When it comes to illnesses that cause the most concern, prostate cancer typically does not top the list. However, according to Tex US TOO, it should be something men are aware of and get checked for regularly.

Tex US TOO is a Houston nonprofit organization promoting education and support for men with prostate cancer. When it comes to outreach efforts, the nonprofit’s main focus is breaking down any misconceptions people might have about prostate cancer, as well providing a safe space to discuss any struggles they are currently dealing with. The nonprofit also helps guide men who have been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer through the many different treatment options that are available to them, as it can often be overwhelming.

“If you had prostate cancer, like I have and all of our board members have, you know that when you get it, all of a sudden, there's like half a dozen options to treat it. And it's kind of like, ‘I just want this cancer out of me. What should I do?’ Then we can give that input,” said Greg Moore, who serves as the president of the nonprofit’s board of directors.

According to the American Cancer Society, over 250,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and nearly 35,000 will die from it. Once men hit the age of 50, they should be screened regularly for it. However, screenings should happen beginning at 40 if men have a family history of prostate cancer, or if they are in an at-risk population, like the African American community.

Tex US TOO hosts monthly outreach meetings in person and online. Every month a different medical professional comes to speak on the topic, and those who attend can offer support to others who have had the disease or who are currently diagnosed with it.

“We go to nonprofits, churches, companies, whenever they do health fairs, and we go out, we set up a table and have literature and we bring three or four volunteers and do outreach to communities,” Moore said.

One of the main things the nonprofit wants to stress to the general public is that men should not be afraid to talk to their doctor about prostate cancer and should make sure they are being tested regularly, even if they have no symptoms.

“It's a disease that has kind of this taboo or stigma around it just because of the sensitivity of the topic,” said Anh Nguyen, founder of Amplified Marketing, which works with the nonprofit. “Men tend to not want to talk about things or go to the doctor when they should, and I think that's something that we definitely need to include to make sure that people understand what this group is.”

To help fund the outreach they do, Tex US TOO is hosting its second annual prostate cancer awareness breakfast event at 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 9. Tickets and sponsorships can be found on their website.

Sponsors for this year’s breakfast include Boston Scientific, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, ESSA, Prostate Laser Center and AbbVie. During the breakfast, there will also be an opportunity for attendees to donate to Tex US TOO.

“We came up with the idea of a breakfast and we invite a well-known person to come in and give the keynote [speech] and we honor two individuals with awards,” Moore said.

This year the keynote speaker is Dr. Curtis Pettaway, a professor in the Department of Urology, Division of Surgery, at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Pettaway has spoken at multiple monthly meetings over the years and has previously participated in past fundraising efforts for the nonprofit.

“One of his focuses is trying to get the word out to disadvantaged communities about prostate cancer, and making them more aware of it and providing resources to take care of if it pops up,” Moore said.

During the breakfast, two awards will also be presented: the Prostate Cancer Medical Professional of the Year and the Tex US TOO Hero Award. The awards are meant to recognize those who have made a difference in the community.

For more information on the mission of Tex US TOO or to find out more about when the group meets, interested individuals can visit the website at https://texustoo.org.

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