THE SATURDAY SPORTS for LIFE
THE QATSPY® Quapaw Avid Tailgate Sports & Performance Reporter
THE SATURDAY SPORTS PAGE for LIFE– Covering and writing about Sports as a means to help us to achieve a successful, prosperous, healthy, and active lifestyle!
By: Charles W. Boatright, President of THE QATSPY®
Saturday, January 06th, 2024
Prostate Health & Your Body of Evidence– It’s important that we Men Listen to what Our Bodies are telling us and Schedule Annual Physicals. If You are over the age of 45 request a PSA Test and an EKG be Performed and Keep a Medical Journal
Let me prefaced this article on Prostate Awareness:
FIRST OF ALL– Keep a Journal of your medical History that includes, prescriptions that you take, medical procedures that you have had, physical exam numbers, illness that includes allergies and any reactions that you have. It will come in real handy at your next doctor visit where you’re not relying on your memory.
Doing the Right Thing- Former Chicago Cubs 2nd Baseman, Ryne Sandberg
Just to show how important it is to make prostate health awareness a top topic with men; this week (22Jan2024) the former Chicago Cubs 2nd baseman, Ryne (Ryno) Sandberg, announced that he is being treated for metastatic prostate cancer. Metastatic means that cancer has spread to other parts of the body. I personally appreciate the awareness that Ryne Sandberg brought to prostate cancer by disclosing his diagnosis. That took a lot of courage for Ryne Sandberg to put his diagnosis as a public health concern for men. Please keep Ryno and his family in your prayers.
Dexter Scott King Prostate Cancer
Just to emphasize on the seriousness of Prostate Cancer, Dexter Scott King , Martin Luther King’s, Jr. youngest son died of complications from Prostate Cancer at the age of 62 on Sunday, January 21st, 2024. So don’t tell yourself, I’ll go later to my doctor for my physical and a PSA Test. Time isn’t on your side if you are over the age of 50.
A Call into Paul Finebaum Show
I called into Paul Finebaum’s show on Wednesday, January 17, 2024, to inform him and his listeners about my diagnoses and the critical importance of men getting an annual physical and a PSA Test done, especially if they are over the age of 45. Just because you are healthy, workout, and eat healthy doesn’t mean you aren’t susceptible to Prostate Cancer. Its reach is far and wide!
I workout 6- days per week, eat a healthy balance diet, watch my weight and my numbers regularly; and I still developed Prostate Cancer. Below are my latest exam numbers, I’m 66- years old and stay active on my farm, in aviation, and in my welding shop. These are my numbers from my last physical in August of 2023:
Blood pressure- 125/82
Blood Glucose- 109 (Non Fasting)
Total Cholesterol- 158
Weight- 148 Lbs. BMI- 18.75
What was alarming to me that something was wrong was my blood pressure readings, they fluctuated significantly by the hour, my normal blood pressure is usually 114/62. Elevated blood pressure CAN indicate Prostate issues. In my case it did! I took my blood pressure one hour it was 115/61; then the next hour it was 146/87. That was unusual for me to have blood pressure readings that was all over the board.
Guys a PSA Test isn’t perfect, but like Tom Cruise (Maverick) in TOP GUN: MAVERICK told Bashir Salahuddin (Hondo) after Hondo informed Maverick that- He didn’t like that look. Where Maverick replied- It’s the only look I got!
The PSA Test is all the indication we got to detect Prostate Cancer in its early stages, presently. A PSA test if above 4.0 could warrant your Urologist to order a Prostate Biopsy. My two (2) PSA test was 6.2 in August of 2023 and 6.1 in November 2023 respectfully, that lead up to my biopsy being performed in December of 2023.
PSA Test a Prostate-Specific Antigen test that is done when your blood is drawn during a typical blood test that measures the level of protein made by your prostate. The prostate is a gland that is part of the male reproductive system, about the size of a walnut..
I have an active lifestyle consisting of attending and covering sports events for my sports page, playing and coaching golf, active in aviation, working on my farm, in my welding shop, and riding my Indian Motorcycle. And I just have been diagnosed with stage 1 Prostate Cancer. Fortunately for me, we caught it in its early stages during my annual physicals exam that I had in August of 2023 since I’m in aviation, I’m required to have annual physicals. If you are over 45, request a PSA Test at your physical.
Let me preface my article by stating that I work out 6 times a week for 40- minutes each of those 6- days with high intense workout sessions in my gym that includes Aerobic-Cardio and Strength Training. I eat a healthy diet based on high protein, fiber, Omega-3 fats and I’m 66 years old, in the photo above and below. Above and at the end of this article, I have posted my annual physical results to show the status of my health and fitness at age 66, but I still had a Prostate Cancer Diagnoses last month, during December of 2023.
If you ever flew for a long period of time (in my case 33-years) and then retired, you need something to deal with the adrenaline, so I keep active with all these type activities described above. This also includes riding my Indian Scout Bobber 60 Motorcycle, especially on the weekends during the early morning hours. This is when there’s little traffic on the roadway and highways. You can let those 78-horses loose and feel that power, 45- degrees mornings is my cutoff point.
One in 8 Caucasian men will be diagnosed with or have Prostate Cancer in their lifetime, while one in 6 Black men will be diagnosed with or have Prostate Cancer in their lifetime. This article is to highlight my early diagnoses and the procedures used to verify my diagnoses with a biopsy that followed and treatment options that we are considering.
I will be writing articles of my progress status to help others guys that are approaching their mid-40’s or older and those that have been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. This is curable, but you got to catch it early. The only symptoms I had were sciatic nerve issues and periodically elevated blood pressure leading up to my August physical exam.
Cause of Prostate Cancer
There is no single factor for what causes prostate cancer, but what occurs is that our DNA instructs the prostate cells to grow and divide at an abnormal rate than normal that leads to prostate cancer forming. Elevated Testosterone levels can aid in this rapid division of Prostate cells.
FIRST GUYS, PLEASE KEEP A MEDICAL JOURNAL OF YOUR MEDICAL HISTORY!
This journal that you keep will come in handy at your next doctor’s office visits to fill out forms before your appointment and provides your doctor with a more complete background of your health and fitness. Keep your journal format in bullet form with a maximum of two sentences. Especially if there is detailed account of medical information that included dates.
Don’t try to rely on your memory while filling out your medical history on forms that include dates, any and all medication, surgeries, treatments, drugs, and fitness routine. If you have digital X-Rays, especially include those or test your results. You can even attached it to the form before turning it in to the receptionist.
Here is a perfect example of how my Medical Journal helped out during my recent visit with my Urologist. He, my doctor, noticed that I had a previous abdominal surgery from my service and wanted to see my abdominal area to be aware of any possible scar tissue where he will be performing the possible Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. The Urologist took my journal and scanned it into their data base at his office.
During My Last Physical
During my recent annual physical exams in August of 2023, I had a PSA Test performed along with an EKG in conjunction with my regular physical exam, since I’m over 65. My PSA came back elevated to 6.2 that is above the normal value of 4.0 or below. Two months later, I went back to my general practitioner for a second PSA Test to verify the elevated PSA count. It came back 6.1. A PSA Test is performed with a simple blood sample that is drawn for your glucose, cholesterol and other readings.
As a precaution, my general practitioner referred me to a Urologist Specialist for a follow up for the elevated PSA count. Remember there is a reason for the elevated PSA count.
Another PSA test was performed at the Urologist office that had the same results of 6.1.
Two (2) days later (22Dec2023) after my Urologist office visit and PSA Test, I was scheduled for a biopsy of my Prostate. This is done with a general anesthesia where you are out for a maximum of 40- minutes. There is a very minor discomfort even after this procedure is performed with some bleeding in your stool, urine, and sperm that is temporary, 2-days max. The Urologist Surgeon access the Prostate for the biopsy through the colon similar how a colonoscopy is performed, but without the prep component. Thank Goodness!
My Prostate Biopsy Results
In four days (on 28Dec2023) the Urologist office called me with the results of the biopsy that it was Malignant (cancerous) in 3 of the 12 sectors that was tested. The PSA of the biopsy was 6.18, so there were concurrent results from all of the PSA Tests performed. The Gleason score was 6. This meant that we caught it in the early stages of Prostate Cancer, barely in stage 1.
Gleason Score Ranges
Gleason Score of 6 or less is low grade of cancer
Gleason Score of 6 – 7 is intermediate grade of cancer
Gleason Score of 8-10 is high grade of cancer
Treatment No.1- Active Surveillance with routine checkups for low Gleason Scores Results.
Treatment No.2- Radioactive seeding called brachytherapy involves placing many radioactive seeds within the prostate to treat prostate cancer.
Treatment No.3- Conventional Radiation treatments.
Treatment No.4- Prostatectomy, or surgical removal of the prostate.
Treatment No. 5- Hormonal Therapy to slow the spread of the cancer.
Treatment No. 6- Chemotherapy anti-cancer drugs injected or taken by month.
Treatment No. 7- Cryotherapy where the prostate cancer cells are frozen to kill the cells. Most doctors do not use Cryotherapy as the first treatment but for re-occurrences when radiation or chemo isn’t effective.
My Symptoms Leading up to My Annual Physical
For 33- years flying on average 575- flight hours per year, some people experience sciatic nerve issues that is common condition from setting in the cockpit for long hours. But exercise like yoga and crunches addressed most of the discomfort for the past 3- years.
In my work and at home on the farm and in my welding shop, I kept an active lifestyle even after I retired at age 57 at the end of June of 2015. The last month that I worked, I was still active in the field working with one of our line crews testing a horizontal lifeline to provide fall protection for our linemen. I’m below on the crossarm that I designed testing a horizontal lifeline that I developed.
Six (6) months before my annual physical I noticed that exercises wasn’t helping with the discomfort with lumbar tightness, numbness and slight pain in the back of the legs, calves, and bottom of my feet.
Three (3) months before my annual physical, my blood pressure started to elevate from 112/58 Pulse 55 to 133/85 Pulse readings 84. This was unusual for me even at age 66. I take my blood pressure nightly and my glucose monthly.
I exercise 6- days per week for 40- minutes each day as I explained above. I eat a healthy diet high in Protein, Fiber, Omega-3 fats, and probiotics. My weight is 148- Lbs. with a waistline of 28.50- inches. Below is my photograph from November 28, 2023 in my gym.
Let’s Fight Prostate Cancer and All Cancers together with Early Detection
After some research, I discovered that sciatic-type issues and elevated blood pressure are possible symptoms of Prostate Cancer. That was the reason that I was interested in my PSA results. I discussed these symptoms with both my doctors.
Symptoms that I DID NOT HAVE was weak stream, discomfort urinating, or frequent visits to the bathroom at night.
Reasons that I wrote this Article
I wrote this article about my own experiences to help men be aware of their Prostate Health and encouraging them to get their regular physical exams and PSA Test perform, especially if you are over the age of 45.
Commercial pilots over the age of 40 are required to have semi-annual physical exams. Commercial pilots under the age of 40 and private pilots are required to have annual exams especially where things like glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure are closely checked. Below were my readings from my August 2023 Physical Examine. I’m not on any prescribed medication of any type or kind:
Below are the rest of my results:
Blood pressure- 115/61
Blood Glucose- 109 (Non Fasting)
Total Cholesterol- 158
PSA Test- 6.2
Weight- 148 Lbs.
Actually, I was more concern about my Total Cholesterol than I was anything else concerning my physical, because I never had a high PSA Test score before August 2023. They say that Hypertension is the silent killer, well you can add to that list Prostate Cancer, especially during the early stages. I had NO indication of any issues with my Prostate. No discomfort or pain during my normal function.
I post these numbers above to show that even if you are healthy doesn’t make you IMMUNE to Prostate Cancer. PLEASE go and get your annual physicals and if you are over 45 request your doctor to perform a PSA Test. The day that I had my biopsy, there was nine (9) other men that had the same procedure, seven (7) had Malignant Prostate. And if Prostate Cancer runs in your family medical history, have your PSA test earlier. GOOD NEWS about Prostate Cancer is that it is curable if caught early.
Paul Finebaum Highlighting Mike Slive Foundation for Cancer Research
Remember the former SEC Commissioner, Michael L. Slive, passed away from Prostate Cancer. The Mike Slive Foundation for Cancer Research was establish in Mike Slive’s Name to help advance research for Prostate Cancer and its awareness. Guy you are talking about 30-to-40 minutes of your time each year to maintain your health & fitness; go get your physicals and your PSA Test Done!
Paul Finebaum mentions the Mike Slive Foundation for Cancer Research Center on his show. Paul has certain guess call into his show concerning their experience with Prostate Cancer. I will be forwarding this article to Paul Finebaum and to Mike Slive Foundation for Cancer Research center.
My HOPE is that this article and my updates will helps men get PSA screening and avoid detrimental outcomes from Prostate Cancer. Do it for Yourself and for those that you Love and are counting on You! No one lives on a island to themselves!