“The facts are the facts, man,” exclaims Ramon Luciano, Jr. “A man is diagnosed with prostate cancer in America every three minutes! One in six men will be diagnosed with this disease, however, 90% of men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer are cured! We need to educate, educate, educate—believe me, I know!”
Ramon, a former Roswell Park security officer for 20 years and long-time resident of Buffalo’s West Side, was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007. Because he is the son of a prostate cancer survivor, Ramon began talking to his doctor and had routine early prostate cancer tests beginning at age 40. “Prostate cancer is a real health concern in the Latino community,” notes Ramon. As a result, Ramon’s prostate cancer was caught early and successfully treated.
Ramon credits breakthroughs in early testing and cancer treatments and procedures in saving his life. He also pays homage to cancer experts and researchers like Dr. T. Ming Chu, who led research at Roswell Park in the 1970s that eventually developed better methods to test for prostate cancer in men. “Even as a security officer at Roswell Park, Dr. Chu made me and so many others feel important to his research,” explains Ramon. “Dr. Chu regularly thanked me for keeping the samples collected for his prostate cancer research out of harm’s way. I never thought that the research he was conducting to effectively test for this disease would one day save my own life.”
Ramon advises men who are at high-risk for developing prostate cancer to begin talking to their doctors. “Men with a family history of prostate cancer, men of color, and even men as early as age 40 may be at higher risk for developing this disease. Now I know…and now YOU know too,” says Ramon. To assist in “getting-the-word-out” to men of color about prostate cancer, Ramon helped form MAN UP, or Minorities Allied for the Need to Understand Prostate Cancer. “As a MAN UP advocate, I feel that the work I do to educate all men about this dreaded disease is in honor of my dad and my two sons, Alejandro and Ramon III.”
For more information about the Roswell Park High Risk/Early Detection Prostate Cancer Clinic, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) and speak to a referral representative.