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New license tag part of Georgia's effort in the war against prostate cancer

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

ATLANTA — A new Georgia license tag is part of the state’s effort to combat prostate cancer as the death rate due to the illness is on the decline.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 10,000 men in Georgia will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2022. In most cases, prostate cancer is survivable, especially if discovered early.

In 1999, Chatman Carruthers was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer. This year, doctors found that his cancer has returned and is now in his lymph nodes. Recent advancements in detection are working to his advantage.

“I expected at some point it was going to come back but I didn’t know when or how long,” said Carruthers. “I think I was probably on borrowed time.”

MRIs are now helping urologists find cancer they otherwise might have missed. Often, prostate cancer doesn’t need immediate treatment. Molecular tests are helping there.

“Is this something we need to treat very aggressively or is this something we can just watch indefinitely?" said urologist Dr. Scott Miller, founder of ProstAware. “On the other end, we’ve developed some targeted therapies for a disease that’s beyond the prostate.”

It all begins with screenings to detect the possible presence of prostate cancer. Proceeds from a new all-cancer license tag will go to Georgia CORE to help non-profits with free screenings.

“These funds will go to Georgians who are uninsured or under-insured and don’t have access to free screenings,” said Georgia CORE’s Lynn Durham.

RELATED: Why are men reluctant to go to the doctor?

Prostate cancer screenings dropped during the pandemic.

Organizations like ProstAware and the Georgia Prostate Cancer Coalition are urging men to go back to the doctor.

“Getting a test won’t hurt anything,” said GPCC’s Dwight Thomas. “It takes nothing away and finding out tells you everything.”

On September 24, a walk, run, bike event in College Park will raise awareness and money to combat prostate cancer. Free screenings will be available at the event at 1745 Phoenix Boulevard. For more information click here.

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