By Virginia “Ginya” Carnahan, APR.CPRC,
Director of Marketing & Development, Dattoli Cancer
Center & Brachytherapy Research Institute
So August has arrived and families everywhere are scurrying around to get ready for another school year. Kids have a few precious days left to catch up on summer reading assignments. School supply lists are showing up in emails. Bus schedules, too. Somehow summer flew by when we weren’t looking.
While focusing on this transition and its many demands – new school uniforms? new shoes? new routines? new friends? – some families are busy taking children to family doctors for “back-to-school” physicals.
This is as good a time as any to get adults into the annual physical exams routine, too. Especially men. (I have written before about how women are indoctrinated into annual physical exams as a result of their graduation into puberty, but boys/men don’t go through anything quite like the female’s ascent into full-blown maturity in their teens.)
I guess some employers still require a complete physical before starting a job, but rarely require follow-ups for anyone other than the CEO. Sometimes this is the only full physical a man ever gets until something goes wrong. Often that “something” could have been prevented by an annual physical exam. I’m talking about things like high blood pressure and diabetes. These can be silent killers, but with early diagnosis can be controlled, if not eliminated.
Living in Florida, it is particularly important for everyone (that includes YOU guys) to get checked for skin cancer on a regular basis. If you work outside or are actively playing sports (or maybe just watching them at the stadium or park), your risk of skin cancers increases.
How about vaccinations? They are not just for children anymore. This is a good time for you guys (and gals) to get your annual flu shot and if you are over 50 years old, the shingles vaccine should be considered as well. This painful, potentially scarring outbreak is a result of having chicken pox as a child. Stats suggest that 1 in 3 adults will develop shingles – the vaccine may prevent the outbreak, or at least reduce its severity. One more vaccine to recommend is the pneumonia shot. This is especially important if you have had a history of bronchitis or deep colds with lung congestion. Pneumonia can prove fatal, you know. Good news is that all of these vaccines are available at your handy, corner drug store. No need for a doctor’s appointment!
Of course the main purpose of this article is to give men a head’s up that “National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month” is just around the corner. It comes every September – just before the great October influx of pink ribbons for Breast Cancer Awareness.
If you (or the man in your life) is approaching age 50, or if he is younger and has a family history of prostate cancer, now is the time to take advantage of a one-time-good-deal! FREE prostate cancer screening!
The Dattoli Cancer Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, will again offer a PSA blood test and digital rectal exam, free of any charge to each man who wants or needs a screening for prostate cancer, on Saturday, September 10, 2016, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
The event will be held at Dattoli Cancer Center & Brachytherapy Research Institute, located at 2803 Fruitville Road (Pen West Park) in Sarasota.
There are no appointments made – just show up! The exam itself will not take more than about 15 minutes, but sometimes there will be a wait because of the number of men who show up. We recommend that you bring a newspaper, book or Kindle to read while you wait.
And it is not necessary to fast before this blood test.
Why should you get screened? Some 180,900 men will be found to have prostate cancer in 2016. The older you are, the higher are your odds. We have found prostate cancer in men as young as 32 and as old as 97. If your father or brother has had prostate cancer, that will increase your risk of also developing it.
And the number one reason for getting screened is that prostate cancer can be cured if found early. It is believed that 1 in every 7 men will develop prostate cancer. Unfortunately, for nearly 27,000 men, prostate cancer will take their lives in 2016. Don’t let you be one of those!
Dattoli Cancer Center & Brachytherapy Research Institute
1-877-DATTOLI | www.dattoli.com