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News : Health Jan 13, 2012 - 1:25 PM

Football hall of famer to promote prostate health

By Norwalk Hospital

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Norwalk, CT - Harry Carson, former linebacker for the New York Giants who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006, will be a featured guest at Norwalk Hospital on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 7 p.m. in the main lobby. He will be joining Dr. Jonathan Bernie, chief of robotic surgery, in a community health education program promoting prostate cancer awareness.

The event is intended to bring awareness to the importance of regular prostate cancer screenings. Men at high risk should be screened at age 40 and high risk includes those with a family history of prostate cancer and/or men of African American decent.

“Prostate cancer can be cured when it is diagnosed early,” Dr. Bernie emphasized. “There are usually no symptoms in the early stages of prostate cancer, and that is why regular screenings are so important. If diagnosed in its early stages, treatment options are much broader.” Treatment options for localized prostate cancer include radiation therapy and new surgical techniques such as robotic surgery, resulting in less pain and faster recovery and a reduction in problems such as incontinence and impotence.

Warning signs for serious prostate problems may include weak or interrupted flow of urine, the need to urinate frequently, blood in the urine and continuing pain in the lower back, pelvis and upper thighs.

HealthGrades, a leading national healthcare ratings organization, rated Norwalk Hospital in the top five percent of hospitals nationally in prostate surgery and named the hospital a recipient of its America 100 Best Hospitals Specialty Excellence Awards for Prostatectomy Care (prostate surgery).

Carson is participating in this educational program to help increase the awareness of prostate cancer among men.

“We are honored to have Harry Carson join us in this important awareness effort,” said Dr. Bernie.

Harry Carson

Carson completed a 13-year stint with the New York Football Giants, one of the longest tenures in club history. The indestructible former linebacker served as Team Captain for 10 of his 13 seasons including the 1986 season when the Giants defeated the Denver Broncos 39-20 in Super Bowl XXI. Rated the #1 “Inside Linebacker” in NFL history according to Pro Football Weekly, Carson was named to the All-Rookie Team after his first NFL season. Subsequently, during his NFL career, he was named to the All-NFL Team 7 times, the All-NFC Team 8 times, and NFC Linebacker of the Year twice. He once made an amazing 25 tackles in a Monday Night Football Game against the Green Bay Packers. With performances like that he was selected by his peers to play in the NFC-AFC Pro Bowl 9 times and he is among the top 250 players to ever play professional football with his 2006 induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Carson set the pace for his remarkable career while a student at Wilson Senior High and McClenaghan High Schools in Florence, South Carolina. There he served as Senior Class President, Co-Chairman of the school’s Bi-Racial Committee and ROTC Commander. He went on to South Carolina State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. He excelled off the field academically as well, winning awards for the highest academic average amongst Black College All-Americans.

Currently Carson serves as Executive Director of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, an organization representing National Football League minority non-player personnel dedicated to creating greater racial diversity within the National Football League.

He is President of Harry Carson Inc., a Sports Consulting and Promotions Company. HCI consults with media outlets, educational sources and corporations on sports as well as non-sports related issues.

Carson has been a spokesperson for the Bergen County, New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection Program to increase the awareness of prostate cancer among men, especially Black and Latino Men. He has served as an Advisor to the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and is a member of the Brain Injury Association’s Sports Injury Prevention Council. He has established himself as an authority and internationally recognized speaker on Concussions in Sports. The author of two books, Point of Attack (1985) and Captain for Life (2011) highlight his personal experiences with concussions and other injuries from playing the game of football. He enjoys mentoring young people and current athletes.

Dr. Jonathan Bernie

A board-certified urologist in practice with Urology Associates of Norwalk, Dr. Bernie is fellowship-trained in robotic surgery and has five years of experience in this field. Chief of robotic surgery at Norwalk Hospital, Dr. Bernie has been recognized for his proficiency in robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (removal of the prostate gland). Dr. Bernie is also an expert in minimally invasive surgical and laparoscopic urological techniques, including nephrectomy (removal of the kidney) and adrenalectomy (removal of the adrenal gland). He specializes in prostate cryoablation in the treatment of prostate cancer (which utilizes extreme cold to destroy cancer cells) and laser therapy for benign prostate disease.

Dr. Bernie received his M.D. degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. He was previously awarded a B.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania, The College of Arts and Sciences, and a B.S. degree from the University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School. He completed his medical training in general surgery and urology at the University of California, San Diego, and served as a Fellow in Laparoscopy and Robotic Surgery at Indiana University.

Dr. Bernie has been the recipient of several awards for both his surgical skills and clinical research, including the Laurence F. Greene Memorial Award for Meritorious Achievement, presented by the Urologic Research and Education Foundation and the Gerald P. Murphy Scholar Award of the American Urological Association for distinction in the study of prostate cancer. He is the author of numerous articles published in scientific journals as well as a book chapter on Bladder Cancer in Urological Oncology. He also provides time for local and national lectures.

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED AND SPACE IS LIMITED. To register for the upcoming program, please call 1-866-NHB-WELL. Those attending the event will park in the Affinion parking lot, located off of 100 Connecticut Avenue, Norwalk, where shuttle buses will transport them to the hospital.

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