The Proud Black American Soldier

The legacy of military valor and achievement by African Americans is truly a source of pride for African Americans in all walks of life. But the changes the military has undergone to accept the presence of black men in uniform has very much mirrored the struggles for integration in society at large.

The history of truly heroic achievements by African American soldiers is just as honorable as any in military history. They include…

* March 3, 1770 – The first American to die in the Revolutionary war was a black soldier by the name of Crispus Attucks. He was killed when British soldiers fired on a peaceful gathering in Boston, Massachusetts starting the war that lead to America’s independence.

* In World War II – Vernon J. Baker took leadership in attacking dug in German machine gun emplacements destroying six and killing twenty six German soldiers. He received the Congressional Metal of Honor for his bravery.

* December 7, 1941 – During the horrendous Pearl Harbor attacks, a black galley cook by the name of Dorie Miller on board the USS West Virginia rushed to the deck as his fellow soldiers lay wounded and dying all around him. He valiantly took control of the machine gun emplacement on the deck and repelled the dive bombers keeping them from further killing and injuring his comrades in arms. For his courage, Dorie Miller received the first Silver Star of World War II.

These are just a few of the hundreds of stories of courage and outstanding service to country made by black men throughout America’s history. Within the military, racial prejudice has long gone by the wayside because when men stand side by side in battle, they are brothers first, fellow soldiers second and people of race a distant third if at all. Battle has a way of equalizing all men and real soldiers know that. So the military has been an opportunity to cultivate equality and acceptance because it is a culture where being a good solider is always more important than any petty prejudices any man might carry.

But it took longer for the military as an institution to catch up with what soldiers new instinctively on the battlefield – that all men are equal when they are brothers in arms. Finally on July 26, 1948, President Truman issued Executive Order Number 9981 which stated in no uncertain terms what the U.S. Military’s policy was concerning racial segregations…

It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin. This policy shall be put into effect as rapidly as possible, having due regard to the time required to effectuate any necessary changes without impairing efficiency or morale.

We can be grateful for courageous leadership such as President Truman’s and for the leadership of the military establishment to set the tone for the eventual social condemnation of segregation. While it is regrettable that American has had to sustain an army to battle her enemies over the centuries, there is no question that the high ethical and moral conduct that is needed for military men to perform in combat follows those men into society when their service to their country is through.

And that is one of the many reasons that the desegregation of the military dictated that not only would racism no longer be tolerated by the American military, it would soon be viewed as ignorant and unacceptable in American society as well. While there is still work to be done to make that dream a reality, accomplishments such as these we have discussed lay the groundwork for a better world of integration for all American citizens.

Florida Health Insurance: Take Advantage of the Internet’s Price Transparency

Florida health insurance companies are now feeling the effects of the increased price transparency that the Internet brings. Now longer is it a process of days or even weeks to obtain multiple health insurance quotes from top Florida health insurance companies. The simplest and most efficient way to obtain health insurance in Florida is simply to make the top health insurance companies in the state (Golden Rule/United Healthcare, Aetna, and Humana) compete for your business!

If you cringe at the thought of a United Healthcare agent, an Aetna agent, and a Humana agent all clustering around you amongst a swarm of other Florida health insurance agents and trying to push their company’s policy upon you then read on; for health insurance shopping on the Internet has simplified everything. There are numerous Florida health insurance websites that offer Florida health insurance quotes but there are quite a few very important distinctions between the different types.

There are two main types of websites that offer Florida health insurance quotes to Florida health insurance shoppers: Marketing Organizations and Insurance Agencies.

Marketing Organizations do not sell insurance, are not regulated by any insurance department, and generally have no knowledge whatsoever concerning Florida health insurance. However, they can offer consumers a somewhat appealing service. How can they assist in purchasing health insurance?

They act as a middleman between Florida health insurance shoppers and Florida health insurance agents. When Mrs. Smith in Tampa, FL requests a health insurance quote then the marketing company sells her information as a lead to 5 or more Florida insurance agents.

Ignoring the privacy issues and the issue of the qualifications of the health insurance agents that will be purchasing your information there is the larger and more practical issue of do you really want to have 5+ insurance agents aggressively seeking your business?

Imagine that each health insurance agent is taught in their sales training to call you at least 5 times and email you at least 3 times before “giving up” on you as an insurance prospect: that means that you have received 25 phone calls and 15 emails from various insurance agents!

The second type of website that offers Florida health insurance quotes is the website that is run by an insurance agency (note that it is very important to find only an independent Florida insurance agency – meaning an agency that is not tied to working with only one health insurance company but can show you health insurance quotes from all of the top Florida health insurance companies. This is also why we will ignore the quasi third group of websites that offer Florida health insurance quotes: the health insurance carrier websites themselves. These can be a good service but very time consuming. There is a better way to shop for Florida health insurance. Read on-).

Most independent insurance agency websites offer a feature that will allow you to request Florida health insurance quotes. However, there is a much better way to shop for Florida health insurance! Rather than waiting for your request for health insurance quotes to be filled; look for a website that offers instant and LIVE Florida health insurance quotes from top Florida health insurance companies.

With instant LIVE Florida health insurance quotes you have the best of both worlds: you receive the benefits of competitive pricing by viewing the top Florida health insurance companies quotes side by side (the strong point of the marketing organization website model) as well as personal, expert help (the strong point of the insurance agency website model). Not to mention the added benefit of viewing the health insurance quotes from the different health insurance companies in the same format – enabling easy side by side comparisons of benefits. This allows for a true “apples to apples” comparison.

View up to 20 LIVE Florida health insurance quotes from top Florida health insurance companies like Aetna, Humana and Golden Rule/United Healthcare all in less than 20 seconds! View LIVE Florida health insurance quotes now and take advantage of the Internet’s price transparency!

Providing Hope for the Uninsured: New Plans for Solving the Healthcare Crisis

Perhaps there is hope for fixing the healthcare crisis after all. Hillary Rodham Clinton, author of a failed attempt to overhaul healthcare in the 90s, and Newt Gingrich, engineer of the 90’s Republican Revolution largely brought on by Clinton’s failed attempt, sat down together recently at a National Press Club session entitled “Ceasefire on Health Care” to discuss what they just might agree on.

And they did agree indeed on several issues including, much to the surprise of some, Gingrich’s proposal to “voucherize” Medicaid. “There is enough money in the system right now to cover the uninsured,” said Clinton. It’s not that the meeting was that earth-shattering, but perhaps it is a sign of a growing trend to piecemeal fixes to the healthcare crisis rather than starting from scratch.

That we are, and have been, in a healthcare crisis is clear when you consider that over 44 million Americans have no insurance of any type. The reason for most is that they simply cannot afford any kind of coverage. Attempts to provide universal coverage or cause significant changes through federal mandates have failed.

According to the Bush administration, the solution would be moving healthcare toward new association-based health plans, including HSAs (Health Savings Accounts) and consumer-driven health plans. “To make insurance more affordable, Congress must act to address rapidly rising health care costs,” says President George W. Bush. “Small businesses should be able to band together and negotiate for lower insurance rates so they can cover more workers with health insurance-I urge you to pass association health plans.”

The use of association-based health plans is finally starting to catch on. These plans offer solutions for those who previously thought themselves to be “uninsurable.” A small but increasing number of people are taking a look at these affordable plans.

One of the newer and more popular plans, the USA+ Guaranteed Acceptance Plan, includes a myriad of choices and benefits for its members. Membership in the plan allows members access to hospital indemnity benefits, prescription benefits, and disability benefits. It also carries provisions for medical, dental, accident, and vision care. It even includes several lifestyle benefits including road side service, travel benefits, and discounts on shopping, dining, and movies.

“The USA+ Guaranteed Acceptance Plan is a product whose time has come,” says Richard J. Monello, President and CEO of Custom Health Plans, Inc. His company is a leader in providing the new product recently made available. “It is a true blanket guaranteed acceptance benefit package,” adds Monello. “The best thing is that everyone is accepted, even those with pre-existing conditions.”

These new health plans, in addition to being great for consumers, are also beneficial for agents and brokers. “For those agents looking to strengthen their portfolio and provide healthcare coverage to the uninsurable, the USA+ Guaranteed Acceptance Health Plan is truly a first-of-it’s kind product,” says Jason A. Milz, Executive Vice-President of Custom Health Plans, Inc. “At last, there is a product that will address their growing databases of uninsured Americans and that will pay them a level commission for the life of the plan.”

Monello’s company, Custom Health Plans, offers several different membership packages with different types and levels of benefits. “Finally, there is a solution for the 44 million uninsurable Americans who have no other options,” says Monello.

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For brochures and further information or to set up an interview with Richard J. Monello for a story, please contact Jay Wilke at 727-443-7115, ext. 223 or at jayw@event-management.com.

Physician Expense Insurance – covers all your physician related expenses

Physician Expense Insurance – sometimes called the regular medical expense insurance – is a form of health insurance that covers the expenses incurred on the services of a physician other than surgery.

No human has ever lived on the earth without even a bout of illness and a subsequent stay in the hospital. On the other hand, healthcare expenses has always been at the higher end and an extended stay in a hospital due to some ill health is going to set one back by thousands of dollars if not higher. True, one cannot check destiny. The best thing one can do is to remain prepared for any such occurrences. It is where healthcare insurance – here physician expense insurance – offers one a helping hand. It has been explicitly conceived to take care of all physician related expenses minus surgery.

The physician expense insurance pays for doctor’s hospital visits or number of visits to a doctor’s office. The policy reimburses a definite amount per visit and also specifies the number of visits possible for a particular illness or injury.

Most of the physician expense insurance requires the customers to pay a set-amount called the deductibles on the covered expenses before the company starts paying back for the medical costs. If higher the deductible in your policy, the lower will be the premium amounts. But, as the healthcare costs sky rocket by the day, the premium is also bound to climb the upward spiral, both offering no solace for the common man.

As there are many players vying for their share in the physician expense insurance pie, customers may find themselves in a dilemma regarding whom to select from the competing lot. This requires a bit of common sense as well as brain scratching. Every insurance provider will boast that they are the best in the business. But it is the customer who should use his/her discerning senses to pick the right physician expense insurance provider.

Hence, before deciding on the physician expense insurance provider, one should do a bit of research regarding the advantages of a particular player and the physician expense insurance coverage details. Information regarding various schemes and premium can be obtained from the physician expense insurance company website. Also, one can go by reference; sometimes one could get a more practical review from a person who is a current client of the particular physician expense insurance policy.

The amount that a customer may have to shell out to pay the physician expenses depends on the type of physician expense insurance policy he/she has. The more coverage your physician expense insurance policy provides, the less the customer need to pay from his/her pocket. And this has a direct bearing from the screening you have done while selecting your physician expense insurance policy. It is all about being smart and rational.

Power Yoga: Physical Activity and Meditation for a Overall Health

Health is the real wealth of an individual. Good health does not mean the absence of physical illness but also the lack of mental and social illness. A healthy person can properly survive and easily cope with the difficulties and stress of daily living. Incorporating regular physical activities, nutritious diet, and refraining from alcohol and cigarettes are necessary in maintaining a fit and healthy body. Yoga is a physical activity that has been used in the ancient times to alleviate health problems associated with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, shallow breathing, backaches, chronic illness, and many other forms of discomfort. Nowadays, Yoga has gone from a spiritual discipline practiced by many in the Far East, into a mainstream exercise routine that has been taught in many gyms around the world. Other researches suggest that yoga may promote relaxation and reduce distress.

A new form of yoga that focuses on a more fitness-based approached has been developed. It is called Power Yoga, a method closely modeled after the Ashtanga style of practice. The term Power Yoga became widely used in the mid-’90s when many yoga teachers tried new ways to make Ashtanga Yoga more accessible to the western audience. Both Power and Ashtanga Yoga focuses on strength and flexibility. The only difference between the traditional method and Power Yoga is that the latter does not require the performance of a series of poses. It took the basics of yoga and and gave it a dose of aerobics to tone the muscles, sharpen focus, and strengthen the heart.

Other known benefits of practicing Power Yoga include:

Improved strength, endurance, and stamina
Tighter abs, legs, and arms
Helps release physical tension
Helps maintain good and proper posture
Serves as a good warm up for athletes
Improves an athlete’s overall performance

Power Yoga is a very accessible exercise. To practice this new yoga method, all that is needed is a flat floor surface, a mat or towel, and enough overhead space to extend the arms. It can be performed by individuals of different ages and level of physical condition. However, not all poses should be attempted by everyone. Proper posture and alignment should always be maintained during stretch or posture to avoid injuries. These activities should be stopped when there is fatigue, pain, or dizziness. In addition, the mental component of yoga is as important as its physical activities. Concentration and meditation should not be taken for granted. Yoga should be done with an open and gentle mind when one performs yoga positions and posture. Impatience, self-criticism, and comparing oneself with others may hamper the improvement of one’s physical and mental health.

Individuals who want to engage in physical activities like yoga should consult doctors and other health professionals before taking yoga classes. Certain injuries to the wrist, back, and ankles may prevent some individuals from practicing yoga postures and positions. Furthermore, yoga should be practiced with care and precaution. Some people have reported injuries that were acquired by executing yoga postures without focus, or by attempting difficult positions without working them gradually or by not having proper supervision. Oftentimes, beginners complain of muscle soreness and fatigue after engaging in yoga. These effects may disappear with continuous practice. Yoga is a great way to strengthen the and body and improve overall health.

Hikikomori: Is It A Social Issue, Or A Mental Problem?

In Japan, the hikikomori phenomenon is something that the country’s government supposedly views with a mix of disdain and worry. The act of completely cutting oneself off from all social and human contact for an extended period is an understandable cause of alarm, particularly in a cultural and corporate environment like that of Japan. The phenomenon is still a subject of intense study, though subjects for observation can be difficult to come by simply due to the nature of the problem. A typical hikikomori can be nearly impossible to even contact, let alone be convinced to allow himself to be observed by mental health experts. Given this situation, it is not all that easy to get concrete, first-hand information on them. However, there is an ample supply of theories, covering both factors in the development of such behavior and the possible root causes of it.

Most believe the problem to be rooted primarily in extreme social anxiety, as evidenced by the act of cutting oneself off from all human contact. There are conflicting reports on whether or not the person involved in this still has contact with others through the Internet, though this may or may not be a factor, depending on whether or not it is strictly social anxiety or if there are other factors or issues involved. Indeed, it is too easy to simply state that the hikikomori problem is rooted in social anxiety.

Another potential factor, as some psychologists have suggested, is an acute form of performance anxiety, usually accompanied by a sense of depression over the state of the Japanese economy. Most reported cases of hikikomori in Japan come from middle-class families. Economically speaking, the average Japanese middle-class family can financially support a single, non-working child — a situation that has given rise to the term “parasite singles,” In theory, a child who is afraid of not meeting the expectations of his family and, at the same time, the knowledge that he does not need to actually work leads to a form of performance anxiety. This type of anxiety has left them psychologically unable to work. This situations combined with the depression over Japan’s current economic and political standing can even lead some individuals to become unwilling to work.

From what evidence is available at this point, it is possible to speculate that there is more to this than one would assume, as this may be more of a mental health issue than a social one. Some have gone so far as to mention that the hikikomori phenomenon may be an entirely new “breed” of mental health issue, though most psychologists and sociologists dispute this claim. While there is very little dispute that this sort of behavior is rooted firmly in mental health problems, most would consider it radical thinking to assume that this is an entirely new disorder. There is a possibility of this, though there has not been sufficient first-hand study of the behavior to back up a claim either way.

There have also been extensive claims that the hikikomori phenomenon is caused by factors inherent to current Japanese social norms. The argument that there are facets or aspects of how Japanese society expects people to behave and think is a strong one, mainly because the problem was first reported in Japan and bears a distinctly Japanese name. However, there is evidence that this sort of problem is not confined merely to Japan, as reports of similar problems are emerging in Taiwan, Singapore, and China. There are still common factors between these countries, most notably the education system, indicating that it may be a cultural factor common to the above countries. According to the BBC, however, citizens in the UK have claimed to have had personal experience with hikikomori in the UK, arguing that the problem was not an inherently Japanese or East Asian one.

The difficulty in determining the root cause of the problem has also lent itself to finding ways to alleviate it. Since there is no evidence to support one cause or another, there has been difficulty in determining whether the problem can be treated with therapy, psychoactive drugs, or both. As long as there is a lack of concrete information on the hikikomori problem, effective ways and means to help hikikomori overcome their problems will remain slow to develop. The lack of awareness and information about this complex psychological disorder has left hundreds of hikikomori secluded in their own little worlds, imprisoned by self-doubt and fear about the world outside.

Prostate Cancer Symptoms – Benefits of Early Diagnosis

Cancer of the prostate is typically a slow progressing cancer and symptoms often do not arise for many years. If the cancer is caught at an early stage, there might be no noticeable symptoms. Some men, however, will experience symptoms that could indicate the presence of prostate cancer. These might include:

– A need for frequent urination, particularly at night
– Difficulty starting urination
– Weak or interrupted urine flow
– Pain or a burning sensation during urination
– Difficulty in obtaining an erection
– Pain during ejaculation
– Blood in the urine or in semen
– Recurring pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs

Sometimes the first symptoms will be lower back, hip or pelvic pain caused by cancer which has already spread.

It is important to be aware that the symptoms of both benign enlargement of the prostate gland (i.e. non-cancerous) and malignant tumours (cancer) are similar and might include any of the following symptoms:

– Difficulty starting urination
– Frequent urination, particularly at night
– Pain during urination
– Blood in the urine

Also, men over 50 years of age often have an enlarged prostate gland due to the non-cancerous condition of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or hypertrophy.

Therefore if you notice any of the above symptoms it is important that you see your doctor and have them investigated. But note that most enlargements of the prostate are not due to cancer and can regularly be dealt with quite effectively.

EARLY DIAGNOSIS OF PROSTATE CANCER

Prostate cancer can often be discovered at an early stage by testing the amount of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in the blood. Prostate cancer can also be detected early by your doctor performing a digital rectal examination (DRE). Since the prostate gland is situated close to the rectum, a doctor can physically detect if there are any cancerous signs in your prostate.

Unfortunately the PSA and DRE tests are not totally accurate and conclusive. This can lead to anxiety and confusion, or even to a false sense of security. So important things to consider are your age, your general health and your lifestyle. If you are young and develop prostate cancer, if not caught early enough, it could shorten your life. If however you are older or in poor health, then prostate cancer might never become a serious problem due to its slow-growing nature.

The American Cancer Society recommends that men commence having the prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal examination (DRE) annually from the age of 50. Those at higher risk, such as African Americans and those with close relatives who developed prostate cancer at an early age are recommended to commence testing at 45.

The prognosis for prostate cancer sufferers has improved dramatically in recent years. In the past twenty years the overall survival rate for all stages of prostate cancer has increased from 67% to 97%. Thus more men are living significantly longer after diagnosis. In all likelihood this is due to early detection programs, increased public awareness, particularly of prostate cancer symptoms, and the adoption of healthier lifestyles.

High Blood Pressure 101

Knowing about your body can be very beneficial to your health as you age. Knowing about your blood pressure can help prevent strokes, heart disease and kidney disease. In this article you will find everything you should know about your blood pressure.

Anyone can have high blood pressure. It doesn’t matter your age, race, ethnicity or gender. Many people suffer from high blood pressure and have a higher risk of strokes and heart diseases than those with regular blood pressure.

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of your arteries. Your blood pressure is always rising and falling throughout the day and if it rises and stays that way over time, you have high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is usually referred to as hypertension. When you have high blood pressure it puts more pressure on the heart, making it work harder than usual. This is why you end up at risk for strokes or heart disease.

What is the normal blood pressure level?

The normal blood pressure level is less than 120 over 80 or less. The first number is your systolic pressure and the second number is your diastolic pressure. Your numbers are read 120 over 80, etc. If your pressure is 140 over 90 or higher you have high blood pressure.

What is systolic blood pressure? This is the force of blood in your arteries when your heart is beating.

What is diastolic blood pressure? This is the force of blood in your arteries when your heart is relaxing.

What are the risk factors of high blood pressure?

The most common risks of high blood pressure are stroke and heart disease. There are a few other risk factors that can be modified and some that cannot be. The following are some risks:

– Tobacco
– Physical Inactivity
– Diabetes
– Abnormal Cholesterol
– Being overweight

Who can get high blood pressure?

Unfortunately anyone can get high blood pressure but it is more common among African Americans. Nearly one in three American adults has high blood pressure. African Americans also have a much higher death rate from kidney disease and stroke than white Americans. Even so, with treatment you can help lower your blood pressure.

How can I lower my blood pressure?

Fortunately there are many different ways of helping to lower your blood pressure. Exercise is a great way to lower it. Doing physical activity will make your heart stronger over time. If you have a stronger heart it can pump blood easier lessening your risks of stroke and kidney diseases. It is never too late to start exercising!

If you are concerned about your blood pressure consult your physician. Ask any and all questions you might have and find the best way for you to lower it. If all regular ways fail, consider medication. Talk with your doctor about your health and lifestyle so he can choose the best medicine for you. If you want to live a healthy life, taking control of your blood pressure is very important.

Risks of Colon Cancer in Women and Men

Cancer occurs when something goes wrong with this system, causing uncontrolled cell division and growth. Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon), the lower part of your digestive system. Most cases of colon cancer begin as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. Rectal cancer is cancer of the last 6 inches of the colon. Together, they’re often referred to as colorectal cancers.

Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer killer overall and third most common cause of cancer-related death in the United States in both males and females. Who is at risk for colorectal cancer. Men tend to get colorectal cancer at an earlier age than women, but women live longer so they catch up with men and thus the total number of cases in men and women is equal. Women diagnosed with uterine or ovarian cancer before age 50 are at increased risk of colorectal cancer. Woman with a personal history of breast cancer have only a very slight increase in risk of colorectal cancer. The average age to develop colorectal cancer is 70 years, and 93% of cases occur in persons 50 years of age or older. You have a higher risk for colon cancer if you have:

Cancer elsewhere in the body.
Colorectal polypsCrohn’s disease
Family history of colon cancer
Personal history of breast cancer
Ulcerative colitis.

What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer. Symptoms of colorectal cancer vary depending on the location of the cancer within the colon or rectum, though there may be no symptoms at all. The most common presenting symptom of colorectal cancer is rectal bleeding. Cancers arising from the left side of the colon generally cause bleeding, or in their late stages may cause constipation, abdominal pain, and obstructive symptoms. On the other hand, right-sided colon lesions may produce vague abdominal aching, but are unlikely to present with obstruction or altered bowel habit. Other symptoms such as weakness, weight loss, or anemia resulting from chronic blood loss may accompany cancer of the right side of the colon.

If your doctor learns that you do have colorectal cancer, more tests will be done to see if the cancer has spread. Colonoscopy is currently the only test recommended for colorectal cancer screening in average-risk persons at 10 year intervals. Colonoscopic surveillance (also called screening colonoscopy) needs to be available at more frequent intervals for individuals at high risk for colon cancer (for instance, those with a personal history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps; family history of colorectal cancer; non-hereditary polyposis; colorectal cancer; or a pre-disposing condition such as inflammatory bowel disease.

The first step to avoiding this ailment is prevention with regular tests at the doctor, but there are other ways of getting around this disease in between checkups. Nevertheless, it appears that increasing the fiber content in the Western diet would be useful in the primary prevention of colorectal cancer. It is recommended that physical activity messages promoting at least 30-45 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity on most days of the week be included in primary prevention interventions for cancer. The population prevalence for meeting proposed physical activity criteria for colon cancer prevention is low and much lower than that related to the more generic public health recommendations.

Our bodies need lots of calcium and not only for building strong bones. Colon cancer prevention is one of the most exciting uses for calcium. However, instead of using calcium supplements, this study relied on low-fat dairy products to supply 1,200mg calcium per day. Investigators found this amount of calcium decreased the incidence of changes in the cells lining the colon, which is often seen in the initial stages of colon cancer. A significant protective factor is adequate dietary calcium intake during the period of maximum growth (ages 9 and 25 y), so that proper peak bone mass is achieved by age 20and 30 y and maintained until mid-life, with only slow bone loss in the following years. As already noted, dietary surveys indicate a significant gap between the recommended calcium intake and the actual intake in the United States in the critical years of adolescence and young adulthood and later in life. In addition, several large-scale, recent studies in humans indicate a role for increased dietary calcium in reducing colon cancer risk, as briefly discussed below.

Both men and women are equally at risk for colorectal cancer. Men over the age of 50 and women over 55 should have this test on an annual basis to detect colon cancer early. Yet colorectal cancer is the third most common malignancy in women after breast and lung cancer. Incidence is slightly higher in men than women, and is highest in African American men. It is believe that the time has come for a full scientific review of cereal-grain enrichment with calcium and vitamin D as a low-cost, safe, and useful route for the reduction of osteoporosis and colon cancer in the United States in both men and women.

Risk Factors For Prostate Cancer

The prostate is a small, walnut-shaped sex gland in men that produces the seminal fluid, which nourishes and transports sperm. The growth of the cells in the prostate gland is stimulated by the male sex hormone called testosterone. Though its causes are unknown, prostate cancer is a frightening prospect for men. This cancer threatens not just their lives, but also their sexuality. Possible consequences of treatment (even if the treatment has been successful in saving a person’s life) include erectile dysfunction and bladder control problems. Prostate cancer progresses very slowly and the early stages show little or no symptoms. If detected early, effective treatment with minimum side effects is possible. Once the cancer spreads (metastizes) treatment becomes more difficult.

A man’s vulnerability to prostate cancer increases with age. Most often, prostate cancer is detected very late and people who lose their lives do not die from prostate cancer, but die WITH prostate cancer. As the cancer develops, it eventually squeezes the urethra, which surrounds the prostate. This is when signs and symptoms begin to appear:

-Urgency in urination
-Difficulty in starting urination
-Dull, persistent ache in the lower pelvic area
-Painful urination, a very slow flow (almost like a dribble)
-Intermittent urine flow, and a sensation that the bladder is not empty
-Frequent urination, sometimes including blood
-Painful ejaculation
-Persistent pain in the bones, lower back, hip and thighs
-General ill health, loss of appetite, and decline in weight

If the cells from the cancerous prostrate break away, the cancer will spread. Most commonly, prostate cancer spreads to the lymph nodes, bones in the hips or the lower back, lungs, and sometimes even the brain.

Risk factors:
The risk of prostate cancer increases with age. As with almost any other cancer, heredity also plays a key role. For reasons unknown, African-American men seem to have a higher risk of prostate cancer. A fat-rich diet and sedentary lifestyle also contributes to the risk. Fat causes an increased production of testosterone, which may in turn lead to the development of cancer cells. High levels of testosterone mean higher chances of developing prostate cancer. Therefore men who suffer from hypogonadism, or have been undergoing long-term testosterone treatments are at risk. A vasectomy may also result in prostate cancer, though there is no conclusive proof of this.

A routine screening test may reveal the beginnings of prostate cancer. A DRE (Digital Rectal Examination), which involves inserting a gloved finger into the rectum, helps the doctor to examine the prostate. Any change in shape or size of the gland may mean trouble. A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test analyzes a blood sample for the levels of PSA. If a higher than normal level is detected, a prostate infection or cancer may be suspected. A transrectal ultrasound helps to further evaluate the prostate using sound waves. If initial tests produce positive results, a prostate biopsy may be done to verify the presence of cancer. If cancer is confirmed, the next step is to investigate the spread of the cancer. A bone scan, CT scan, and Ultrasound scan may be used for this.

The mode of treatment directly depends on how aggressive the cancer is. For most men, a combination of treatments (surgery, radiation paired with hormone therapy, chemotherapy) may prove effective.

The best way to reduce the risk from prostate cancer is to eat a diet rich in fiber and low in fat. Regular exercise also helps.