“There is no curing a sick man who believes himself to be in health.”
~ Henri-Frederick Armiel
So, we are a few days into the month of November ….. let’s talk a little about the subject of this blog post.
First, exactly what is “No Shave November” –The goal of No-Shave November is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free. Donate the money you typically spend on shaving and grooming to educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle. (Courtesy of No-Shave.org)
Men and cancer ….. cancer and men …… it can get to any of us ay anytime. We MUST see our Doc’s on a regular basis, we MUST monitor our health.
In 2012, approximately 301,000 men died from cancer (2nd leading cause after heart disease)
The most common types of cancers for men, are lung, prostate and colorectal.
Know the risk factors (smoking, diet, lifestyle, sun & UV exposure, genetics, race)
1 out of a hundred men will get BREAST cancer.
In my case, I’ve had an ongoing issue with HIGH PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen). The normal PSA range is 0 – 4. About 13 years ago, during a routine physical my PSA was 4.2. My Doc immediately re-ran the test and included the “Free PSA” as well …… (the “Free” came back @ 24% which is also fairly high) ……. the follow up included a lovely biopsy of 10 specimens. This was completed in the office and ultimately, ALL were NEGATIVE. We continued to monitor the PSA and then my heart transplant journey began, but even that did NOT stop the surveillance.
Over the years, my PSA slowly increased in which I had 2 more rounds of quite uncomfortable biopsies since my heart transplant and more DRE’s than I would wish on anyone, thankfully my urologist is a female with small fingers! (The DRE & biopsies are totally a breeze when compared to a heart transplant, I’ll assure you of THAT)
I also went through an easier test (DRE & swab) …. PCA3, a genetic based test, which showed a low potential of cancer being present. Over these years, my PSA raised to and finally leveled off at about 11 ….. but I still go every 6 months or sooner for a PSA test, and to see my urologist. There are also a couple of newer, high tech tests available, but I have no experience with these.
I consider myself lucky that I don’t have a diagnosed cancer, but I will admit to sweating bullets with each PSA and DRE that I have …… until the results are complete.
Many men with a PSA of 4, have cancer …… sadly, some have advanced cancer.
But you won’t know unless you have it checked ….. and checked regularly.
Please to it for yourself, and for those you love!