The seventh annual Blue Jacket Fashion Week runway show served stylish support for the diagnosis, treatment and eradication of prostate cancer, particularly among Black men, while also showcasing high-fashion looks featuring the show’s namesake blue blazer.
Founded by fashion designer Frederick Anderson and marketer Laura Miller, the New York City show gathers diverse individuals from across industries such as fashion, sports, health care and entertainment to shed light on prostate cancer, racial disparities and underserved communities in need resources and support.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals sponsored the show in partnership with the nonprofit group Zero, which aims to end prostate cancer, the second leading cause of death among men. Black men in particular are about 1.8 times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 2.2 times more likely to die as a result of the disease compared with white men, according to Zero’s website.
Celebrity models strutting their stuff in blue blazers this year included CNN TV host Don Lemon, scientist and TV show host Bill Nye, chef Marcus Samuelsson and actors Mario Cantone, London Brown, Eric West and Dominic Fumusa. Janssen’s U.S. oncology president Tyrone Brewer also walked the runway. You can watch the runway show in the video at the top of this article as well as on YouTube and ZeroCancer.org (it starts at the 1:19 mark). Featured designers included Tommy Hilfiger, Carlo Campos and Bruno Magli.
One out of six Black men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, Brewer noted in an Endpoints News article. He added, however, that, when treated early, men diagnosed with prostate cancer have a 96% chance of survival.
Zero’s vice president of health equity, Reggie Tucker-Seeley, walked the runway last year and emphasized the need to both raise awareness of prostate cancer and address racial disparities experienced by Black men. Through its Black Men’s Prostate Cancer Initiative, Zero offers support groups, a film series that travels to underserved communities and a podcast cohosted by Tucker-Seeley.
“These efforts, along with the Blue Jacket Fashion Show, help to highlight that the racial differences in prostate cancer are unacceptable and that we all must work to ensure that all men (but especially Black men) have a fair and just opportunity to have access to screening and high quality treatment and to survive prostate cancer,” Tucker-Seeley told Endpoints.
To read more about prostate cancer, click #Prostate Cancer or visit Cancer Health Basics on Prostate Cancer for more information. It reads in part:
What is prostate cancer?
Cancer develops when cells grow out of control. Prostate cancer is a typically slow-growing cancer of the prostate gland, a walnut-sized organ located under the bladder and in front of the rectum. But in some cases, the cancer can grow rapidly and spread beyond the prostate, a process known as metastasis.
What are the risk factors for prostate cancer?
The major risk factors for prostate cancer are genetics and family history. Studies looking at the link between prostate cancer and a diet high in red meat, chemical exposures including smoking, sexually transmitted infections and having had a vasectomy have produced conflicting results.
What is prostate cancer screening?
Doctors primarily use two tests to screen for prostate cancer: the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and the digital rectal exam (DRE), in which a finger is inserted into the rectum to feel for lumps or swelling of the prostate.
Experts disagree about when prostate cancer screening should be done. Because it usually grows slowly, most men with prostate cancer will die from other causes and early treatment carries some risks. The American Cancer Society recommends that at age 50, men should discuss the risks and benefits of screening with their doctor and make an individual decision. African American men and those with a family history of prostate cancer should start this discussion sooner, at 45 or even 40.