Celebrating My 50th Birthday Cancer-Free

The following is a guest post by Jerry Bembry, journalism professor at Morgan State University. I turned 49 a year ago today. At the time, I considered all the exciting things I wanted to do leading up to my 50th birthday. “Fifty to Fifty,” was what I called my plan, and I began writing down the 50 things I wanted to do before hitting the half-century mark: “Take a cross-country drive, visit the six remaining states that I’ve never been …

The Takeaway: Tommy Chong Fights Prostate Cancer (Guess How He’s Treating It?)

“Comedy duo Cheech & Chong have long been associated with pot,” starts a recent USA Today post about actor and comedian Tommy Chong, now 74. “Associated with” is kind of an understatement””the pair pretty much invented the stoner comedy. Chong has recently been back in the news talking about marijuana, albeit in quite a different context: Diagnosed with prostate cancer, he said he’s been turning to cannabis to treat disease symptoms such as wooziness.

Prostate Test: Why Shouldn’t Men Get Screened, Then Decide?

For nearly two decades, middle-aged men have been told by their doctors to have a routine PSA test to screen for prostate cancer. But in a major turn-around, a high-ranking government panel said Monday that after reviewing all available scientific evidence, the conclusion was that the test does more harm than good, only saving one life in 1,000. The panel’s message to men: Don’t bother. What you don’t know (probably) won’t kill you. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which …

Prostate Screening: Older Men Don’t Need It, But Still Get It

When 81-year-old billionaire investor Warren Buffett recently revealed he had been diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer after a routine screening blood test, many health experts wondered why a man of his age was even being tested for prostate cancer. Federal guidelines, issued in 2008, strongly advised against testing in men age 75 and older, saying it had little to no value. Yet a new study finds that the number of older men receiving the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test has …

The Takeaway: What Wasn’t Said at the Florida Debate (Hint: Much of Anything About Older Americans)

Many political commentators felt disappointed by last night’s Republican presidential debate in Florida. Moderator Brian Williams seemed to stop the candidates whenever serious policy talk got underway in favor of fluff questions about electability, horse race hoopla and a seemingly random barrage of hypotheticals (what if Fidel Castro died? what would you have done about Terri Schiavo?). But in a state where about 40 percent of the population is 50 or older, and one in six citizens is 65+, the candidates spent surprisingly little time talking about issues of import to older Americans.

PSA Tests: Controversial Study Says They Don’t Save Lives

When the blood test for prostate cancer was introduced 26 years ago, it was seen as a way to save lives. But research since then has questioned this conclusion and a large new study, published last week, adds more doubt to the issue. The  long-term study of 76,000 men ages 55 to 74 found that routine prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing did not prevent deaths from prostate cancer. However, some prostate cancer experts immediately criticized the study, and even one of the …