Pints for Prostates

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GatorDad

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http://www.pintsforprostates.org/

I'm not sure if this is the correct place to post this, but I don't see a better section...

I saw an advert for this on the back page of the current Brew issue. I'm a PC survivor and this couldn't make me happier. Some quick facts then I'll leave you alone:

Odds of a woman contracting breast cancer: 1 in 8.
Odds of a man contracting prostate cancer: 1 in 6.

And this is not just an "old man" disease. I was 47 when it hit me.

There is a simple blood test that can detect prostate cancer years before the "finger" method. It's called a PSA test (Prostate Specific Antigen). No fasting required. You will read newspaper articles decrying "over testing" and how it "scares" people unnecessarily. Honestly, I've never heard anything so stupid in my life. I'm alive today due to early testing. My sister is dead (breast cancer) because she didn't. Do the math.

If you're over 40, you really need to know what your PSA is, *AND* you need to do it every year. An elevated PSA in and of itself is not cause for alarm. The single most important metric you can know is how FAST your PSA is rising (called your "PSA Velocity"). Your PSA Velocity will tell you and your doctor more than anything else (aside from a biopsy, and you don't want that if you don't need it - trust me on that one). In order to know your PSA Velocity, you MUST have a PSA test once a year. Duh. Don't be a puss - just do it.

Please support prostate cancer awareness. The life you save could be your own, or someone you love.
 

Homercidal

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+1. Get tested. Sure, the blood test is not as much fun as the good old fashioned Finger method, but it can get you flagged earlier, so go get checked!

I am pretty sure that my insurance covers the PSA test. Check your insurance and ask your doctor about it. I know more than a couple of guys who have had surgery. Don't be like them!
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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Apparently, according to my doctor, I have a very tight anus. If I ever find out I'm gay, I will definitely have to be a pitcher.
 

mcwilcr

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Excellent! a good cause and brilliant method of getting the information out.

Thanks for posting it her OP! I've known a couple people who have gone through surgery due to PC and it is no joke. Thankfully they are both healthy survivors today!
 
OP
GatorDad

GatorDad

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getting back on topic.... :)

To be clear: A PSA test doesn't mean you won't need surgery. It could very well lead to that, but, surgery is not the only option. It depends, and only you and your doctor can decide the best course of action. For me, surgery (twice) was the only option - my age and extent of cancer demanded it. I had the daVinci procedure.

Have your PSA checked once a year starting at age 40. It provides you with critical information (PSA Velocity) that can't be derived any other way. There are recent publications decrying the use of PSA tests and PSA Velocity. It is important to note that these (bean counter) critics are claiming that this can lead to unnecessary biopsies - NOT that this test fails at detecting cancer. For example:

"If prostate biopsy is based on PSA velocity alone, the number of unnecessary biopsies would be almost four times the number of additional cancers diagnosed, data from a large clinical trial showed."

I'd sure like to know who funds these "studies". Bet a six-pack it's the insurance industry. In the last three years of this ordeal, I've never spoken with any health care professional that calls this stuff "unnecessary" testing. Bunk.

No doctor worth seeing will order a biopsy based on one metric. That's just silly, but, PSA Velocity taken into account with other tests (PSA, Free PSA, etc) can lead to a prostate biopsy. It's prudent medicine. In my case, I went through three months of various testing before my first biopsy. I'll admit - a prostate biopsy is no walk in the park. The biopsy came back that I was T1c (upper limit of stage 1). After surgery they always send out the organ removed for pathology. Those test, which are definitive, came back that I was actually T2c - the next step up that ladder is metastasizing. I was in much worse shape than any test detected.

A PSA test is not perfect, and certainly not the end-all test for prostate cancer, but it is an important indicator. If it leads to a prostate biopsy that you don't need - be thankful you don't have cancer instead of worrying about "unnecessary testing".

Pints for Prostates. Please support them.

:mug:
 

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