Celebrating prostate cancer survivors at third annual awareness game, presented by Karmanos Cancer Institute and Detroit Tigers

Special event at Comerica Park promotes prostate health and cancer awareness following Father’s Day weekend

Hundreds of prostate cancer survivors are expected to fill the stands at Comerica Park on Tuesday, June 20, when the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, in partnership with the Detroit Tigers and McLaren Health Care, the official health care system of the Tigers, join forces to promote prostate cancer awareness. During this third annual Prostate Cancer Awareness Night, fans will have the opportunity to learn more about prostate cancer screenings, signs, and symptoms as they cheer on the Detroit Tigers against the Kansas City Royals. Prostate cancer survivors will be honored throughout the game, and a Karmanos prostate cancer patient will throw the ceremonial first pitch.

Gates will open at Comerica Park at 5 p.m., with game time scheduled for 6:40 p.m. Spreading prostate cancer awareness, Comerica Park will be decorated with a blue theme and blue Tigers foam fingers will be available while supplies last.

“Prostate cancer is curable, especially when we find it early. When patients hear that diagnosis, I let them know it’s okay. We’re going to work together, manage this treatment plan and tackle it,” said Elisabeth Heath, M.D., FACP, medical oncologist, leader of the Genitourinary Oncology Multidisciplinary Team and the Hartman Endowed Chair for Prostate Cancer Research at Karmanos in Detroit, part of McLaren Health Care. “It’s important for men to talk with their providers to understand their screening options and to know if they are at high risk for prostate cancer so we can watch for any changes that need immediate attention.”

The night will be filled with information about prostate cancer and prevention methods. A special pre-game ceremony will honor nine survivors who received care at Karmanos and McLaren, and stories of three cancer patients will be shared during the game. Throughout the ballpark, Karmanos will provide information about the disease and the importance of screening and early detection.

“Events like this Prostate Cancer Awareness Night with the Tigers allow us to remind men to prioritize their health. I am so excited to honor the men joining us at Comerica Park in June and share how they have hit a home run with their health,” added Dr. Heath.

Tigers fans can donate to prostate cancer research at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute when they purchase tickets for the Tuesday, June 20 Prostate Cancer Awareness Night game at tigers.com/tickets. A portion of the proceeds from a special 50/50 ticket raffle will also be designated for Karmanos. Additional opportunities to donate will be displayed on the scoreboard and at the Karmanos tables.

“McLaren Health Care applauds the work of the Detroit Tigers to advance awareness of the early detection and treatment of cancer,” said Justin Klamerus, M.D., MMM, Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer at McLaren Health Care. “As an oncologist, cancer care is near and dear to my heart. Together, we can all make a major difference and save lives. Prostate cancer, like many forms of cancer, when detected early can have greatly improved outcomes. All patients should speak with their providers about the risk of cancer and schedule appropriate screenings. Much progress has been made in treating cancer, but more must be done to advance research for more cures and prevent cancer.”

Second to skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men, affecting roughly one in eight during their lifetime. In 2023, the American Cancer Society estimates that 288,300 men will be diagnosed with the disease. Though most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die – only 1 in 41 succumb to the disease – prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men.

This disease is most curable in its early stages, making early detection key. Karmanos, McLaren and the Detroit Tigers encourage men to talk with a healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of prostate cancer screening through a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test and a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE). Men should consider prostate screening at age 50 (age 45 for African Americans) if they are at average risk for prostate cancer. Those who are high risk may start screening at an earlier age. Visit karmanos.org/prostatefacts for more information.

At Karmanos, the Genitourinary Oncology Multidisciplinary Team includes surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, plastic surgeons, pharmacists, specialized nurse practitioners, dietitians, social workers, genetic counselors and patient navigators. The team specializes in and focuses on treating genitourinary cancers, including prostate cancer, and shares its collective expertise to create a customized treatment plan for each patient.