Prostate Cancer: The Importance of Early Diagnosis

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in men in the United States. This disease usually progresses slowly, which means men older than the age of 65 with prostate cancer can have a normal life expectancy. Treatments are available which could help to prolong life. As with other types of cancers, early detection is the best solution to save lives.

Prostate Cancer Symptoms

According to the American Cancer Society, there are several symptoms of prostate cancer that men should be aware of:

  • Difficulty urinating, including a weak urinary stream or the need to urinate more frequently
  • Numbness or weakness in the feet or legs
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Pain in the back, hips, or chest (indicating that cancer has spread)
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Blood in the urine or semen

These symptoms might be caused by other health concerns. So, it is best to talk to a doctor for a diagnosis if these symptoms are present.

Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer

Are you at risk of prostate cancer? Just because you have a risk factor, doesn’t mean that you will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. But, researchers have found connections with certain factors that could increase the likelihood of a diagnosis:

  • Age: Men over the age of 50 are at risk, and the risk increases as the men get older.  Sixty percent of cases occur in men over the age of 65.
  • Ethnicity: Men of Caribbean or African descent have a higher risk of prostate cancer compared to men of other races. Asian-Americans and Hispanics have a lower risk compared to Caucasians.
  • Family History: A genetic factor might influence the risk of this disease. It has been found that a family history of prostate cancer could increase the risk.

Other researchers have suggested that lifestyle factors could increase the risk of cancer. For example, diet, obesity, smoking, and pollution exposure might play a role. Additional research needs to be completed to determine a connection for these factors.

Cancer Screening

The best thing that you can do to protect your health is to schedule regular screenings with a medical professional. The American Cancer Society recommends screenings starting between the ages of 40 and 50, depending on risk factors.

If you need help finding the right doctor to help with the screening, then our team at Windward Life Care is here to help. Call us for more information.

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Avoiding Common Scams Aimed at Seniors

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The County of San Diego handles an estimated 9,000 cases of elder abuse annually. If that many cases are reported, how many elder abuse situations are going unreported? Abuse can happen in many forms, including physical, financial, sexual, emotional, and more. Victims might be living in silence, with family and friends unaware that problems are occurring.

The Elderly are Targets for Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is one of the most common forms of elder abuse. Predators know that older adults have access to retirement funds and ongoing paychecks. Unfortunately, scammers are looking for ways to tap into these resources and take advantage of people who might unknowingly hand over financial information.

Older adults are vulnerable because they are often too trusting of other people. A phone call, mailer, or a conversation on the doorstep with a stranger might seem like a harmless situation. But, the stranger can build trust with the person and then take advantage of them financially.

To make matters worse, family members might also be the perpetrators. For example, children or grandchildren might steal money or valuables like jewelry, rationalizing that they would have received these assets as an inheritance eventually. When people are in desperate circumstances, the risk increases that they will take advantage of another person.

Common Types of Senior Scams

To protect yourself, your loved ones, and/or clients from being “easy targets,” you can take a few easy steps.  Jewelry theft is extremely common, in both home and facility settings, so take the time to photograph valuables and lock them up.  Buy a shredder and ensure that any paperwork with your Social Security number, financial information, or other identifying information is shredded to protect against identify theft. If you need caregiver help, work with a licensed, reputable home care agency that screens and oversees its staff. And, be aware of the common financial scams that are going around right now:

  • Sweepstakes mail, causing the victim to hand over financial information to receive their prize
  • Investment schemes, draining a victim’s retirement account
  • Sales-Pitch luncheons, free lunch to pull people into a high-pressure sales environment
  • Fake IRS calls, misleading people to think that they are in trouble with the IRS
  • Grandparent scams, phone calls that trick older adults to provide payment because they think that a grandchild is in trouble

If you want to keep your family protected, then download this elder abuse prevention toolkit provided by San Diego County. Also, talk to our team at Windward Life Care to find other professional services that can help.

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