Prostate Cancer Awareness – A Missed Opportunity

Why do so Many of Us Think About Prostate Cancer Like Joe? by Robert Warren Hess When it comes to prostate cancer, we men are our own worst enemy. We just can’t seem to come to grips with the risk and the testing. I hope the story I’m about to tell will prevent you from becoming a “Joe” and, even better, ensure you don’t become one of the 30,000 American men who die each year from prostate cancer. The story begins about 11:30 am, on Sunday June 2, 2013, as I’m about halfway through my weekend bicycle ride from Manhattan Beach, over the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and up to the antenna farm where the old Nike site was located on top of San Pedro Hill. As usual, I was riding Fast Freddy, my Blinged-out Italian steel bike made by the Renzo Formigli workshop in Florence, Italy. If you’re not a cyclist, Freddy looks pretty normal. But if you are a cyclist, there’s a lot to attract your attention. Here’s what gets the conversation going: lugged steel frame; gold lugs – I think it’s real; deep rim Zipp wheels, and Shimano Ultegra electric shifting. Guys make a comment about Freddy and […] read more

How to Create a Great Lunch in Just 5:55.2 minutes

How to Make a Great Lunch in Just Under Six Minutes by Robert Warren Hess I’m always busy and I tend to grab the first edible thing I can put my hands on. My ability to eat just about anything was honed during my Army career. We ate whatever the mess sergeant put in our mess kits because we never knew when the next meal would arrive. But, this post is about how to get create something tasty and nutritious in just five minutes. As you can see from this image from my iPhone timer I didn’t quite make 5 minutes, but it was close. This Day was Salad Day so Here are my Ingredients . . . I always buy pre-washed salads and greens when I can get them. They cost a tad more, but the washing process is just to time consuming for me I like food with a bit of tanginess, so I like to include some kale, mustard greens, and arugula with my romaine i also love sweet peppers, so I buy bags of peppers like the ones you see here – these do take washing I use salsa for my salad dressing – it’s tangy […] read more

What are the Chances My Prostate Cancer Will Recur?

How Common Is Recurrence of Prostate Cancer? We get this question a lot – in fact it’s the most popular blog post on our website. So, here’s one answer: “Nearly 100% of men with prostate cancer can expect to live at least five years after the initial diagnosis. According to the American Cancer Society, 91% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer survive at least 10 years and 76% survive 15 years. Since many men who get prostate cancer are already elderly, they are more likely to die from other causes than the cancer. More than 90% of the time prostate cancer is discovered while it is either confined to the prostate gland or has spread beyond the prostate only to a small degree, referred to as regional spread. Among the less than 10% of men whose prostate cancers have already spread to distant parts of the body at the time of diagnosis, about 31% are expected to survive at least five years.” Source Read the full article on WebMD But, What can You do to Increase Your chances? I’ll be talking about that in my next post. read more

Prostate Cancer Resources Research Study Opportunity

Researchers at George Mason University (GMU) — in Fairfax, Virginia, USA — are conducting a study to learn more about how information and resources available on the Internet affect men’s experiences of living with prostate cancer. This study has been approved by the Institutional Review Board of GMU. Your responses may help others understand how Internet sites related to prostate cancer can be improved. This study is open exclusively to male prostate cancer patients. The study involves completing an online survey, which should take you about 10 minutes or less. The survey will be accessible through Thursday, April 25, 2013. You can access the survey if you click here. Your answers will be confidential. Your participation is completely voluntary and the survey may be stopped at any time without any penalty to you. Note: For any question within the survey that does not offer/allow you to select a satisfactory answer or answers, please feel free to type your answer(s) in the box labeled “Other.” If you have additional questions of any type, please feel able to contact the study coordinator by e-mail. read more

How I Rode Around the World for Prostate Cancer Awareness

Prostate Cancer Circle the World Cycling Jersey Diet, Exercise, and Cancer By Robert Warren Hess I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in December 2002, just a few weeks before my older sister succumbed to pancreatic cancer. As you might imagine, that was a very intense period of my life. Just like most people receiving a cancer diagnosis, I began an intense research program focused on what causes cancer, with a good dose of “why me?” thrown into the mix. I learned two things: 1) the medical community doesn’t really know the causes of cancer and (American Cancer Society) 2) there is a great deal of anecdotal research indicating that diet – poor eating habits – and lack of exercise are correlated with higher cancer rates (Prostate Cancer Foundation). So, being a good US Army alumnus, I looked around for things that I personally could do to reduce my risk of recurrence. I found that I personally can control just three cancer factors: 1) what I eat, 2) my exercise level, and 3) my mental outlook. What I Did I got back on my bicycle and in the last 10 years I have ridden over 23,000 miles. I went to a mostly vegetarian diet and dropped 20 lb., […] read more

Taking Prostate Cancer Awareness to the Solvang 4,000!

Robert Hess and two of PCAP’s board members rode the Solvang Century on March 8th as part of our prostate cancer awareness outreach program. Here we are – at least two of us – sporting our PCAP King of the Mountain jerseys. It was pretty windy for the first 50 miles, but miles 51 – 103 were beautiful, with mostly a tailwind. Isn’t that the best path through life:-) We were there in the PCAP Prostate Cancer Awareness Vehicle (PCAV) giving free cycling socks to guys who could tell us their PSA. The PCAP “PCAV” – Prostate Cancer Awareness Vehicle     Hope to see you give you some socks at out next event! PS: If you are a guy 35 or older, you should be testing annually for prostate cancer (the simple PSA blood test) and using your free prostate cancer early warning system at read more

ProstateTracker In Action

What’s Good for the Goose, Is Good for the Gander How many times have we all heard that from our parents and grandparents? The image to the right shows the results of my most recent PSA test. I’m a 10-year prostate cancer survivor so I watch that number like a hawk. The image shows my PSA values beginning in 1994 – that’s the 1.0 number of the far left of the chart – to the point where I was diagnosed. It drops sharply after my surgery in May 2003 and has remained in the .03 – .08 range since then. If the scale looks a bit funny, it’s because we programmed it with a logarithmic function to accommodate a wide range of values. What Did We Include Cholesterol in ProstateTracker? We did this because cholesterol value – total, high, and low – serve as pretty good (but maybe not perfect) overall markers for the body’s general health. If your HDL and LDL numbers are in the ‘good’ or ‘optimal’ ranges, you most likely are in pretty good health. Can You See My Eating Habit Relapse? The green line is LDL (the bad cholesterol) and the brown line is HDL (the […] read more

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Y = f (x) We all have this equation. A formal definition would be, “A function (f) is a consistent relationship such that when an initial value is repeated (the x), we get the same result (the y, or f(x)).” A simpler definition might be, the outcome – the “y” is the result of the inputs ‘ the “x”s, and this is what this article is all about. The inputs – those “x”s that the food industry has chosen to put into our food supply and the outcome on our nation’s overall health – the “y”. You can see clearly the Y = f (x) formula at work in the above image. “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food” is a fascinating read about how the junk food we eat is constructed. Every wonder why that bag of salt and vinegar potato chips tastes so good? Wonder why we are the fattest nation in the world and so my of our kids are obese? “In 2011, The New England Journal of Medicine published a study that shed new light on America’s weight gain. The subjects — 120,877 women and men — were all professionals in the health field, and were […] read more

Should I have a PSA Test or Not? There’s All this Controversy . . .

Should I get a PSA Test or Not? There’s All This Controversy! I get this question from men a lot when they learn that, among other things I do, I am a prostate cancer survivor and head the Prostate Cancer Awareness Project. I’m not a physician, but it seems to me that the question of whether or not men should be tested for prostate cancer is one of the most controversial medical issues we face today. Every prostate cancer survivor has his own story, but I would not be here today had my urologist not given me PSA and Free PSA tests. So, I’m a clear proponent. For some reason, women are much more practical about breast cancer. They know that there are about 230,000 new cases of breast cancer every year – roughly the same as the number of new prostate cancer cases, and that about 40,000 die each year from breast cancer. Prostate cancer is almost the mirror image of breast cancer, with 241,000 new prostate cancer cases each year and 29,000 dying from the disease. So, Why is it that Half of the Medical Community Favors the PSA test and the other Half Opposes it? I’m not […] read more

GU Symposium Day 2

What an Experience Yesterday was incredibly busy here at the 2013 Genitourinary Cancers (GU) Symposium here in Orlando, Florida. I’m here at the courtesy of the American Society of Clinical Oncology as a prostate cancer patient advocate. My sole responsibility is to sit in on as many of the presentations as I can and make that knowledge available to the people in my network – those of you reading this blog and participating in PCAP’s awareness and advocacy programs. Anyone attending this conference, especially a lay person like myself, cannot help but be struck by the level of knowledge and dedication of the men and women working in the cancer research and treatment fields. The level of scholarship is incredible, and the attendees come from all over the world. Yesterday I had breakfast with the Scandinavian contingent, lunch with the French, and a post-session beer with the Germans. Breakfast this morning was with two physicians from India. There isn’t much literature here in layman’s terms, and really understanding the research results being presented demands at least a BA in chemistry and biology and a solid understanding of statistics and statistical analysis. Thank goodness for my stats course at UCLA. Information […] read more