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Livingwell A SPECIAL PUBLICATION CREATED BY REPUBLIC MEDIA CUSTOM PUBLISHING a-z HEALTHCARE NEWS YOU CAN USE FOR YOUR WHOLE FAMILY JUNE 2014 IN THIS ISSUE | 2 Food allergies | 3 Monsoon safety | 4-5 Events & support groups | 6 Dehydration SENIOR CAREGIVING Dealing with finances What men need to know about staying healthy M lb By Debra Gelbart By Gremlyn Bradley-Waddell en’s health is multi-dimensional, of course, and it’s not possible to cover all aspects of it in a single article. So this month we’re zeroing in on prostate health, male menopause, testicular cancer nd erectile il dysfunction (commonly known as ED). and Editor’s note: This article is part of a series related to senior caregiving. In our resource area, we’ve listed just a few of the many agencies and organizations available to help seniors and caregivers with everything from finances to meals to palliative care. Each organization can provide information on many more resources than we are able to list. PProstate function f a is a walnut-sized gland located between the The prostate bladder and n the penis just in front of the rectum. It has two functions: (1) to produce the fluid that protects and nourishes sperm m and (2) to house the urethra. The urethra is situated in n the center of the prostate, extends from the bladder to o the penis and lets urine leave the body. F irst, did you know: Brett Petersen, director of caregiver services for Duet, a local non-profit organization, said it’s no secret that the medical bills that accompany a chronic disease can be a financial burden for more than just the patient. He said that according to a study done by AARP in 2007, caregivers spent an average of $5,331 out-of-pocket for caregiving expenses each year; long-term caregivers spent more, or $8,728. MALE WELLBEING “The h prostate st is important to a man’s overall wellbeing it’s intimately associated with sexual funcng because a tion,” said s d Gregory Maggass, M.D., a radiation oncologist sa with Arizona rizo Center for Cancer Care. And if the prostate becomes een enlarged — a common condition that can affect up to half o off m men in their 50s and up to 90 percent of men in their 70s 0 — it can press on the urethra and increase the frequency off ur urination, Maggass said. e PSA testing in The prostate ta is susceptible le to cancer because it is affected by b testosterone production uccti throughout life — even as hormone production slows, Maggass explained. o s, M a That’s why h many urologists and oncologists hy gistss like Maggass rrecommend yearly testing beginningg at at age agg 50, including i a digital rectal exam by a physician and da blood testt to ma make PSA level akee ssure urre a man’s man ns P SA A lev vel (pro ((prostatepro ostaate specific antigen) isn’t elevated. “If a man has a family history of prostate cancer, I recommend he start getting tested at age 40,” Maggass said. He acknowledged that these recommendations are considered controversial by some experts because the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in 2012 recommended against routine PSA testing in healthy men of all ages. “But prostate cancer occurs on a spectrum, from something very slow-growing to something that’s rapidly growing and aggressive,” he said. “Not screening PSA can allow aggressive cancers to spread.” The National Cancer Institute says there is no specific normal or abnormal level of PSA in the blood. In the past, most doctors considered PSA levels of 4.0 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter) and lower as normal. But more recent studies have shown that some men with PSA levels below 4.0 ng/mL have prostate cancer, while it’s not infrequent that men with higher levels do not have prostate cancer. Therefore, it’s important for each man to determine, with the help of a health professional, what is a normal PSA for him. Radiation, surgery, surveillance If cancer is found, a variety of treatments are available including radiation or surgery to remove the prostate. “The field is always evolving,” said Mark Hong, M.D., a urologist with Affiliated Urologists in Phoenix, “as does our understanding of who needs treatment and who doesn’t, based on an evaluation of the seriousness of a cancer that’s detected. Sometimes all that may be needed is active surveillance. We have gotten a lot Add up work days that many caregivers have to miss because of their caregiving commitments, or even the jobs they have to quit because of them, and the financial toll can be catastrophic. Thinkstock Saving money: Glen Spencer, benefits assistance program director at the Area Agency on Aging in Phoenix, said that one way to possibly save money is to call the Area Agency on Aging and see if the patient qualifies for Medicare’s ‘Extra Help’ program, which saves enrollees money on prescription drugs. As many as 20 percent of eligible beneficiaries are not enrolled, he said, adding that another program with different rules may also be of assistance and save qualifying individuals up to $105 per month. Support groups: In addition to personal finances, caregivers often have many common areas of concern, including safeguarding patients’ finances from others who may wish to take advantage of them. “It can be very helpful to discuss these and all concerns in a caregiver support group,” Petersen said. “Caregivers can learn how others have dealt with similar problems, while also receiving personalized guidance.” There are a number of caregivers’ support groups listed in the calendar of events in every issue of Living Well (see pages 4 and 5). Bob Gowens of Phoenix walks daily to look after his health. He is grateful for the improvements he’s seen since he had GreenLight laser surgery to open the passage through his enlarged prostate. | Rick D’Elia smarter about who needs surgery.” If surgery is needed, Hong added, the vast majority of prostatectomies these days are performed with help from a robotic device called the da Vinci, significantly reducing bleeding and allowing a much quicker recovery. „ MEN’S HEALTH, continued on page 5 †Senior resources Area Agency on Aging:; 602-264-2255; 888-783-7500 Arizona Caregiver Coalition:; 888-737-7494 Benevilla:; 623-584-4999; TTY 711 Duet:; 602-274-5022 Hospice of the Valley:; 602-530-6900 a-z H E A LT H C A R E N E W S B R I E F S St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center opens in Glendale Located near the Loop 101 and Glendale Avenue, Dignity Health recently opened St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center, the first phase of a 35-acre medical campus in Glendale that will initially employ 120 staff members. St. Joseph’s Westgate includes: • 24 in-patient beds • A 12-bed emergency department with an online waiting service • Two operating rooms • Diagnostic services St. Joseph’s Westgate will also offer inpatient general surgery as well as in-patient services related to orthopedics, urology, gastrointestinal and endoscopy. Info: Dignity Health Many of these agencies and organizations offer information and/or services related to: Ÿ Respite care programs or vouchers Ÿ Home-delivered meals Ÿ Assistance with daily living Ÿ Workshops, support groups and seminars Ÿ Referral services for help in finding suitable living arrangements Ÿ Palliative home care Ÿ And many other issues related to senior caregiving

Livingwell AZ June 2014

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