American Cancer Society Encourages Men to Get the Facts About Cancer

This Father’s Day, the American Cancer Society reminds men of the importance of cancer awareness. Colon, lung, and skin cancers can be prevented, and men should be informed of the risks related to prostate cancer screening.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men. Smoking is the cause of more than 80 percent of all lung cancers and more than 30 percent of all cancers. The health benefits of quitting are immediate, even for long-term smokers.

Colon cancer is the third most deadly cancer for men, and it is highly preventable through screening where pre-cancerous polyps can be removed before becoming cancerous. The American Cancer Society recommends that men and women age 50 and older be screened for colon cancer. While colon cancer deaths have been decreasing over the past two decades due to increased screening rates, still about 50 percent of people over the age of 50 do not seek screening.

Skin cancers are the most commonly diagnosed cancer. While most skin cancers are easily treated, melanoma can be serious. Sun exposure is a factor in most skin cancers and men are encouraged to avoid damage to the skin such as tanning and sunburns. Many of the more than two million skin cancers that are diagnosed every year could be prevented by protecting the skin from intense sun exposure and by avoiding indoor tanning.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men (besides skin cancer) and most occurs in men over the age of 65. Having one or more close relatives with prostate cancer increases a man’s risk of having it. For reasons still unknown, African American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer. Because most prostate cancers are slow-growing and the treatment for the disease can be risky, the American Cancer Society recommends that men age 50 and older make an informed decision with their doctor about whether or not to be tested for the disease. African-American men, or men with a family history of prostate cancer, should receive this information at age 45. Men should not be tested without learning about the risks associated with testing and treatment.

This Father’s Day, the American Cancer Society encourages men to get the facts about cancer. Call 1-800-227-2345 for more information or find us on the web at: http://www.cancer.org/Healthy/FindCancerEarly/MensHealth/index

American Cancer Society Recognizes Men’s Health Awareness Week

The American Cancer Society would like to remind all men that June 13-19 is Men’s Health Awareness week.  This is the perfect opportunity to remind male friends and family about the importance of talking to their doctor about cancer screenings and prevention.  Make sure you’re aware of the cancers that affect men as well as the risk factors and how you can check to see if you’re at risk.  Following are some guidelines for some of the most prevalent cancers in men:

Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal Cancer begins in either the colon or the rectum.  While we do not know the exact cause of most colorectal cancers, there are certain known risk factors.  To determine if you’re at risk, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have a family history of colorectal cancer?
  • Have you ever suffered from intestinal polyps?
  • Do you have a history of chronic inflammatory bowel disease?
  • Are you over 50 years old?
  • Do you eat lots of red meat such as beef, pork, lamb or processed meat?
  • Are you physically inactive?
  • Are you overweight?
  • Do you use tobacco?
  • Do you average more than 2 alcoholic drinks per day?

Beginning at age 50, men should talk with their doctors about the benefits of testing for colorectal cancer.  If this cancer is found in the earliest stages, the survival rate is 90 percent.  Avoid colon cancer completely by getting tested early.

Prostate cancer:
Prostate cancer begins in the prostate gland.  Prostate cancer is very treatable if found right away.  To determine your risk for prostate cancer, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you over age 50?
  •  Are you African American?
  •  Do you have a father, brother, or son who was diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65?
  •  Are you obese

Beginning at age 50, men should talk with their doctors about the risks and potential benefits of prostate cancer screening to decide if it’s right for them.  African American as well as those who have a strong family history of prostate cancer should begin this discussion at age 45.

Lung cancer

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women.  To see if you’re at risk for lung cancer, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you smoke tobacco?
  • Do you now or have you ever worked around asbestos?
  • Are you or have you been exposed to radon?
  • Have you been exposed to Uranium, Arsenic or Vinyl chloride
  •  Do you smoke marijuana? 
  •  Are you now or have you been regularly exposed to secondhand smoke?
  •  Do you have family members who have had lung cancer?

Reduce your risk by not smoking or using tobacco products, and by avoiding secondhand smoke.

Skin cancer

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancer types. More than 2 million skin cancers are diagnosed each year in theUnited States. That’s more than all other cancers combined. The number of skin cancer cases has been going up over the past few decades.  To determine if you’re at risk for skin cancer, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you or have you used tanning beds or sunlamps?
  • Do you have pale skin and blond or red hair?
  • Do you sunburn easily or have many freckles?
  •  Did you have severe sunburns as a child? 
  •  Do you have many or unusually shaped moles?
  •  Do you live in a southern climate or at a high altitude?
  •  Do you spend a lot of time outdoors?
  •  Have you ever had radiation treatment? 
  •  Has anyone in your family had skin cancer?
  •  Do you have a weakened immune system 
  • Have you been exposed to Arsenic, Coal tar, Paraffin or Radium?

Skin cancer, when detected in its earliest stages and treated properly, is highly curable. Always use sunscreen and limit or avoid exposure to ultraviolet rays during the midday hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The American Cancer Society reminds men that they can stay well and live longer, healthier lives by taking a few simple steps:

  • Regular doctor visits: A routine physical is the perfect time for men to ask their doctor about other ways to remain healthy.
  • Physical activity: Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity five or more days a week.
  • Healthy diet: Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Know your family history: With Father’s Day approaching quickly, now is a great time to talk with your father and other male family members about your family history and the possibility of cancer testing.

Stars for Fleshman: Kearney Catholic 6th Graders Show the True Meaning of Family

What do you do when you’ve lost a loved one?  Who do you turn to?  Most of us would look to family members like a parent, brother or sister for support.  But, the sixth grade class at Kearney Catholic thinks you shouldn’t have to look any further than the classroom desk next to you.

After school on April 7th the class met with teachers and counselors to learn that one of their own had suffered a loss.  Carter Fleshman’s father, Michael, had lost his two year battle with Colon cancer.

“The kids were pretty shocked.  The boys, most of all, were a mess crying for their classmate,” said Theresa Baack mother of class member Curtis Baack.  “When Curtis came home, we talked about ways he could help Carter through this time.”

Curtis had the perfect idea; his Relay For Life team would now be in memory of Carter’s father, Michael.  Relay For Life is the signature fund raiser for the American Cancer Society.  In Nebraska, these events raise over $3.5 million each year for cancer research and fund programs to assist those touched by cancer.  Thirty one of Carter’s classmates have come together to form the team “Stars for Fleshman.”  So far, they have raised over $2,000 to fight cancer.  But more importantly, these kids have united in support of their classmate and his family.

Tami Fleshman, Carter’s mother, said she’s grateful for the class’ support during this difficult time.  “His classmates were extremely important in this process.  Really like a second family for him,” she said.  “These kids and their families are extremely special.”

“I’m very proud of my students,” said their teacher, Laura Burknik.  “They’ve shown the true beauty of coming together not only as a class but as a family.”

On April 11th, Carter’s entire class attended Michael’s funeral.  On June 10th, they’ll be there to support the Fleshman family at the Buffalo County Relay For Life.  Efforts like those of Carter’s classmates will one day ensure our families, those in our homes and at the desk next to us, will join together with the American Cancer Society to celebrate more birthdays.

Story written by Alex Ulmer