Sunday, 17 June 2012

PROSTATE CANCER AND MEN AT WAR


Nothing is too high for the daring of mortals: we storm heaven itself in our folly.

Age greater than 60

African American

Smoking

All of the above

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. Identification of risk factors associated with prostate cancer is a positive step in the prevention of this disease.

Diseases can be our spiritual flat tires - disruptions in our lives that seem to be disasters at the time but end by redirecting our lives in a meaningful way.

Ultimately, the first success is an early identification of prostate cancer, allowing for earlier treatment and a greater variety of treatment options.

He who knows the darkness shall learn to live in the light.

Prostate screening has been controversial in the medical community, who has recently questioned the cost effectiveness, quality, and safety of the procedure. Clinicians have come to rely on prostate examinations and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) laboratory tests to catch the disease in its early stages in men 50 and over as part of a regular check-up. An above normal PSA level can signal prostate cancer, but could also rise for less serious reasons such as an enlarged prostate, a prostate infection, after having sex or riding a bicycle.

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

The United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) made a final recommendation recently against using the PSA test screening for healthy men, asserting that there is "moderate or high certainty that the service has no benefit or that the harms outweigh the benefits." The USPSTF says there is little, if any, evidence that PSA testing saves lives and that too many men instead suffer from impotence, incontinence, heart attacks, and occasionally death from treatment of tiny tumors that would never kill them. The Prostate Cancer Foundation and the American Urological Association are refuting the USPSTF recommendations and the recent clinical studies still citing the health benefits to obtaining the tests.

When an elephant is in trouble, even a frog will kick him.

Patients should have detailed conversations with their healthcare providers to discuss the pros and cons of obtaining a diagnostic tests when considering screening for Prostate Cancer taking in account your personal risk factors for the disease.

Often sound advice turns out to be totally wrong. Sometimes things turn out in such a way that only a fool would predict. Which is why fools, too, have their place in analysis and debate.