Friday, July 12, 2013
How Safe Can You Be?
A new report says that not all men should get the PSA test for prostate cancer, because it often produces false positives and leads to treatments that are both risky and expensive.
I've had many PSA tests over the years -- I take any test that's free and doesn't hurt! -- and I once had a somewhat-elevated number. The doctor simply called me back in; the lab redid the test; and the number was normal. Presumably it was a false positive. I'm not sure what extra risk I was taking.
So I think I'll continue to take the test, if my doctor will let me, because even though for most older men developing slow-growing prostate cancer is somewhat normal and not life threatening, I do have a family history of cancer and I try to be vigilant.
According to the experts, however, I'm just a hypochondriac. I'm wasting medical resources and posing a danger to myself. Maybe at my next checkup my doctor will simply tell me I don't need it -- and I do tend to do what my doctor tells me to do. That would solve the problem.
But I do wonder how many men insist on the PSA test, even though they don't need it.
(I, on the other hand, don't push for heart tests, because my family has a history of strong, healthy hearts. So I figure any extra cost ot the system I create with my worries about cancer, I save with my complacency about heart disease.)
So anyway, B and I are going on vacation next week. I also wonder how many of you lock your doors when you go away on vacation. Maybe I shouldn't reveal this, in case some nefarious internet criminal gets his or her hands on my home address (are you watching NSA?), but we hardly ever lock our doors. In fact, I do not even carry a key to my house.
I do lock up and close the first-floor windows when we go to bed at night. I don't want to be in the house if and when a burglar decides to break in. Not that I want someone to break in when I'm away from home, either, but we really don't have much in the house that's irreplaceable or even very valuable. Except maybe some old photos ... and who's going to steal old photos?
I guess we'll lock the house when we go away. Both of my kids are supposed to stop by while we're gone. But B gave my daughter a key; and my son has a key to the car we'll leave behind, and then he can use the garage-door opener.
Also, we have someone taking care of our dog. So there will be a lot of people coming and going while we're not here. I just don't worry about it.
microwave experiment. As you can see, both plants are doing just fine. Since the young woman on Facebook claimed the microwaved water killed her plant in nine days, I think I'm within scientific bounds to proclaim that I could not replicate her experiment. (And while I'm away, probably both plants will die, so the experiment will be over anyway.) I am therefore drawing my conclusion now: microwaved water is safe to drink, or at least safe to water your plants with.
If you want more rumination about how safe we reasonably can be, check out Facts About the Safety of Diet Coke, which I found via Facebook courtesy of friends Susan Rice and Sharon Greenthal.
On Monday I'm slated to post the Best of Boomer Blogs, which I will do. But otherwise, next week I hope I'll be outdoors enjoying summer activities, not indoors posting blog entries on my laptop.
Last time I was away, I asked people to guess where I was. Most people correctly placed me in Savannah, Ga. Obviously, I made it too easy.
So next week I'll make it harder. Can you guess where I'll be? All I'll tell you right now is according to weather.com it's supposed to be sunny, in the low 80s, every day. I hope they're right!