stat counter

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sunday Offering #48: Please Get Checked for Prostate Cancer

This is not the type of thing I usually write about on this blog, and it may seem an unusual posting for "Sunday Offerings", but just to let you all know, there is a human being here that posts things. And this human being wants to take a moment to veer from the usual to reach out to my readers about something you should all know about, both men and women.

That is prostate cancer.

My father just turned 80 last month. Almost two years ago he was diagnosed with late stage prostate cancer. Just like most cancers, there are different stages and degrees, and what I have learned through this experience with my father is that it is a very complicated issue. What I've also learned, as with any cancer, early detection is ESSENTIAL. It ONLY takes a blood test to determine if your psa number is abnormal. That's all, a simple blood test.

The AMA recommends men start getting these blood tests at age 45. I cannot possibly in a million years tell anyone reading here how important this is, because when prostate cancer metastacizes to the bones, which is a common spreading of this type of cancer, it is HIDEOUS.

By the time my father's cancer was detected, it had already spread to the bones. That was two years ago. He's been on the best treatments known, but they have not worked. Granted he is older, but this same thing happens in younger men also.

New Years Eve of this year, my father reached down to pick up his cat and felt a sudden excrutiating pain in his shoulder. He normally goes to the Veteran's Hospital 80 miles away, but this was an emergency, so he went to the local hospital. They x-rayed his shoulder and told him nothing was broken. Then a couple of weeks later, he had an MRI of his shoulder at the Veteran's Hospital who also told him nothing was broken, no torn rotator cuff, it was just arthritis.

They prescribed cortisone shots for inflamation and follow up physical therapy which he went to this last Tuesday. The therapist took one look at his arm and ordered an x-ray of his arm, not his shoulder. My father's arm was broken, for two months broken, without any doctors picking up on this until this point. It was a spontaneous fracture, just from reaching over to pick up his cat. But it gets worse, he also has the cancer in both of his hips and femurs (upper legs) and his rib cage. So any sudden movement that isn't just right, could result in spontaneous fractures there also. And they won't heal, because cancerous bones do not have the ability to heal properly. There are some drugs for this that MIGHT help, but unfortunately, you cannot count on them working.

This is not something that can be ignored for ANYONE reading here. When you hear the term,
"prostate cancer" you might not be aware of what it can mean or just how absolutely important it is to be checked for this on a regular basis.

PLEASE, if you haven't been checked, or your loved one hasn't been checked, make an appointment NOW.

Again, early detection is essential, because NO ONE would want this to happen to themselves or a loved one, no one.

Link to National Prostate Cancer Coalition for essential information.

Youtube: David Emerson of "Faith-Love-Hope-Win", speaks on Kansas City Lice on August 10, 2006. David shares his battle with Prostate Cancer, the need for men over 40 to be tested and the foundation's upcoming golf tournament. (this video is from Oct. 2006, you can go to the website for updates on David's situation and learn much more about prostate cancer)

No comments: