Turn your head and cough…

August 28, 2008 | Drew Forrester

What’s your PSA number?

You don’t know?

Have you had your PSA screening done in the last two years?

If you’re out there shaking your head saying, “what the hell does this have to do with sports?” I can answer that one quite easily.

Your PSA number has nothing to do with sports.

But it has a lot to do with your quality of life if you’re a male.

PSA is the number given to you when you have your prostate screening exam. It represents the level of PSA in your blood, which doctors can use to determine – in part – if your prostate is healthy.

200,000 American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year.

Don’t be one of them. If you get your rectal exam and PSA screening done, you won’t be.

The entire exam takes about 30 seconds. Yes, there’s the traditional “turn your head and cough” part…there’s a jelly finger…and then it’s over. Honestly, it’s 30 seconds. You then have some blood drawn (for the PSA screening) and that’s it. Done.

I had my prostate exam three weeks ago, performed by Dr. Ed Leventhal, who is a WNST listener and a urologist in Baltimore County.

I was sort of “scared into” getting my exam after a friend (and WNST listener/caller, “Brownie in Bel Air”) – Brownie Arms – was diagnosed with prostate cancer earlier this summer. It hit Brownie out of nowhere, because he had no symptoms at all. He went in for a routine exam and his PSA number was elevated. A week later, doctors confirmed he had prostate cancer. The great news is that Brownie has now returned back to full health after his treatment and it’s because of that routine exam, where doctors first learned of the condition.

My rectal exam (where the prostate is felt for nodules that indicate an abnormality) went fine and my PSA number was 0.9 ng/ml (normal).

Today, Dr. Sandy Siegal of Chesapeake Urology joined me on the air from 7a-8a to discuss prostate cancer, the exam/screening process and the 5k run they’re hosting on September 14. For complete information on everything Chesapeake Urology can offer you, visit their website at www.chesapeakeurology.com

White males with no family history of prostate cancer need to get their exam done once they turn 50 (but Brownie’s story scared me enough that I had mine done in my mid-40’s). Prostate cancer, for some reason, is seen more in African American males, so for that reason, it’s suggested that African American males get their first exam at age 40.

If you’re a young man or young lady reading this and thinking “this doesn’t apply to me”, you’re wrong. You have a father, a grandfather, an Uncle, an older brother, etc. Once they reach the age of 40 or so, start asking them, “did you get a prostate exam this year?”

I realize this appears like it’s not the coolest thing in the world to do. Dropping your drawers in front of a guy you don’t know…and the 30 seconds thereafter…well, I get it…it APPEARS like it’s not cool.

But getting your prostate exam IS cool. It can help save your life, in fact.

I think that’s pretty cool.

Brownie Arms thinks it’s cool too.

Anyone out there have their PSA number and want to share it with the world?

I’d like to know what YOUR number is!

Mine is 0.9 ng/ml.

What’s your number?

If you don’t know, schedule an appointment today with your urologist and find out.