Father, living with prostate cancer, honors son by participating in Zero Prostate Cancer Walk/Run

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HARTFORD -- For the second time, the Zero Prostate Cancer Walk/Run, the largest national men’s health event, is taking place in Connecticut.

For one participant, it’s personal.

Alan Schwartz’s love of running, and competing in triathlons helped him seven years ago when he found out he had prostate cancer. But he reacted more emotionally when his son Mark recently received the same diagnosis. On June 10, he’s taking to the track again, participating in the Zero Prostate Cancer Run/Walk in Hartford, in honor of his son.

“He’s turning 85 on the day of the race, he’s a pretty amazing guy,” said Dr. Steven Shichman.

Shichman, a urologist at Hartford Hospital, says Schwartz is a great example of a man “living” with prostate cancer. He’s on an active surveillance program and examined every six months.

Shichman says experience is key in making that decision. Treatment can include robotic surgery and radiation.

“We have a superb team that works directly with memorial Sloan Kettering and we’ve developed a number of clinical pathways and standards of care for cancer patients,” said Shichman. “We treat the most amount of prostate cancer of any delivery system in the state of Connecticut.”

Prostate cancer claims 30,000 lives in the United States each year. Shichman says PSA screening is vital for men, age 50 and up.

“We have to make men more aware of the need for screening and seeing their physicians and being diagnosed early,” said Shichman.

That’s why Hartford HealthCare is hosting the upcoming run and walk. For Schwartz, it will be the culmination of his passions: sports and family.

“I really want to do this thing as a proud father.”

The race is taking place at Dunkin Donuts Park, the new Yard Goats stadium. Organizers hope to raise $100,000.

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