..by Anura Guruge
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I have been meaning to write about this for months. Everytime I see those prostate ads on TV featuring ex-football players I cringe; for them and for those that might listen to their pitch.
Until I hit 45 I really did not know anything about prostates. I had heard a neighbor talk about it but I had not paid much attention. Up until that time I had never heard of anybody with prostate cancer or prostate enlargement etc. Remember, I do lead a sheltered life. Much has changed since. I now know a bunch of folks that have had their prostates removed and all of them regret it. I did a lot of digging around c. 1998 and learnt a lot. In the last 18 months, as some of you know, there has been lots of reports about the need for PSA testing and the earlier craze for having your prostate whipped out at the slightest sign of cancer. Way back I had decided and told anybody that would listen that I would NEVER have my prostate taken out even if I was diagnosed with severe prostate cancer. From what I could see the radioactive pellets, which in those days (due to limited test results), were only rated to work for 8 years, seemed a much more palatable solution. Now when I talk to folks that did have their prostates removed they typically concur that in hindsight they would have preferred the radiation approach.
I also found this out and it has been confirmed to me by multiple doctors including two urologist. There is nothing (as yet) that can stop a man from getting prostate cancer. As with all other muscles in our body, and the prostate (like the heart) is a muscle, the only thing that seems to help is exercise. And there is one and only one way to exercise your prostate — and trust me, it sure beats jogging! An “O” a day, my oft stated mantra for life, is the best thing you can do for your prostate — with an “O” day basically translating to a lifetime ‘batting average’ of 1 a day. So if you are a man of 50, you better make sure that you have exercised your prostate at least 18,250 times. If you are 60, like me (in a few months), you have to be at 21,900. With luck you should have been able to wrack up 95% of those numbers just in a decade in your youth! If you haven’t you better get cracking.
Cardura has nothing to do with prostate cancer. Cardura is all about SLOWING DOWN the rate of prostate enlargement — the pressing problem they scream at you on those TV ads. Cardura can be taken as a preventive and now that it is available as a generic it is INEXPENSIVE. From what I can see Cardura is a fraction of the costs of the stuff being plugged on the TV.
Cardura is only available by prescription.
1998 was pivotal year for me health wise. I was working and travelling like a crazy man — that being the height of the dot.com era. All that travel and very long work days did take a toll. I was lucky that I met two great doctors that year. Both were young, one an Indian. They were both BIG into preventive medicine. One, the Indian, a great cardiologist, put me on Lipitor and some high blood pressure medication. The other a urologist put me on Cardura (which also helps with blood pressure). I was too busy those days to even check on this stuff. I just took all these pills every night, without question.
About 7 years later I was getting my prescriptions filled at Walmart in Gilford (NH). They had a really nice pharmacist who I had got to know quite well (because we were frequent customers). As I am paying for the Cardura I happened to say something along the lines of: “I don’t even know why I am taking this …“. His reaction on hearing this was quite amazing. He got visibly ‘agitated’. He went onto tell me that Cardura is one of the few miracle drugs on the market! I didn’t know that. He gave me a long spiel about how effective it was and how research continually validated its effectiveness in slowing down prostate enlargement. What amazed me the most was how passionate he had become about this drug. That was good enough for me. I have never question Cardura again. I take it, I think 4mg, every night.
So, I am just passing this on. It just kills me when I see those TV ads because I worry that they are misleading folks.