Check Your Prostate

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

By: Ashmar Mandou

According to the American Cancer Society, within the next eight years, the number of men diagnosed with prostate cancer is estimated to increase from nearly three million today to 4.2 million as baby boomers age. Since September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, visiting one’s doctor on a regularly basis is paramount in order to ensure a healthy prostate, especially among Latinos. “This is a month that we should come together to talk about the importance of prostate health and educate the men in our families, our communities to raise awareness on this topic,” said Emir Gomez, a construction engineer whose father was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2015. “When you hear that a family member of yours has been diagnosed with cancer, it definitely changes your life. We immediately rallied together to learn all that we could about prostate cancer so that my dad wouldn’t feel alone.”

Luckily for Gomez, his girlfriend is a nurse who educated the family on the different stages of prostate cancer and where to go for support groups. “I believe one of the most important aspects of heading toward the road to recovery is that family members must remain together. It is very easy for someone diagnosed with cancer to isolate themselves and feel that they have to go through it alone, but cancer affects the whole family. So finding support groups and talking about it and sharing the knowledge with others helps.” Doctors describe the growth and spread of prostate cancer in stages. In order to determine the stage of a patient’s prostate cancer, most doctors start by using the TNM staging system, which helps describe the different aspects of the cancer’s growth.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

  • T-the T category measures the size and extent of the Tumor
  • N-the N category measures whether and how far the cancer has spread to the Lymph Nodes
  • M-the M category whether the cancer has spread to the other organs in the body

According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer has a high survival rate, one of the highest among all types of cancers. “Like any cancer, early detection is key,” said Gomez. “It was fortunate for us that my father was diagnosed at an early stage so the outcome was positive and he is cleared.” Gomez, who participated in this year’s 12th Annual SEA Blue Chicago Prostate Cancer Walk and Run to help raise funds for Us TOO International, a nonprofit that serves the prostate cancer community by providing educational resources and support services at no charge. “For me, participating in the SEA Blue Chicago Prostate Cancer Walk and Run is extremely important because we are all there for one cause, to raise awareness. Also, to see so many families who have been affected walk with hope and bravery strengthens us as a community.” Fundraising is still occurring for Us Too International through October 31st. If you would like to donate or to learn more, or

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