September 01, 2022
Rickey Jackson knows what it takes to be a man. More than dominating a football field, winning a Super Bowl or earning his way into the NFL Hall of Fame, Jackson knows being a man means taking care of himself so he can take care of the people in his life.
That’s why Jackson and several other New Orleans Saints football team legends are again partnering with Tulane Health System to raise prostate cancer awareness and provide free PSA screenings to eligible men. The fifth annual Man Up! - Geaux Get Screened prostate screening event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 17, in Tulane Medical Center’s main lobby from 9am - 12:00pm.
In addition to the free screening, which requires a quick blood draw to help determine the risk of prostate cancer, participants can hear Jackson’s personal testimony about his prostate cancer diagnosis and recovery and take pictures with him and other former NFL players including quarterback Bobby Hebert.
“We want to kick off the NFL season by doing something that can have a real, positive impact on our community,” says Jackson, who noted the event will take place the weekend before the New Orleans Saints play their first home game of the season the following Sunday. “The guys I played with know what I faced with my cancer diagnosis and were eager to help raise awareness and get men to this potentially life-saving screening.”
The event will also feature games, prizes and important health information provided by Tulane experts. Everyone who receives a PSA screening will be eligible to win memorabilia signed by Jackson and other former Saints.
“We are excited we can offer men this quick PSA screening for prostate cancer,” says Dr. Raju Thomas, chair of the Department of Urology at Tulane Health System. “PSA screening is used to pinpoint patients that may be harboring cancer or other conditions such as an enlarged prostate.”
According to the American Cancer Society, about one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. When found early and treated, men with prostate cancer have a 99 percent 5-year survival rate. The American Cancer Society recommends PSA screening for men:
- Age 50 with no family history of prostate cancer
- Age 45 for men at high risk, including African Americans and men with a first-degree relative diagnosed
- Age 40 for men at higher risk with more than one first-degree relative diagnosed
“I want people to know about this silent killer,” Jackson says. “My uncle died from prostate cancer so I know it can take you out. I thought I was perfectly healthy when I found out I had prostate cancer. I didn’t play around. I got aggressive and now I’m cancer free!”
The Man Up event is the latest in Tulane Health System’s tradition of partnering with professional football players. In conjunction with The Trust (powered by the NFL Players Association), Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine runs the Professional Athlete Care Team (PACT) and clinic at Tulane Medical Center. PACT uses a unique care model specifically designed to meet the needs of former professional athletes. A partnership between the Tulane University School of Medicine and Tulane Health System, its focus is on supporting athletes’ health and safety both on and off the field.
Men and families of all ages are invited to attend the event, but screening space is limited. PSA-eligible men participating in the screening can register at the Tulane Healthcare website.