Safeway launched its month-long prostate cancer fundraiser and awareness campaign in early June, continuing a tradition of raising millions of dollars to find a cure for the most common form of cancer in men.

Safeway, one of the largest corporate supporters of cancer research and outreach, dedicates the entire month of June to raising funds at its stores and support facilities for prostate cancer research. The donations, more than $65.4 million to date, have made a tremendous impact. In the past 14 months, four new drugs have been approved by the FDA for patients with advanced prostate cancer. Three of them were supported in part with funds from the annual Safeway campaign.

Safeway’s longtime partner in this effort is the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF), the world’s largest philanthropic supporter of prostate cancer research. PCF identifies exceptional and promising research projects to receive the funds generously donated by Safeway’s customers.

Statistics revealing the prevalence of prostate cancer attest to the need for this sort of strong corporate dedication.

In 2010, nearly 218,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and more than 32,000 men died from the disease.

In 2010, one new case occurred every 2.4 minutes and a man died from prostate cancer every 16.4 minutes.

It is estimated that there are more than 2 million American men currently living with prostate cancer.

A non-smoking man is more likely to develop prostate cancer than he is to develop colon, bladder, melanoma, lymphoma and kidney cancers combined.

“Safeway is committed to funding research that will lead to a cure for prostate cancer,” said Safeway’s Eastern Division President Steve Neibergall in a statement. “Our unique ability to reach millions of shoppers each week not only allows us the opportunity to raise money for research, but to also share the message about the importance of early detection and treatment.”Throughout the campaign, the company’s U.S. and Canadian stores give customers the chance to make donations at the checkstand when shopping at their local Safeway, Dominick’s, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Genuardi’s, Vons, Pavilions, Carrs and Pak N’ Save stores.

“For more than a decade, Safeway and its customers have championed the research that has and will save lives,” said Jonathan Simons, MD, president and CEO of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. “We, along with the patients and families we serve, are grateful for this partnership and for the medical breakthroughs that have happened because of it.”