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I recently turned 41 and usually that signals me to visit my doctor for my yearly physical. Last year, I actually skipped my physical…I was feeling so good at the time (not saying I don’t feel the same now) I think I totally forgot I was 40. Anyway, when a male turns 40, it signals your doctor to start talking about your prostate (A walnut (beneficial for all)-sized gland tucked away under the bladder and adjacent to the rectum), and prostate cancer. After about 10 minutes of listening to my doctor give me a brief synopsis while pointing to a poster of the male anatomy, he ran through some stats and risks and reasons why it should be checked every year.
Here’s the rundown on it…Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer found in American men, other than skin cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be about 230,900 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States in the year 2004. About 29,900 men will die of this disease. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, exceeded only by lung cancer. While 1 man in 6 will get prostate cancer during his lifetime, only 1 man in 32 will die of this disease. The death rate for prostate cancer is going down. And the disease is being found earlier as well. There are 2 screening tests for prostate cancer. They are a blood test called a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test and digital rectal examination (DRE), examination of the prostate by a doctor using his or her finger (for the guys reading this who have yet to have a DRE and are wincing… get over it, there is no pain involved)
A high PSA level (above 4 is usually considered high) generally indicates some form of prostate disease. The PSA test will tell you that there might be a problem with the prostate gland, but not necessarily that you have prostate cancer. As many as two-thirds of men with a high PSA level will turn out not to have prostate cancer, and some men with a normal PSA will have prostate cancer.
In the DRE test, If the doctor finds something suspicious, such as an enlargement, a lump, or any irregularity in the shape or texture of the prostate, further tests will be carried out. According to my doctor, the DRE test is not very accurate and will miss many early prostate cancers (he got me to dish out $27.00 to get the PSA test done)
If your doctor suspects that you may have prostate cancer after doing a PSA test or DRE, you will usually be referred to a specialist doctor called an urologist.
The urologist may recommend that you have a biopsy to find out whether it is cancer. A biopsy involves having very small pieces of your prostate taken out by a needle so it can be checked under a microscope. To find out if the cancer has spread a bone scan or special x-ray known as a computerized tomography (CT) scan, may be taken.
Anyway, my prostate tests came out normal as well as the tests for blood pressure, blood sugar, white cell count, cholesterol, which were all within the low end of the acceptable ranges. It makes me feel good to know that the choices I make as to what goes into my mouth, works.
In my last blog, I had made mention that I’m only responsible for my own well being and growth and hopefully people close to me can see it and will genuinely want to know the ‘how’ or ‘why’. Well someone close to me (I’ve been seeing an O for the last 4 months) has been suffering from arthritis for many years. She was a former ballet dancer with the National Ballet of Canada and all those years of dancing obviously did a number on her knees. She has been taking supplements (one was Chondroitin, which actually makes the inflation worse for type O’s) and icing her knees down after working out or teaching dance. I Picked up Dr D’s Arthritis book for her and she started on the recommendations immediately. The diet for her was not too hard to adhere to. She is not a wheat eater because her mom is celiac so she grew up without eating it much. It’s also been easy that I’m an O and when we share a meal it’s 90 to 100% O compliant for both of us. I’m happy to say that after three weeks on the diet (staying away from the usual avoids as well as night shade vegetables, coupled with an anti inflammation and arthritis protocol of supplements for type O’s), she has not felt any pain in her knees. Even after she went to her Physiotherapist for her routine of strengthening her knees, her knees did not ache…In her words,’ I feel like I have a new lease on life’ (words from somehow who attributed her pain free state the first two weeks on the diet to the ‘placebo’ effect)
Lastly…from time to time I’ll buy some of the ERFYBT supplements and this time I picked up Harmonia Deluxe (a green superfood) and I must say if you need a mental/energy boost in the afternoon, get some of this stuff. You’ll likely give up the afternoon or morning caffeine fix. It’s great for those on the run a lot and for those who find it hard to have the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. Tastes all right too even when mixed with water.