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August 15, 1997     Cape Gazette
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August 15, 1997

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CAPB Ft'ig'tl lqlW g7 Cancer Watch Petition drive supports prostate cancer research By Rosanne Pack Believing in the power of the people, the American Cancer So- ciety (ACS) has launched a na- tionwide petition effort to draw at- tention to and attract federal fund- ing for research and education about prostate cancer. The Delaware Division of ACS is par- ticipating in the petition drive, and volunteers are racing into the home stretch as they attempt to gather 3,000 names by the mid- September deadline. Judy Dolinger, ACS senior community specialist, said that the organization, fueled by the en- ergy of volunteers, will be making a "blitz" effort in the remaining weeks before the petitions are sent to President Clinton. She said most who are asked to sign are en- thusiastic and willing, it's just a matter of getting the petition in front of enough people. "We have petitions going to golf tournaments, people are tak- ing them to their workplace and to their churches," she said. "We've been to a few large gatherings, for instance, we got more than i,000 names at the Delaware Electric Cooperative; but, we are now de- pending on the smaller sign-up ef- forts to take us to our goal." Dolinger said that the idea came from the success that was realized by a similar petition drive for breast cancer a few years ago. She said that petitions from all over the country called for an increase in federal funding for breast can- cer related issues were sent to the president, and supporters saw sig- nificant results in a relatively short time. "Breast cancer research and ed- ucation are doing well in terms of money allocated," she said. "Now, we are asking people to look at the statistics of incidence of prostate cancer, the population that is effected, and the amount of money that goes into fighting the disease." Prostate cancer is currently the second leading cause of cancer death among men in the United Fitness Tip of the Week WHAT'S THE BEST EXERCISE FOR ABS 9 A recent research report in the journal of the "American Council of Exercise" indicates that abdominal roller ma- chines are no better at strengthening the abdominal muscles than traditional strengthening exercises like basic crunches and oblique crunches performed without assistance from these devices. Submitted by Robert Cairo. licensed physical therapist. Tidewater Physical Therapy, 945-511 I. States with lung cancer still the leading cause. Of the 209,900 men expected to be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, ap- proximately 590 of them will be Delawareans. Nationwide, 41,000 men will die of the disease, and in Delaware, the expected number of deaths is 110. Dolinger points out that re- search to find a cure or more ad- vanced treatments for prostate cancer lags behind other medical research. She cited the following comparative figures for 1996 Na- tional Institute of Health spend- ing: $1.64 billion for AIDS re- search; $458 million for breast cancer research (NIH and the De- partment of Defense); $92 million for research specifically for prostate cancer. Mortality rates have declined; however, there is still insufficient data to determine the appropriate age to begin prostate cancer screening or the best treatment op- tions, Presently, the ACS recom- mends that all men 50 and over should have a digital rectal exami- nation (DRE) and prostate specif- ic antigen (PSA) blood test annu- ally. African American men and others in high risk groups are ad- vised to talk with their doctors about starting these tests earlier. Dolinger said that efforts such as the petition drive and support groups are helping bring the prevalence of the disease out in the open. She said it has not been an easy transition for men to make after years of hesitance to discuss the disease, and its consequences. "Men are opening up a little," she said. "Part of it is an age thing. When young women began to fall victim to breast cancer, they unit- ed and mobilized and action was taken. That's not the case with men getting prostate cancer. Most men who suffer with the disease are middle age and older, and they are just finding their voice. "There is a whole new educa- tion process going on. Support groups have played a large role. Men are becoming aware that they have to speak up." As well as to help gain federal funding for prostate issues, the pe- tition drive is intended to inform men and their families of the im- portance of prostate cancer screening and related treatment options. For those who have already been diagnosed, or for those whose lives are effected by a vic- tim of prostate cancer, there is an ongoing support group that meets at the Visiting Nurse Association office in Milford. A cooperative effort of the ACS and VNA, the group is open and meets the third Tuesday of each month, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Sylvia Gilmore, R.N., is a com- munity health educator with the VNA. She said that the prostate cancer support group has more than 40 members and group atten- dance averages about 15 to 20 members at a time. She said that members, including spouses, chil- dren and significant others of men Continued on page 38 Stressed Out? Neck h Shoulders Ache? ' Take a mini-vacation away from it all. "Relax for the Health of It. " Massage Therapy by Christine Hopkins John Lorrain's Hair Studio, RL 1 & Ann Ave. Rehoboth Beach 226-0104 or 227t837 Dr. Alae Zarif Is Pleased To Announce The Relocation Of His Office To Seashore Medical (Across From Beebe Medical Center) 431 Savannah Rd. Lewes, DE For Appointments 645_7050 Please call: Now /'34:,, ; ,-, Expanded Urological Services Including: Female Urological Problems Kidney Stones including Lithotripsy Prostate Problems Diagnosis 0 Treatment of Gen ito - urinary cancers Male Sexual Dysfunction Children's Urological Problems Urinary Incontinence Male Sterilization Disorders of Male Reproduction including. Infertility