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McConnor's Corner

Do Yourself A Favor
Posted by Sean McConnor on Sep 1, 2002 - 9:09:00 AM

LOS ANGELES — She was a beautiful woman. Her hair was bleach blonde and she was tall. I blushed when she held me. The last time I saw her she was in a wheelchair and waving as she left my office. Today, she is dead. Stone cold as a rock. She died in her sleep. No, she was not murdered. She had cancer and fought a valiant, but unsuccessful fight for over three years.

Jenna_Skarzenski_VAhosp2_1.jpg
Jenna Skarzenski / Canyon News
I am a writer for CanyonGossip, but, in the real world to earn my living because writers are a dime a dozen, I am the coordinator of the cancer center for the largest government patient medical facility in the nation. And I am fed up. Yes, I have had it with you. I am sick of you because I have to see you suffer and die right before my eyes. I go through the diseases with you and I grieve for you. I help you all that I can physically fight and struggle with cancer. When you leave, a part of me goes with you, so please listen. Hey, don't stop reading. Listen.


If you are a female, you should do a breast self-exam every month. If you are over 40, you should get a Mammogram (an x-ray of the breast) every year. If you are between 20 and 40, you should get a clinical breast exam by a doctor every 3 years and over 40, you should see the doc every year.


So, what' s keeping you from doing so? The cost? There is a program called the Breast Cancer Early Detection Program (BCEDP) that provides free breast cancer screening. Call them at 800-511-2300 to see what they offer or go online at www.bcedp.org. Call them please. One of the last things the patient I mentioned told me was that she knew she waited too long to treat the problems with her breast.


Now for the guys. I know the prospect of a PSA exam by your physician does not cause you to jump for joy but I will tell you this and don't ever forget it. Have you ever heard a man screaming in pain from prostate cancer? I mean,he ran out of his medicine and he called me for help. I can hear his agony now.


Go ahead, guys, let the doc exam you and get the PSA test. Chances are you are okay. If not, in its early stages, with chemo or radiation therapy, you can beat the sucker that is going to eat your insides out. If you do nothing, you are going to suffer needlessly and be subject to poking and prodding until you die. By the way, when you go to the urologist to get the old prostate checked, ask the doctor about self-examination techniques for your testicles. Testicular cancer is brutual, too.


Next article, I am going to interview a doctor who is board certified in six different specialities and he is a cancer doctor. What he says may surprise and may sadden you, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, if you won't see the doc for your sake, your family, or friends, do it for me. I want you around to read my column.



 

Cliffside Malibu

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Serving Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills. Brentwood, Laurel Canyon, Los Feliz, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Melrose, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Topanga, Canyon, Westwood & Hollywood Hills.