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Tue May 22, 2012
Group Helping Men Deal With Prostate Cancer
(LAS CRUCES) -- The governmental advisory panel given the task of issuing cancer screening guidelines says the common form of prostate cancer screening is no longer needed. The task force says the PSA tests, which is the traditional way to detect evidence of prostate cancer can do more harm than good. We spoke with members of “Us Too,” a prostate cancer group for men and their families about their experiences and the support they get from one another.
Neil Mathis remembers it as if it were yesterday.
"It's usually quite a shock," he said.
He went to visit his doctor and soon after his life changed.
"I went in for a PSA test and that's usually an indicator," he said.
In 2001, Mathis was diagnosed with cancer and he continues to fight it today.
"You have a lot of issues to deal with when your diagnose plus just the idea that, they I've got Cancer, how am I going to deal with it?" he said.
One thing helping him and others in the community is "Us, Too," a prostate cancer group for men and their families.
"You form kind of a buddy system, you have something in common with individuals and you learn to support each other and become a patient advocate for each other," said group member Ron Childress.
"Us, Too," provides free educational information and peer-to-peer support, which helps patients make better decisions when it comes to treatment options.
"I learned a lot and I also learned that you weren't the only one with that same type of cancer," he said.
Members of the group say once you reach the age of fifty, they recommend having a yearly prostate-specific antigen or PSA test and keeping close watch on those results.
"Those are situations that definitely need to be aware of and don't put them in the back of your mind or think its insignificant because it's a trend then can increase and in my situation, in the last four years my PSA went up gradually but it was the trend which was a strong indication that I have prostate cancer," he said.