Heavy metal band Twisted Sister urged '80s teens to stand up and say, “We’re not gonna take it.” Now, founding band member Jay Jay French is teaming up with Bayer to convince the now grown-up teens to take the same stance against prostate cancer.
French, a guitarist who also managed Twisted Sister, knows from personal experience why it’s important. His father died from prostate cancer, and French himself was diagnosed in 2018. Because of his family history, French’s doctors kept a close watch for the disease, and his cancer was discovered early.
French and Bayer, along with prostate cancer patient organization Zero – the End of Prostate Cancer, are working together on the social media and digital We’re Not Gonna Take It campaign. The work includes a podcast series with French on Zero’s “Prostate Cancer Uncensored” and a Truth or Twisted quiz to figure out what’s fact or fiction when it comes to prostate cancer.
Zero CEO and President Jamie Bearse pointed to himself as a prime example of the target audience. Growing up in the '80s, he is now in his late 40s and a candidate for prostate cancer screening.
A generation of men like him “grew up with Twisted Sister’s music and hits, so when Jay Jay speaks up, your ears perk up and you listen. He helps elevate the message,” Bearse said.
Men in their late 40s to early 60s are a key group to reach, because early diagnosis of prostate cancer drastically increases survival rates.
Along with encouraging early screening, the campaign wants to inspire men to learn about risk factors like family history and elevated prostate-specific antigen levels as well as what diagnosis means and what treatments are available.
Nelson Ambrogio, senior VP and general manager, oncology, at Bayer said he hopes French's courage in speaking out about his experience will encourage people to get screened and treated.
"Jay Jay French is a prostate cancer survivor because he and his doctors were proactive, and I think that's something really inspiring and valuable for other men to hear," he said.
The campaign will run through the end of the year, with additional content and messaging with French planned and an eye toward September’s prostate cancer awareness month.
While the campaign is unbranded, Bayer’s prostate cancer product portfolio includes Nubeqa and radiotherapy Xofigo.