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How does prostate cancer affect women?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I am the program manager for Prostate Cancer Awareness/Men's Health over 5 southern Oregon counties. My job is to spread the news about the importance of Prostate Cancer Screening for men between the ages of 40(ish) to 65(ish).

Women's Health gets a tremendous amount of attention while men's health is largely ignored. That is an irritant to me. To quote an oncologist in my office, "It is time for some men's lib in healthcare!".

DID YOU KNOW?

Men are 35% more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than women are with breast 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.

Black men, older men, men who have been exposed to Agent Orange and men with 1st degree relatives (brother, father, son) who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer are all at increased risk.

Eating pan-fried meat twice/week increases a man's risk of developing prostate cancer by 40%!

One new case occurs every 2.2 minutes and, though more men die with prostate cancer than from it, a man dies from prostate cancer every 17.5 minutes.

Even with that information and more, the US Task Force has stated that all men should NOT be tested for prostate cancer, presumably because "over treatment is detrimental to men's health".

The fact is, testing is not harmful; unnecessary treatment is harmful. What should be out there on the front page is not to test, but that all prostate cancers do not need to be treated aggressively. In fact, in many cases, watchful surveillance is the best course of action. This doesn't mean that nothing is being done, but that the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) is being monitored to observe any changes as indicators that the tumor is growing or metastasizing.


THE GOOD NEWS-

Eating a healthy diet and regular exercise decreases the risk of a man developing the disease and may increase longevity of those diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Early detection offers more treatment options giving the man more control over the handling of the disease.

When a man should be tested for prostate cancer varies from man to man depending on his risk level. By age 45, men should have already had a discussion about prostate cancer with his healthcare provider. If he is in any of the high risk groups listed above he should discus having a PSA done by age 40. Most of these original PSAs will be used as a baseline number to compare with future tests to watch for upward trending numbers.

Even with a small uptick in PSA numbers it is not necessarily panic time. There are several things that can cause the PSA to increase temporarily including, bike or horseback riding, sexual activity, vigorous exercise, a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE; used for manually checking for signs of prostate cancer) and some medications.

How does prostate cancer affect women? This is your husband/brother/father/friend. Cancer is a devastating disease which robs one and their loved ones of a normal, healthy life. Treatment for prostate cancer can leave a man impotent, with incontinence, with various bowel problems and more.

If we love our husbands we, as women, need to take care of our men and urge them to get the healthcare testing that they need. Most men will not do this on their own. If you love your husband, urge him to talk to his doctor. Go with him and offer your moral support.

Early diagnosis and treatment saves men's lives as well as it does women's. Don't men deserve it, too? I think so and that is why I do what I do. This weekend I am working an event that allows me to talk to men and women about this awful disease. Hopefully, lives will be saved.





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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONNABRIGHT 7/15/2013 8:46AM

    God bless you for this work. Two of my brother-in-laws have had to deal with this disease. Different options for each of them but no doubt early detection played a huge role!

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PATRICIAAK 7/14/2013 9:18PM

    very true

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COLOR-BLUE 7/14/2013 6:33PM

    You really opened my eyes!!! My father is so blessed, as he 79 and has no inkling of prostate cancer. I have to praise God for that one!!!

There are so many factors, that can lead up to this disease. However, there are just as many factors that we, as wives, daughters, and sisters, can help out the men in our lives. Yes, I do love all the male members of my family, and I'm definitely going to say SOMETHING!!!

Thank you, be blessed,

- Nancy Jean -

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PEGTIGER 7/14/2013 5:18PM

    Very helpful information. Men can be so stubborn, up to the point of it being too late. Thanks for sharing the info.

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PHATPAT18 7/14/2013 11:14AM

    Very good information to pass on to my husband. Thanks

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CELIAMINER 7/14/2013 8:39AM

    Wonderful, straightforward, educational blog! My DH has already had a couple of scares and is in watch mode. Fortunately, he takes his health seriously and doesn't balk at going to the doctor, unlike my dad, who did not go until it was too late to do anything about his mouth and throat cancer.

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ONEWEIGH 7/14/2013 2:54AM

    I love the billboards that say, "This year thousands of men will die of stubbornness." Truth is, women do play a big role in men's health. I have a friend who is a nurse practitioner with the VA. She says, "Men come to see me for one of two reasons...either a woman told them to, or there's something wrong with their thingie!" And with prostate enlargement, guys will often put that doctor visit off because they're embarrassed or they're freaked out by the idea of the exam. So just remind the men in your life that it won't kill them to see a doctor every year or so, just to say hello, and it might save them a lot of grief in the long run.

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TLG71567 7/14/2013 1:03AM

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