Health Issues

The average age of a Seahorse member is... well, that is a woman's secret, but we ain't getting any younger. Some of our members have had significant health problems, but early intervention has prevented a bad outcome.

Here are two brief, but important, personal examples from two committee members.


Blood Clots/Strokes

Submitted by Julia, President.

STROKE IDENTIFICATION

It only takes a minute to read this...

A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke... totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours.

RECOGNIZING A STROKE

STROKE: Remember the 1st Three Letters.... S - T - R. Read on and learn more!

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

  • S* Ask the individual to SMILE.
  • T* Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently, i.e. "It is sunny out today.")
  • R* Ask the person to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

There is now a fourth indicator, the tongue -- Stick out Your Tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other, that is also an indication of a stroke.


Prostate Cancer

Submitted by Christine Parker, Webmistress

I always thought that prostate cancer was something that old guys got. I was 59 when a routine blood test revealed a raised PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) level of 7. It should have been less than 3. I had not had it checked for several years. Like many men I avoided doctors as I was too busy or just never thought about it.

I soon discovered that prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in men, and that more men die of it than women die of breast cancer each year.

I was lucky. A biopsy revealed that it was not highly malignant and was still confined to the prostate gland. I was given the option of a radical prostatectomy with an almost guaranteed cure, but also guaranteed impotence and possible incontinence of urine.

Instead, after some research, I opted for a newer technique, Prostatic Seed Brachytherapy, the implantation of 80 radioactive seeds into the prostate, mercifully under general anaesthetic. The research showed that the results are just about as good as the full surgery. There were temporary side-effects, but I was well enough the attend the Annual General Meeting last year, just 2 weeks after the procedure.

So, remember, go and have the Little Prick Test, as the television ad says.


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