Posts tagged ‘prostate cancer’

When you see your doc, be sure to bring up family history of disease

9. pathophysiology-of-colon-cancer

9. pathophysiology-of-colon-cancer (Photo credit: TipsTimes)

When you see your doctor, it’s hard enough to figure out what questions to ask.  Should I get screened for this, or screened for that? I have emphasized throughout this blog the importance of getting screened for prostate cancer. Guys simply don’t like to visit the doctor. But colorectal health is also vital.  With proper and timely  screening, many men and women can avoid colon cancer.  But it takes a candid conversation with the doctor to set up a colonoscopy.

According to this HealthDay.com article, a new study suggests that a family history of the disease may be important for even more distant relatives.

In many cases, colon cancer may have no symptoms. And when symptoms appear, the disease could be advanced, so it’s important to talk with your doctor as you approach age 50….much younger if you have a family history of the disease.  This article tells me that it’s important to tell your doctor if any relative (even distant) may have had colon cancer.  Just one more thing to remember when you set up your next doctor appointment.

Should older men (75 and up) get the PSA test for prostate cancer?

exam table

exam table (Photo credit: Lynn Kelley Author)

Over the life of this blog, I have shared my experience with prostate cancer. I was diagnosed with the disease a few years ago. The cancer was found at an earlier stage, so I elected to have radiation treatment. So far, my PSA levels have been low, and that’s a good thing. HOWEVER, I respect the fact that cancer is a tough and sneaky foe, so I will continue with my PSA tests.

There is a study that came out in the October 16th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association that suggests that many doctors order PSA tests for men 75 and older. Current guidelines, according to HealthDay.com, advise against PSA tests for elderly men. HealthDay reporter Steven Reinberg has the lastest information.

As I have stated many times in this blog, I am not a doctor or a health care professional. I’m simply a baby boomer trying to inspire other men to see the doctor. I certainly do not have the authority to suggest whether older men need these tests.

I do feel a guy needs to meet with his doctor to discuss prostate cancer screening, and the earlier the better. While many prostate cancers are slow growing, men 75 and older have a perfect right to discuss prostate cancer screening with their physicians.  At the end of the day, a decision needs to satisfy the doctor, the patient and the patient’s family.

Foods men should eat everyday — guest post by Paul Taylor

tomatoes pictureI am going to share with you foods that men should be eating as part of their meal regimen on a daily basis. These foods have substantial benefits for men as you will see. I am also going to share with you some foods you may or may not have been eating in your regular diet but should consider adding because of their great health benefits.

Tomatoes: The red tomatoes are the best because they are full of the antioxidant lycopene. There are many studies that make it clear that lycopene can decrease many risks such as prostate, lung, bladder, stomach, and skin cancers. It can also help to reduce risks associated with coronary artery disease.
Yogurt: Make sure when you are buying yogurt that it says “live and active cultures” since these are the yogurts that are probiotic. Probiotic organisms strengthen the good bacteria in your body and strengthen your immune system which protect against cancer.
Spinach: It may not look like much but this is one of the ultimate man foods. A rich source of folate and plant-based omega-3s, it helps reduce risks of osteoporosis, heart disease, and strokes. It is well-known in weight training circles as a biceps builder because it is jam-packed with lutein which is a compound that wards off age-related macular degeneration.
Black Beans: We all know that beans are good for your heart but did you know that black beans boost your brain power? That’s because they contain anthocyanins that are antioxidant compounds which improve brain function.
Blueberries: Who hasn’t heard about the benefits of blueberries as an antioxidant fighting for us to ward off diabetes, cancer, and age-related memory issues? They have earned the nickname “brain berry” because of these benefits. They are rich in fiber and vitamins A and C also which helps to boost cardiovascular health.
Carrots: Low in calories and easy to prepare, carrots are a great source of carotenoids, a fat-soluble compound which helps in reducing the risk of and the severity of rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. They are also linked in reducing a variety of cancers. Most of the orange, yellow, and red vegetables and fruits contain carotenoids as well.
Oats: We have all heard the commercials that laud the benefits of oats and as well they should. They are full of soluble fiber and have 10 grams of protein for each half cup serving. They are loaded with carbs and deliver muscle-building energy because those sugars are released so slowly because of all the fiber. Oats have been shown to greatly lower the risk of heart disease.
Walnuts: I will bet you did not know that walnuts had more heart-healthy omega-3s than salmon and have more anti-inflammatory polyphenols than red wine. They also give you about half as much protein for muscle building as chicken. No other nut has as many benefits as the walnut.

Here are some other super foods to consider as well:
·    Cabbage – Boosts cancer fighting enzymes, neutralizes cell damaging free radicals
·    Beets –Lowers risks of heart disease and can protects your arteries
·    Guava – Fights prostate cancer and full of fiber
·    Swiss Chard – Protects your retinas
·    Cinnamon – Controls blood sugar which in turn helps to fight heart disease
·    Pomegranate Juice –Lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow to your heart, also provides fifty percent of your vitamin C needs
·    Dried Plums – Fight cancer causing structural damage to your cells
·    Pumpkin Seeds – Full of magnesium which is important to men because it has been recently determined that men with the highest level of magnesium have a forty percent lower risk of early death.

Author Bio: Paul and his wife Julie both spend quite a bit of time coming up with ideas, blogging, and researching all things related to childcare. He personally thinks his blog will help with finding information on all things related to a babysitter. Visit http://www.babysittingjobs.com

Still monitoring my prostate cancer

I have been a bit slow in updating this blog lately. I have had a number of newspaper writing assignments. But things are getting back to normal. Throughout this blog, I have updated you on my prostate cancer. A couple of holiday seasons ago, I wrapped up radiation treatment. My cancer was caught at an early stage, so I had a choice between surgery (removal of the prostate) and radiation. I just finished another PSA test. The number is 1.17, down a tad from four months ago. My radiation oncologist is pleased, but I will need to monitor my PSA every six months. With cancer, you need constant check-ups, because cancer can always grow. I hope men reading this blog will follow their doctor’s directions on when to begin cancer screening.

 
You read a lot about prostate cancer and PSA testing. There are a variety of opinions out there. In my opinion, the best advice is to start discussing prostate issues with your doctor at an early age and let your doctor know if prostate cancer runs in your family.

 
Your doctor will suggest a good time to begin screening. Men procrastinate. That’s a main focus of this blog. So guys, get on the phone and schedule a visit with your doc.

Early stage prostate cancer: Do you need surgery?

Throughout this blog, I have kept you up to date on my prostate cancer. I was diagnosed with an early-stage cancer and, after a period of active surveillance, decided to be treated with radiation. So far, so good.  Post-treatment blood tests show my PSA at normal levels. Yet, I need to keep up with regular screenings, to make sure the cancer doesn’t progress.

I understand many men prefer surgery, so they know their cancerous prostate has been removed.  It makes a great deal of sense.  But what is a guy to do? Recent news reports are throwing out many conflicting messages.  Do I wait and monitor my cancer?  Do I opt for surgical removal?  Do I decide on radiation treatment? It’s confusing stuff for any guy.

The following article by Tara Parker-Pope, in the New York Times, explores whether surgery is a good choice for early-stage cancer.

I am not a doctor, but here is my suggestion. Talk with your doctor about prostate cancer. Bring up the subject, even if you’re a younger man. Start taking prostate exams at the appropriate age (after consulting with the doctor). Some men are at higher risk and need to be screened at a younger age.  If you’re eventually diagnosed with the disease, you don’t need to panic. Do research, talk with your family and spend a lot of time with your urologist (and perhaps a radiation oncologist) to determine the best treatment option. A lot will be determined by the clinical grade of the cancer.  It’s a fact guys don’t like to see the doctor. It’s a main theme throughout my blog.

So guys, don’t avoid the doctor during your baby boomer years.

Note: Since posting this piece, I came across the latest from HealthDay.com

Are you a cancer survivor? If so, work on maintaining a healthful lifestyle

We were all told, as children, to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. But how many of the baby boomers among us, especially cancer survivors, are adhering to this advice?  As a prostate cancer patient, I want to make sure my cancer doesn’t return (I finished radiation treatments  over a year ago).  I have to admit that I have been sloppy in my eating habits in recent weeks.  I have also been letting up, a bit, in my weekly walking regimen.

After reading the following article by HealthDay reporter Jenifer Goodwin, I need to get back to the basics.

Goodwin points out in her article that eating healthful foods (fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean protein), getting plenty of exercise and maintaining a healthy weight may give you a better chance of living long-term with cancer.

The article is based on recommendations from the American Cancer Society.

I hope my fellow cancer survivors (those of baby boomer and all ages) can join me by getting on the bandwagon and getting serious about maintaining a healthful lifestyle.

Hey you boomer guys, Here are the top ten health threats for men

It’s about that time to refresh our baby boomer minds when it comes to recognizing diseases and health threats that can shorten our lives. The purpose here isn’t to scare the living daylights out of my blog readers, or panic men into rushing to Google to check health symptoms (believe me, I’ve rushed to Google more than a few times over the course of my life). I just want boomers (and men of all ages) to review a great piece on Webmd.com.

This article talks about heart attacks vs. cardiac arrest, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, strokes, diabetes, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate disease, testicular disease and depression.

This article links to more in-depth articles. All of this is valuable information for men of all ages. You’ll learn that high cholesterol can start early in life; it doesn’t just afflict older boomers. Strokes are the fourth leading cause of death in men. Depression often goes untreated. And colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men.

Again, schedule regular doctor appointments, do a bit of research on your own and bring up these topics with your general practitioner. Based on your health and family history, your doctor will let you know when you should be screened.