Tag Archives: awareness

Moustaches and Prostates: A Team

Frederick Jaccarino, M.D.

When considering issues affecting the health of men, the second most vexatious foe, after cardiovascular diseases, is the all-too-common prostate cancer.  Not only does it strike often; it is also the second most frequent cause of cancer death in men. Despite its prominence, and despite millions of dollars spent on prostate research, there remains a lot of controversy about how to screen for the illness, how to diagnose it, and when and how to treat prostate cancer.

September is prostate cancer awareness, for when the lay press reported  some of the new perspectives we now entertain on the subject.  The prehospital professionals serving the Westerly/Stonington region are currently raising donations for prostate research thru their Movember @ Sons moustache campaign. Consider supporting both worthy causes; the ambulance teams and prostate cancer research.

Why would a man NOT want or need to know if he has prostate cancer? A generation ago the answer was simple; early detection and early intervention seemed to make sense. Most prostate cancers grow and spread so slowly that if you did nothing about them they would never result in symptoms or affect longevity.  So a 50-year-old with a typical prostate cancer would be better off worrying about his blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors than his cancer; the cancer won’t hurt him. He probably would be better off not even knowing he was carrying this cancer.  Less worry and stress; sign me up!

Consequently, current trends consider the possibility that a man’s life journey may be measurably better if he is unburdened by the awareness he is letting cancer coexist with him, unchallenged.

Radiation, surgery, or hormone therapy each carry risk of complications such as incontinence, impotence, or worse.
The reality is there are different types of prostate cancer (called grades). High grade cancers are aggressive and nasty, so early detection of these ones might save lives.  Unfortunately, to tell if you have a slow lazy tumor or a terrifying killer
requires a piece of the tumor under a microscope.

The experts have decided to recommend screening to begin at an age dictated by the age and genetic risk of the individual patient. Of course, each of us may decide for ourselves when to be screened (a needle and a digit).  Do not count on symptoms to guide you, as most symptoms develop late, so they become the albatross heralding a lost gamble.

So, if you’re an adult male, go discuss the issue with your doctor.

Positive Testimony Marks Prison Awareness Gathering at Shiloh

(l-r) Kimberly Haugabook, Annita Harris, Wanda Short, Trenton Phillips, Daryl Finizio, Mayor of New London, Taja Miller, Winston Taylor, James Miller, Jr.

by Jon Persson

America, bastion of freedoms unknown in many lands, has a higher percentage of incarcerated citizens than in any other land. This stark statistic—and the many sad stories it represents—represents the calling to which Winston Taylor of New London’s Shiloh Baptist Church has been drawn. For  3½ hours at his Prison Awareness and Prevention Gathering on October 27, testimonials, presentations, displays, and a video bring to light the price of prison and the power of positive choice in the lives of young people.

This is the second year Winston has hosted this event, which is an extension—and a hoped-for alternative—to his ongoing prison ministry.

“The overarching theme,” says Winston, “is to raise awareness of the social and spiritual needs of offenders, ex-offenders, and persons affected by incarceration.” He goes on to say that the gathering, and his ministry, have as their aim to “identify ways to keep kids safe in the community,” and to “engage law enforcement personnel to improve relations and partnering to prevent crime.” A further objective is to “recognize correctional and law enforcement personnel” for particular excellence in service to the community.

Yet the most prescient attendees are the young people; emcees Trenton Phillips and Taja Miller, 10th and 8th graders respectively, and 7th grade speaker James Miller. Their generation’s leadership will help end crime and incarceration.