My uncle Bobby was a fascinating man. Having spent the majority of his life working in the Middle-East, he was full of stories and wild experiences. He owned a villa in Spain, vacationed in Thailand, and owned the finest luxury cars in the world. Whenever I was in St. Louis, I always went to his house to listen to his stories. They never got old to me.
On one visit, I noticed that Uncle Bobby didn’t look well. He had lost weight and his gait was slow. I asked him if everything was okay and he told me that he was fine. I knew that he wasn’t but I didn’t want to call him on it. Later on, one of his nieces, revealed to us that uncle Bobby had prostate cancer. It had spread throughout his body because Uncle Bobby always avoided the doctor and never scheduled regular check-ups.
Losing Uncle Bobby was tragic. If only he had gotten an exam sooner…maybe he’d still be with us today. But one good thing did come from Uncle Bobby’s death. My father-in-law scheduled a prostate exam. Thankfully the doctor discovered his prostate cancer and performed surgery before it could spread.
Although regular screenings are important for all men, routine prostate cancer screenings are critical for African-Americans. Among black men, 19 percent — nearly one in five — will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and five percent of those will die from this disease. In fact, prostate cancer is the fourth most common reason overall for death in African-American men. The American Cancer Society recommends that African-American men discuss testing with their doctor at age 45, or at age 40 if they have several close relatives who have had prostate cancer before age 65.
In addition to recognizing the need for early screening, African-American men should be aware of the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer. These symptoms can include urinating in the middle of the night, needing to urinate more frequently, and feeling like the bladder doesn’t completely empty. Blood in the urine may also be a sign of prostate cancer. The good news is that prostate cancer treatment has a 95 success rate if detected early.
I encourage all men to schedule a physical as soon as possible. If we are to raise strong families and have strong marriages, we have to protect our health.
I don’t want any family to experience a loss of a loved one due to prostate cancer. That’s why I’m participating in Movember to raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues. Please help me achieve my goal of raising $2500. Any amount will help. Donating is easy and convenient. Visit my personal Movember page and make a donation today:
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BMWK Family- please join us in thanking Fred for raising awareness and funds for men’s health issues! Please help Fred reach his goal by donating today. And please share, tweet and forward this story to you friends and loved ones.