LETTERS: The importance of prostate health; Mass killing is insanity

The importance of prostate health

As a member of the bipartisan Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program® of the Prevent Cancer Foundation®, I want to share the following information in recognition of National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, which was observed in September.

With your kids or grandkids head back at school, set a good example by continuing to learn as an adult. Health and science are subjects that constantly change, so it’s important to stay up to date. Prostate Cancer Awareness Month makes this a great time to learn more about the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men in U.S.

About 174,650 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2019 and more than 30,000 are expected to die of the disease. In Texas alone, roughly 10,660 men will be diagnosed and 1,900 will die of the disease.

As you age, your risk for prostate cancer increases — about six in 10 cases are diagnosed in men age 65 and older. Prostate cancer is more common in African American men, who are also more than twice as likely as white men to die of the disease. Most cases occur in men who don’t have a family history of the disease, but if your father or brother was diagnosed with prostate cancer, it more than doubles your risk.

Prostate cancer screening begins with a conversation with your health cancer professional about the potential risks and benefits of testing. Start this discussion at age 50 if you are at average risk and expect to live at least 10 more years; at age 45 if you are at high risk, including if you are African American or have a father, brother or son who was diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65; or at age 40 if you are at even higher risk (if you have more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age).

Screening can detect prostate cancer early, but neither the prostatespecifi c antigen (PSA) test nor the digital rectal exam (DRE) is 100% effective. The PSA test is the most effective screening method, but it can still produce false positives or miss cancer cases.

Some prostate cancers develop slowly and may never be dangerous enough to need treatment. If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, you would talk with your doctor to decide whether to begin treatment or monitor the cancer closely without immediate treatment (called “watchful waiting” or “active surveillance”). Early diagnosis and treatment saves lives, but with treatment, you can also experience side effects worse than the cancer symptoms ever would be.

As with several cancers, you can make lifestyle changes to lower your risk of prostate cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular physical activity and eating a healthy diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables will help reduce your prostate cancer risk. To learn more, visit www.preventcancer.org/ prostatecancer.

Lorena Saenz Gonzalez Member, Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program Prevent Cancer Foundation

McAllen

Mass killing is insanity

Mental health is an evidently clear factor when any human decides to commit mass murder. To deny that fact is accepting that cold-blooded murder is an act all humans are capable of on any given day.

I personally save sick cats and dying dogs off the street, so that idea of murder by everyone is not only ridiculous but unacceptable. I’d probably do all I could to save a stranger.

Mass murder is obviously an act taken by one who is not mentally stable. Not acknowledging mental health as a monumental factor will only exacerbate the issue society is now facing.

Perhaps if their mental health issues had been noted and properly addressed some of these tragedies (by any weapon yielded) never would have taken place.

Mass murder is not an everyday decision even remotely considered by most: “It’s such a beautiful day; should I go for a tall hazelnut latte or go kill 27 people?” No, sorry. The only clear and logically reasoning behind any of these horrific acts is complete insanity pushed by an ineffable hate.

Hortencia Camargo

McAllen

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