From the Physician’s Daily Life … Weekly Blog!
Physicians sometimes keep their identity hidden in certain instances. I did for a while, but my love for teaching and educating my community usurped the urge to be silent. My fellow colleagues, once you are “discovered” and if your are realized by others to be friendly, you are in for a treat and many interesting conversations can take place! I have had many such pleasures…and from time to time, I will share some of these conversations … anonymously, ofcourse. **smile**
The Prostate Paradigm
A: Hey Doc!
B: Hey…how are you?
A: Oh man … I am doing fantastic!
B: Well, that is always good to hear….(smiling)
A: Doc, I went to my Primary Care last week, and he told me I don’t ever have to worry about Prostate Cancer!
B: Oh really? How did your Doc figure that out?
A: Well, he did some test…ya know, some uhm blood work. He said they were so good, I don’t ever have to worry about anything, least of all Prostate Cancer
B: (putting on my Doc hat) He said that? Did he also do your rectal exam?
A: Yeah … that finger thing? Yeah … he did that. He said everything was good Doc.
B: Well, (sighs) how old are you?
B: Unfortunately, that is not something your Doc can promise you. The PSA (prostate specific antigen) was probably in the normal range on your blood work. But, “never” is a very strong word.
A: (confused look)
B: Well, it is great you are in good health. You should continue to do everything you are doing, but please do not stop your annual exams.
A: Oh no…I will keep going. Believe that … I will definitely keep going.
B: Did he discuss with you that being an African American/Black male actually IS a risk factor?
A: Just being Black? Why? How is that possible?
B: (Hhhmmm going heavy now) There are some races that have an increase risk for certain diseases … because of genetics, lets say. But a “risk factor” is anything that can increase the probability of something (or a disease) happening. For example … smoking is linked to Lung Cancer. Smoking is therefore considered a risk factor. There are some Asian cultures that are at an increase risk for Stomach cancer. We know over exposure to the Sun (sunbathing) increases the risk for skin cancer. Same for other non-cancer diseases also…like high cholesterol in the Hispanic communities. Just being black is a risk factor for prostate cancer…
A: (smug) That’s not good then. Why did he say such a thing? What if it was someone else who does not have access to you Doc…to explain things?
B: I am sure your Primary care Doc meant well. He was probably just excited that all your labs came out looking great. Help me spread the news though and tell your male friends, Men’s Ministries in the church and other male Fraternities. ALL Black Men should start screening for Prostate Cancer at age 40…unlike their white counterparts who starts screening at age 50. It makes all the difference. Over the past year, I have seen about 8 patients under 50 with aggressive forms of prostate cancer and I would say about 80% were Black males. It is rare under 50 … but probable.
A: (shaking his head). I don’t understand. Why did he say that … that’s just straight up wrong!
B: Oh…I feel bad … sorry, did not mean to burst your bubble (apologetic facie). I do a lot of Seminars, but you can help too. Tell the males in your family, in your Fraternities, at work … It’s good info that can save lives. Oh … I am available for Seminars too (smiling).
A: Thanks Doc… this is good stuff. I’m good though.
B: Ok. I think I should Blog about our conversation.
A: Really? That would be awesome! People really need to know…
Click below to watch video … I know, I know … the accent got me! *smile*
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Ipsa Scientia Potestas est ——— Knowledge itself is power!
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Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!
See you next week…