not get the same level of media
attention as breast cancer and most men never discuss the subject with
friends or family," Lyke said. "Luckily I insisted on having a PSA test during a
routine physical because a good friend is being treated for the disease. Time
is precious when you are fighting prostate cancer. I received the gift of time
from a friend. I felt like I had a responsibility to warn other men."

After successful prostate surgery in April at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in
Chicago by Dr. William Catalona, Lyke started to think about ways to reach
as many men as possible with a message about prostate screening and PSA
testing. That is when it occurred to him that one of the best ways to reach
men is over a pint of beer.

Lyke started Pints for Prostates after talking to a couple of editors at
magazines where he writes. The idea was well received and he contacted Us
TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network, a not for
profit group founded and governed by prostate cancer survivors that works
to support, educate and advocate for men with prostate cancer.

"The idea of reaching men about health issues through beer sounded a little
strange at first, but it makes perfect sense," said Thomas Kirk, President and
CEO of Us TOO International. "Our mission and program goal is to educate
and empower men and their family members so men and their loved ones can
take an active role in their health care. One in six men is at risk of developing
prostate cancer during their life time and early detection through the
monitoring of PSA levels is critical to getting the disease under control. Pints
for Prostates will help us reach more men at a time when a growing number of
men are at risk."

Pints for Prostates is focused on reaching men during September, which is
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. So far 10 beer and beverage related
publications have pledged a combination of advertising space, news
coverage, website marketing and special event support. The media involved
include: All About Beer (, DRAFT magazine
(, the seven regional Brewing News newspapers
(, Imbibe (, Beer
Advocate (, Celebrator Beer News
(, Bartender Magazine (, Modern
Brewery Age (, Beer ( and Beer
Northwest (

Creative development and design for the advertising materials and logo for
Pints for Prostates was donated by Eric Mower and Associates, a marketing
communication agency with offices in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and
Albany, N.Y.; Charlotte, N.C.; Atlanta, Ga.; and Sarasota, Fla. Lyke is a
senior partner with the firm and heads up the agency's southeast public
relations operation.

Work is now underway to reach out to breweries, brewpubs and on-premise
retailers to get their support in a cooperative effort among industry partners.
The aim is to raise funds for Us TOO's outreach efforts and to spark a
grassroots effort to reach men that might be missed through traditional
health education programs.

"One of our goals is to get brewers to print a PSA testing message on the
back of beer coasters they use to promote their brands in restaurants and
taverns around the country," Lyke said. "Men can tell you about their favorite
IPA (India Pale Ale), but few know about their PSA (Prostate Specific
Antigen). We need to help educate them about getting the simple blood test
that measures prostate specific antigens because it can save their lives"

Us TOO Board Chairman, prostate cancer warrior and support group leader Jim
Kiefert says "Early diagnosis is essential. When I was 50-years-old a PSA test
was the first step in my successful battle with prostate cancer. We envision
Pints for Prostates will help reach millions of men with the PSA testing
message. It is anticipated that many of Us TOO's 325 local chapters will get
involved with special events held around the country as part of the effort."

For more information on the program please visit

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