The Alaska Men's Run is taking place this weekend, helping raise awareness and money for agencies fighting prostate and testicular cancers.

According to the American Cancer Society, one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Mike Zoske is one of those men, who stresses that early detection saved his life.

"I went to a doctor and he checked me and he said go see a urologist," Zoske said. "And so, I put it off for a year. Went back for my exam, he said 'did you go?' I said no. So, he sent me over there anyway and they did the biopsy and then found the cancer."

Zoske says he was able to receive experimental treatment for the prostate cancer in Alaska and he's been participating in the Alaska Men's Run ever since.

"It's been a good run, I'm here. It's 20 years later. So I encourage everybody to get checked," he said.

According to the American Cancer Society, roughly 50 men in Alaska are estimated to die from prostate cancer in 2019.

Tristan Walsh, board president of the Alaska Men's Run, says that while the race acts as a reminder to get checked, it also raises money that stays in the state.

“We’re helping about 35 patients a year, with mini-health grants for patients in need," explained Walsh. "We’ve been able to support Alaskans directly here. And that’s one of our missions, besides making sure that more men, especially people who are at high risk, so if they have a history of prostate cancer in their family or testicular cancer, it’s important to get those checked early.”

Though prostate cancer is the second-deadliest cancer in men, the Alaska Urological Institute says that it's easily treatable if detected early.

The Alaska Men's Run takes place this Saturday, June 29, at 10 a.m. at the Anchorage Football Stadium. It's a 5-mile timed event certified by the United States Track and Field organization that also includes a 2-mile walk route.

More information, including a link to register, is available on the Alaska Men's Run website.

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