Monday, May 23, 2022 |
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Take the test
This is in response to the letter from the two gentlemen from Honolulu regarding the PSA test. I too am a prostate cancer survivor; I had radiation treatment in 1998 and remain cancer free.
I feel very strongly that I would not be here today if I had not had a PSA test. I had no record of the disease in my family. My prostate cancer was detected by a biopsy after my PSA became elevated.
Before I moved to Kaua‘i from Honolulu my physician there had not detected the cancer even with the rectal exam and a slowly rising PSA. My doctor on Kaua‘i noted the rising PSA and we set up a biopsy at that time-of the six samples taken five were positive for cancer and my cancer was moderately aggressive as determined by the pathology of the samples.
I also did a medical consult with Dr. William Catalona who developed the PSA test as a screening test for prostate cancer. He recommended surgery followed by radiation-but I opted for radiation only. Certainly the treatment has side effects, but one of the major side effects of no treatment is death.
I am aware of several men who have died as a result of prostate cancer and in some cases the death was by suicide as they could no longer tolerate the pain of the cancer that had spread to their bones — this is extremely painful. I also have rarely known men that had an elevated PSA that were not eventfully diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The so-called experts often note that some prostate cancers are slow growing. This is true but the nature of the cancer cannot be readily determined without a biopsy. By the way in my experience the biopsy is a very minor procedure with little or no pain and is very low risk if performed properly. .
To help men evaluate their situation related to PSA here are some statistics on prostate cancer. Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. Here are the latest American Cancer Society estimates for prostate cancer in the United States; they are for 2011. About 240,890 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed and about 33,720 men will die of prostate cancer. About 1 man in 6 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. More than 2 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today and this was before the recommendations by the “Panel of Experts” that testing be stopped in most cases. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. Approximately 1 man in 36 will die of prostate cancer and it is the most common cause of death from cancer in men over age 75.
I feel the Panel of Experts is probably using defective data and their decision, as was the case with stopping mammograms in women, is being driven by the health insurance industry. However, one must acknowledge this may not make sense either as long term care of cancer patients would seem to be much more expensive that appropriate and timely treatment to cure the cancer. My recommendation to my fellow men is continue to get your routine PSA tests. They are a simple blood test and not expensive and one firm is offering home test kits for under $50.
John Gordon, Princeville
We can only blame ourselves
The County Council’s decision to continue with Kaua‘i’s exemption from the state law mandating solar water heaters on new homes is disappointing. But the fact that we allowed this to happen is crushing.
The County Council is not serving the people of Kaua‘i, but there is nobody to blame but ourselves. There would be an outcry from us, their constituents, if they made a move to mandate solar water heaters. We point fingers at those making decisions before pointing them at ourselves.
For that reason, most Council members will do everything in their power to not take a stand. Their excuse at last weeks meeting was that they didn’t want to limit personal choice.
But free market capitalism is what got us into this mess. Peak oil, dwindling resources, climate change, unchecked population growth, economic stagnation, and extreme inequality.
These will all come to a head this century. This will be the hardest period of humanity’s history. And there’s nobody who is going to solve the problem for us. The Federal Government has become impotent and Big Business only thinks of profits. It’s up to local governments and individuals to ease the transition.
By ourselves our efforts will be insignificant. But as an isolated island community, we can have an impact and, more importantly, we can be an example for the world.
If we don’t solve this now, it’s game over. Not only for us, but for our kids, and every future generation.
And yes, it starts with solar water heaters.
Luke Evslin, Kapa‘a
Be aware of Po‘ipu thefts
Just recently I have had a couple friends that have had personal items stolen out of the back of their vehicles in Po‘ipu.
I have always known Kaua’i to be a safe, trusting and friendly island so it shocks me that items can be taken in the clear light of day. The worst part was that one of the items was a child’s stroller!
I remember when residents would leave their keys in their cars and walk into a store without any hesitation or concern of robbery.
Working in Po‘ipu and residing nearby, I am very concerned and disappointed people would do such a thing. I don’t know if a police report was filed but I do know local security was contacted. I want to make the community aware.
Mona Gonzaludo, Koloa
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