Go to Health! (Because Life's Too Short)

Issue # 26 April 23, 1998

About the Author:

Shara Rendell-Smock, author

Shara Rendell-Smock has written more than twenty computer software manuals, numerous newspaper articles, including a monthly health column for The Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

She's the author of two books of non-fiction: Getting Hooked: Fiction's Opening Sentences 1950's- 1990's
Living With Big Cats: The Story of Jungle Larry, Safari Jane, and David Tetzlaff
For ordering information, click here.

To read more about these books, participate in an ongoing joke contest, surf on over to
www.rendell-smock.com .
The author currently lives on Florida's Space Coast.

Shara signed with a New York Literary agency in December.

Cancer: Awareness is Halfway to Prevention

Part 4 of 5

Prostate Cancer is the most common cancer among men. One of every eleven men will develop this cancer. Nearly all prostate cancer patients are over age 65.

Black Americans have the highest rate worldwide.

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland between a man's bladder and the end of his penis. It is normal for a prostate to enlarge with age, perhaps even to the point of obstructing urine flow. An enlarged prostate is not malignant and can be treated with medication or surgery.

Although prostate tumors can grow and spread quickly, it usually is a slow progression. If untreated it may spread to other organs or bone. Treatment may consist of surgery, radiation, or hormone therapy.

Early Detection: Nine out of ten men live at least five years longer when they discover this disease in its early stages.

Lab Tests: Annual checkups for men over 50 should include digital rectal exams and prostate-specific antigen blood tests. Other tests to detect prostate are the blood test serum acid phosphatase, ultrasound, biopsy, and CAT scan.


  • frequent, possibly painful, even bloody, urination
  • weak stream, dribbling.
To get temporary relief, try a warm bath; avoid caffeine and alcohol and reduce your liquid consumption before bedtime.

Prevention: Low-fat diet may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women: One in nine develops this cancer. Five American women die from breast cancer EVERY HOUR. However, by detecting it early, ninety percent of women can survive it and lead normal lives.

With breast cancer comes a significant risk of a malignant cell breaking away from the tumor and traveling through the blood to other areas of the body. This cancer may spread to lymph nodes, lungs, liver, bones, or other body parts.

Not all lumps are cancer. Some women are prone to fibrocystic, or lumpy, breasts. These lumps may fluctuate in size during the monthly cycle. By practicing self-examination, women can become familiar with what is normal for them.

Yet, some tumors develop without any sign, so mammograms are extremely important for early detection.

Early Detection: As with all cancers, early detection leads to more successful recovery. In most cases prediction is uncertain: Only one in four women with breast cancer had risk factors.

Lab Tests: It is important for all women to have routine mammograms (breast x-ray) at age 40 and to repeat the test every year or two for ages 40-49; and every year when after age 50.

When evaluating a mammogram, if the physician sees what appears to be an abnormal lump, he or she will recommend a biopsy.

Some signs to look for are:

  • a lump or thickening anywhere in the breast
  • skin dimpling or puckering
  • an inverted or pushed in nipple that hasn't always been that way
  • discharge from the nipples that comes out by itself
  • any change in the shape, texture, or color of the skin.

Prevention: By performing self-examination you are more likely to notice any of the above changes.

But don't just take my word for it. Check out these sites:

Prostate cancer home page

Myths about Breast Cancer

Mayo Cancer Resource Center

Tomorrow: Lung cancer.

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Explore The New Sideroad

Part of the original Sideroad. Text 1998, Shara Rendell-Smock. Posted on April 23, 1998. The new Sideroad is now receiving traffic at www.sideroad.com.

Shara's books can be ordered from her web site at www.rendell-smock.com