EDITOR: The recent announcements that Ryan O'Neal and Warren Buffett have prostate cancer offers an opportunity to remind people just how common this illness is. According to the National Cancer Institute, breast cancer will be diagnosed this year in about 227,000 people. Prostate cancer will be diagnosed in about 242,000 men.

It's not that breast cancer isn't a huge problem that demands much attention. But so is prostate cancer. This summer, the Prostate Awareness Foundation, a local nonprofit group that helps newly-diagnosed men make treatment decisions, holds its annual fundraiser, the Climb for Prostate Awareness, on Mount Shasta. This year's climb will be a memorial for Bob Boardman of Healdsburg, who died this spring.

Past climbs have included Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Mount Aconcagua in Argentina. All volunteers pay their way to and from the climbing site and for any required guides, permits and supplies. This is a grass-roots organization run for and by men with prostate cancer, with the mission of helping men live longer and higher quality lives. There is never a fee for our services.

To learn how you can help, go to prostateawarenessfoundation.org.