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5k Walk to Promote Prostate Cancer Awareness

A local foundation is promoting awareness of prostate cancer by hosting its tenth annual "5k/10k run/walk" in the North Side on Sunday morning.

The Obediah Cole Foundation for Prostate Cancer said it expected about 3,000 people to show up at River Front Park for the races this year, which would set a record for the Father's Day event.

Foundation Vice President Jerry Livingston said an American man is diagnosed with prostate cancer once every three minutes on average, but the public seems to be less aware of it than breast cancer. According to the National Institutes of Healh, about 272,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012; roughly 242,000 men will be told they have prostate cancer this year.

Livingston said his group disagrees with the US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation discouraging routine prostate cancer screenings.

"The things that you hear on TV about not getting men tested is ridiculous. It's insanity," said Livingston. "We've been fighting it out with our Senators and Representatives to stop that Task Force recommendation to tell people not to get tested, because it's actually going to have men lose their lives as a result."

Livingston said his group performs hundreds of screenings each year, including events to screen city employees and Pittsburgh's homeless population.

The 5k walk raises funds and awareness for prostate cancer research, but Livingston said the Obediah Cole Foundation is still lobbying for another way to make prostate cancer more visible.

"Let's turn the fountain blue," said Livingston, speaking about the iconic Point State Park fountain. "I've been fighting that battle for ten years. They tell me about the pipes, and they tell me about the ink, and they tell me about all that stuff. It's time to turn the fountain blue. When it goes on, pink is for breast cancer in October. We're baby blue; that's September."