Friday, June 17, 2011

Don't be a walnut

I can't eat a walnut without thinking about prostate cancer.  When Terence went in for his first (and most important) DRE (A digital (finger) rectal examination.  During the examination, the doctor gently puts a lubricated, gloved finger of one hand into the rectum).  This is when the doctor felt the tumor on his prostate.  I am told it feels like a walnut.

Guys- you really need to get checked. We (women) do it every year  (Mammograms) and it saves so many lives because breast cancer can be detected at an early stage. 

Get your PSA taken. (Prostate Specific Antigen: a protein manufactured exclusively by the prostate gland); elevated levels of PSA in blood serum are associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer.  The medical field is now encouraging men to start testing at 40 instead of 50 because they are realizing it's no longer and 'old' man's disease.
The PSA test is a simple blood test to measure how much PSA a man has in his bloodstream at a given time. The PSA test is the most effective test currently available for the early detection of prostate cancer. 

Terence's DRE  revealed late stage prostate cancer.  He was 46 at the time.  The subject of PSA testng never came up in prior medical exams  and he never asked for one (we never knew prostate cancer affected younger men) - up until recently a PSA test was only necessary if you were 50 or over.

Since Terence was diagnosed I have met quite a few men in their 40's fighting late stage PCa- I know a handful that are even in their 30's.  It's obviously NOT just an old man's disease.  

Don't be a walnut. Get your PSA tested.

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