Although I’m writing in some physical discomfort, I am absolutely feeling great about taking care of my health. UCLA Harbor Hospital is my temporary residence while the skilled professionals here tend to my prostate health. Fortunately, I have undergone surgery to help prevent future serious problems from an enlarged prostate.
So, today, I am writing about my favorite topic—life. Whether or not you are a celebrity, every man is a star and can take charge of his health. Every woman can act like a best supporting actress by encouraging her grandfather, father, brother, son, boyfriend, husband and male friends to pay attention to prostate health.
I know the importance, because for too long I was unaware, but no more.
The www.fda.gov website states: The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland found only in men. It lies in front of the rectum, sits just below the bladder where urine is stored, and surrounds the tube that carries urine from the body (urethra). The gland functions as part of the male reproductive system by making a fluid that becomes part of semen, the white fluid that contains sperm. Three main problems can occur in the prostate gland: inflammation or infection, called prostatitis; enlargement, called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH); and cancer.
In my case, to avoid developing cancer, surgery option was best. But not always is it a solution—especially if you wait too long or until it’s too late.
Men, as you get older, don’t be afraid of taking care of your prostate health. Get yourself checked out. And even if some fear crops up, use your courage. Do it anyway!
If you take care of it early, you can avoid operations—or worse—as long as you do the right thing.
I want to thank Dr. Ramdev Konijente and Dr. Arnold I. Chin, two of UCLA Harbor’s fine surgeons of urology who are certainly making a good name for themselves. I am grateful for how well they treated me along the way. They are dedicated in their field. Dr. Konijente is now working at UCLA Westwood. Find your medical heroes to help keep your prostate healthy.
If you are dealing with prostate disorders or even cancer at this time, be encouraged and lean on your faith and God. Keep going forward and get support from other men who have survived this. Feel free to email me if I can help personally. It’s been an ordeal, but so well worth it. I’m walking and recuperating. Most of all, I’m alive.
I have at least two friends who have survived major prostate problems. James Brown the “Godfather of Soul,” survived for many, many years with the help of his wonderful doctors in Atlanta. Another friend, impressionist Fred Travalena, had two operations, the last of which was at USC Irvine. Fred says that “through the grace of God” he’s alive today.
In a recent chat at the Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, I ran into my friend Joe Jackson, the music family dynasty patriarch. We spoke about how important it is for all of us men to take our health more seriously—prostate health and everything else.
No matter what, in aging, the prostate is prone to growing. So, unless you do something early on along the way—including good nutrition and avoiding unhealthy lifestyles and substance abuse—there is the likelihood of prostate dysfunction, as well as cancer.
Now I won’t get graphic about the preventative procedure I underwent, so let your doctor explain it all to you. Better yet, go to any of the informational non-profit websites listed—go and get empowered. Women, you do it, as well.
Medical doctors have a vital role in this area—pardon the pun. In addition, though, also consider holistic care and naturopathy as part of your overall wellness program. In my hometown, I feel blessed to have Dr. Debra Symons, who studied urology and is now a board certified naturopathic physician specializing in alternative medicines, as well as a wellness book author. I have written about her recently, and I think she is fantastic.
Use all the wonderful professionals you can to support your wellness journey and your fight back from illness. Dr. Debra of Henderson, Nev., will see me back there soon, and I will get better about taking care of me. Won’t you join me in this affirmation?
For more information about prostate health, go to the website of UCLA Harbor Urology Department at www.uclaurology.com and many of the other online health awareness resources. Although prostate cancer is a leading killer of men, we have power to prevent, detect and treat it. To get reassuring information and facts, go to U.S. National Institutes of Health, at www.cancer.gov/cancertopics.
One must-see “supersite” to visit on the topic is www.usrf.org for the Urological Sciences Research Foundation.
“We are dealing with fears left over from a former generation…” said Leonard S. Marks, M.D., founding Medical Director of the USRF. Dr. Marks has served as Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery/Urology at the UCLA School of Medicine.
“With increased public attention to prostate problems, fear or embarrassment should no longer be a barrier to maintaining prostate health, as there are many patient-friendly treatments available for common prostate problems,” according to his online video message about September being National Prostate Health Month.
In a touch of humor, the website page where Dr. Marks’s video appears (www.usrf.org/prostate.html) makes a funny reference that September is also National Chicken Month. So, don’t be a “chicken,” get the facts, get checked, get on with life and, most of all, keep going strong.
Remember: Keep your visions positive. Keep positive people around you. And, above all, know that God is there for you.