http://www.pcacoalition.org/pressroom/2005_optimus.php



WASHINGTON, D.C. – Pop culture fans are mourning the death of Optimus Prime today as the famous Transformer passed away last night from prostate cancer on the new Cartoon Network Show, “Robot Chicken.”

“When it comes to prostate cancer, there’s more than meets the eye,” National Prostate Cancer Coalition CEO Richard N. Atkins, M.D. said. “Often times when one has symptoms for prostate cancer it’s already in its late stages, that’s why early detection is so important.”

The scene from Robot Chicken, a new show created by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich, showed Optimus Prime with incontinence (or urination) problems followed by a trip to the doctor and then death.

“Being a Tractor Truck, Optimus should have known the importance of check-ups – oil, anti-freeze, spark plugs – the works,” said Atkins. “It comes as such a surprise – my kids loved that guy.”

Optimus Prime, developed and marketed by Hasbro, is the “powerful and courageous leader of the Autobots (the good guys of the Transformer World).” Transformers, a children’s cartoon and toy line, are sentient beings that morph into unsuspecting items like cars and airplanes.

“Planned or not, the skit was a great way to get people talking about prostate cancer at a younger age,” said Atkins. “When it comes to the real thing, prostate cancer is no joke – it’s the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer in America.”

One in six men will get prostate cancer in his life but if caught early, the chance of survival is 99.3 percent.

“A prostate specific antigen blood test and a two second look at your tailpipe can save your life,” said Atkins.

Taking care of the biggest thing in men’s health, the National Prostate Cancer Coalition sets the standard for rapidly reducing the burden of prostate cancer on American men and their families through awareness, outreach and advocacy.