Defeating prostate cancer with testing and funding

Updated September 10, 2020

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, an important cause for Roseville Mayor John B. Allard II and Norm Woods, a senior wastewater treatment plant operator for the City of Roseville. John and Norm’s message to men? Get tested!

Mayor Allard is a prostate cancer survivor celebrating three years of being cancer-free. Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men.

John knew he needed to be watchful because of his family history. “As the son of a prostate cancer survivor, the nephew of a prostate cancer survivor and the grandson of a prostate cancer survivor, I knew I needed to get tested early and often,” he said. “Early stage prostate cancer usually has no symptoms, and testing is the only way to find out if you have it.”

Three years ago, one of his routine screening tests revealed evidence of cancer, and he underwent treatment. His prognosis is great--with early detection and treatment, prostate cancer has a nearly 100 percent survival rate. Early stage prostate cancer is highly treatable, while late-stage prostate cancer commonly spreads to the bones, causing pain in the hips, spine, ribs and other parts of the body. Unfortunately, the five-year survival rate for late-stage prostate cancer patients drops to 31 percent.

Norm Woods also has a personal connection to prostate cancer—his friend and running buddy Bill. Six years ago, Bill gathered their running group together after a run and told them he had prostate cancer. The following year, their running group celebrated Bill’s successful treatment by joining him in San Francisco for the ZERO Cancer Run/Walk.  The year after that they ran in Napa, and the year after that, in Sacramento. The annual runs conducted in cities throughout the nation benefit ZERO, the nation’s leading advocacy organization combatting prostate cancer. ZERO supports research, free mobile testing, co-pay assistance and comprehensive support for men battling the disease.

On September 19, 2020, ZERO is conducting a COVID-safe virtual run in Sacramento, and Norm Woods is the new race director! This is a difficult year for nonprofits and fundraising, and Norm would love for more people to donate to the cause. His team is called Cut the Woods, because why would anyone with prostate cancer go through the woods when they can take a shortcut to recovery with early screening and detection? To participate in the run or donate, visit

John and Norm’s number one message to men:  Get tested. Prostate cancer risk varies by factors like racial background and family history, so men should talk to their healthcare providers about when to start getting tested, and how often. “It’s just a simple blood test,” Mayor Allard said. “Come on, men, you can do this!”