What Can Go Wrong with the Prostate? 3 Points of Concern

October is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

You Have Nothing to Lose By Learning About the Prostate Gland; it is a little walnut size  organ that can cause a lot of grief; it also has a pretty important role in male reproduction.

Normal Anatomy of the Male Prostate Gland

The normal prostate is a small, squishy gland about the size of a walnut. It sits under the bladder and in front of the rectum. The urethra—the narrow tube that runs the length of the penis and carries both urine and semen out of the body—runs directly through the prostate. The rectum, or lower end of the bowel, sits just behind the prostate and the bladder. See images of normal-sized and enlarged gland: Enlarged Prostate (BPH) Pictures Slideshow – MedicineNetwww.medicinenet.com › .

The prostate is not essential for life, but it’s important for reproduction. It seems to supply substances that facilitate fertilization and sperm transit and survival. Enzymes like PSA are actually used to loosen up semen to help sperm reach the egg during intercourse. (Sperm is not made in the prostate, but rather the testes.)

Information provided in English and Spanish (Inglés | Español)

What Can Go Wrong with the Prostate?  Find out here.  Also learn about:

 Unfortunately, most men are going to need to know about the prostate sometime, because this little gland is the source of three of the major men’s health problems:

  • Prostate cancer, the most common major cancer in men

  • Benign enlargement of the prostate ( BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia), one of the most common benign tumors in men and a source of symptoms for most men as they age

  • Prostatitis, painful inflammation of the prostate, the most common cause of urinary tract infections in men

Worse, because there’s no “statute of limitations” on prostate problems, some men are unlucky enough to endure more than one of these disorders. For example, having BPH or prostatitis doesn’t mean a man won’t have further difficulty—either a return of symptoms or a new problem entirely, such as prostate cancer.

When it comes to making the diagnosis of prostate cancer and planning treatment, the other prostate disorders must be considered, too. So it’s important that men know about all three problems—what they are, how they are treated, and their telltale symptoms.

Fortunately, effective treatment and relief of symptoms is available for all three prostate disorders. Even prostate cancer, when caught early, is treatable—generally without causing loss of urinary control or sexual function. In fact, many prostate cancers may not need to be immediately treated and can be safety followed under a program of active surveillance.

Race: African American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer compared with Caucasian men and are nearly 2.5 times as likely to die from the disease. Conversely, Asian men who live in Asia have the lowest risk.

Family history/genetics: A man with a father or brother who developed prostate cancer is twice as likely to develop the disease. This risk is further increased if the cancer was diagnosed in family members at a younger age (less than 55 years of age) or if it affected three or more family members.

Prostate Cancer Symptoms:

Not everyone experiences symptoms of prostate cancer. Many times, signs of prostate cancer are first detected by a doctor during a routine check-up.

Some men, however, will experience changes in urinary or sexual function that might indicate the presence of prostate cancer. These symptoms include:

  • A need to urinate frequently, especially at night

  • Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine

  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine

  • Painful or burning urination

  • Difficulty in having an erection

  • Painful ejaculation

  • Blood in urine or semen

  • Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs

You should consult with your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms above.

Because these symptoms can also indicate the presence of other diseases or disorders, such as BPH or prostatitis, men will undergo a thorough work-up to determine the underlying cause.

According to the National Cancer Institute below are the: “Estimated new cases and deaths from prostate cancer in the United States in 2014:”

  • New cases: 233,000

  • Deaths: 29,480

Prostate Cancer – National Cancer Institute  www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/prostate

We encourage men to be proactive; know your family history; get appropriate screening; talk to your urologist; do not ignore symptoms.  Exercise; take care of yourself and enjoy a healthy life.  Prevention is ALWAYS more effective than trying to cure an illness.  We at OneWorld wish you all good health.

Watch OneWorld’s community education forum here: http://youtu.be/2SfVrGiqqMg 

Get more information here:  http://www.pcf.org/site/c.leJRIROrEpH/b.5813303/k.CDC2/What_Can_Go…

An Excellent 8:35 mins Prostate Education Video can be found here- http://youtu.be/FbIq19M_3lM

OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc is a small group of community volunteers dedicated to bringing the Greater New Haven community reliable information on Health Literacy, Education and Civic Engagement.
Our television programs air on AT&T Uverse (Channel 99 – drop-down menu) statewide at various times daily, and on several public access channels. In Hamden, New Haven and West Haven our programs air on Mondays at 8pm on Comcast Channel 26 (CTV) and also on AT&T, Uverse, Channel 99. They air on Comcast Channels 10, 15 and 18 in Shoreline towns, in all 9 towns in the Valley; in Cromwell, East Hampton, Middlefield, Middletown & Portland, and in all 14 mid-western towns on Charter Communications Channel 21. Please visit OneWorld’s YouTube Channel at:  https://www.youtube.com/user/oneworldpi/videos  

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Blacks and Hispanics – Get Screened for Colon Cancer

Fair Haven Community Health Clinic Targets Colon Cancer – Please Get Screened

  • “Colon cancer is a common and lethal disease and the second leading cause of cancer death. (1)

  • “Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer found in men and women”.(2)

  • The risk of colorectal cancer begins to increase after the age of 40 years and rises sharply at the ages of 50 to 55 years.

  • The risk doubles with each succeeding decade, and continues to rise exponentially.”  http://www.hrsa.gov/quality/toolbox/measures/colorectalcancer/ US Dept of Health & Human Services 

    Black and Hispanic Communities Permeated By Myths and Misconceptions

There are many myths and misconceptions particularly in the Black and Hispanic communities about getting tested for any type of cancer.  Colon cancer is one that is particularly challenging in the African American community.  During the past 18 years OneWorld has provided multiple opportunities for free consultation and discussions in the local television studios with top-notch medical experts. Very few African Americans or Hispanics showed up.  It is as if to talk about it would lead to developing the disease.  Whatever the reasons are, getting passed the barriers to accessing available information and free screenings has not been easy in the African American and Hispanic communities.  OneWorld is pleased to see this effort at the Fair Haven Community Health Clinic (FHCHC) and hopes that African Americans and Hispanics will take advantage of this beneficial opportunity.

  • Colon cancer must be caught early to be treated most successfully; this means without impacting one’s normal longevity.  Only 57 percent of African Americans survive for five years after a late diagnosis.

  • Colon cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in Hispanic Americans. When people are diagnosed with colon cancer at an early stage, the five-year survival rate is 90 percent; this is why screening for prevention and early detection is so very important.

 A report published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2012 stated:  “Proper screening for colorectal cancer can lead to early detection and treatment of precancerous lesions and lower mortality rates. But racial and ethnic minorities (and those with lower incomes and inadequate insurance) are less likely than others to be screened.”

Experience has taught us that with the African American population it is about more than not having access.  We need to address the fear, lack of knowledge and the myths involved. The RWJF report found: A need for “Provider/system level interventions—didactic education sessions for providers stressing national guidelines for colorectal cancer and the importance of screening.”

 “According to Katharine Lewis, deputy commissioner for The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), only 67 percent of blacks are screened, compared with 74.1 percent of whites, and only 48.9 percent of those with low incomes are screened compared to 79.1 percent of those with higher incomes.  With screening programs such as this one at the Fair Haven Clinic, the disparity gap can be closed in this geographic area; however, those being affected need to access the programs to derive the benefits.  At least for the areas being served, this disparity will not be about a lack of access.

A Few Important Facts for Hispanics about Colon Cancer:

Hispanic Americans are less likely to get screened for colon cancer than either Caucasians or African Americans. Starting at age 50, all men and women should begin having colon cancer screening tests.

  • “There is a myth in the Hispanic community that colon cancer is a man’s disease. Colon cancer does not discriminate against gender or race.

  • Colon Cancer is a largely preventable disease.

  • Colonoscopy screening can detect polyps and remove them before they turn into cancer,” said Marta L. Davila, M.D., FASGE, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

    “I encourage all Hispanics age 50 and over to speak with their doctor about colon cancer screening. If you have a family history of the disease, you may need to begin screening before age 50.”

  • Some people are at higher risk for the disease because of age, lifestyle or personal and family medical history. However, colon cancer affects men and women alike.

  • Tell your health care professional if you have a personal or family history of colon cancer, colorectal polyps or inflammatory bowel disease. Then ask which test you should have and when you should begin colon cancer screening.

  • There are many obstacles to colon cancer screening, including reluctance to talk about colon cancer and embarrassment about having procedures involving tests that require stool samples.

  •  It is important that primary care providers address these issues with patients.

Colon Cancer Symptoms
“Colon cancer is often present in people without symptoms, but the following signs or symptoms might indicate colon cancer: blood in stools, narrower than normal stools, unexplained abdominal pain, unexplained change in bowel habits, unexplained anemia, and unexplained weight loss. These symptoms may be caused by other benign diseases such as hemorrhoids, inflammation in the colon or irritable bowel syndrome. The presence of these symptoms for more than a few days is an indication to talk with a gastrointestinal specialist about these symptoms and the patient’s family history.”

Language Barriers
Studies have shown that language is a barrier in regards to racial discrepancies and colon cancer screening.  ASGE offers patient education brochures in Spanish for doctors to order at www.asge.org. The Society also offers a colon cancer awareness website,www.screen4coloncancer.org, which has content in English, Spanish and Chinese, including Spanish-language patient education videos and Public Service Announcements: http://www.screen4coloncancer.org/videos.asp

 “To close these gaps, FHCHC has partnered with Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH) to provide the screenings for this new program. FHCHC will bring the patient to the door of the colonoscopy suite, but it’s the YNHH doctors who will do that work, waiving the fee for uninsured patients.”

New Haven’s mayor, Toni Harp, whose mother-in-law and husband succumbed to colon cancer, said it is imperative to let patients know that colorectal screenings are painless and with opportunities such as these, death from colorectal cancer can be prevented.

According the American Cancer Society, this year 1,650 new cases of colon cancers are expected in Connecticut, and around 460 people will likely lose their battle with the disease.”  This means 460 people will die because they were diagnosed too late or not diagnosed at all; 60 percent of these deaths are preventable.

 Please read the complete article in the New Haven Independent linked below. Please browse the other fact-related links from reliable sources, and see excerpts from OneWorld’s health literacy programs about the diagnosis and treatment of GI tract problems.

Have Indigestion? GI Tract Problems Explained by Myron Brand, MD (OneWorld Health Literacy) – http://youtu.be/6TEFhCnDzjQ GI Tract Problems – Part 1

“Early Diagnosis & Treatment of GI Cancers” Johanna LaSala, MD., Part -2 Hematologist/Oncologist (OneWorld Health Literacy) – http://youtu.be/Y89peX_pyLM

http://www.hrsa.gov/quality/toolbox/measures/colorectalcancer/ US Dept of Health

The Prevalence of Colon Cancer Among African Americans (3/8/2013)


 Spanish-language patient education videos and Public Service Announcements:  http://www.screen4coloncancer.org/videos.asp




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Is Education Reform In Connecticut A Political Football?

The information below has been excerpted from an August 18, 2014 article in newstimes.com

OneWorld encourages visitors to visit the newstimes.com link and read the complete article.

OneWorld selected specific segments to highlight here. We ask readers to take keen note of who expresses concerns about students. Isn’t education reform supposed to be about students? All of the bold, color changes, commentaries, questions and parentheses are done by OneWorld for emphasis and to draw readers attention to some of the important issues raised in the article.

Connecticut education chief looking for another job Linda Conner Lambeck and Ken Dixon – Updated 10:38 pm, Monday, August 18, 2014

The controversial state Department of Education commissioner who led Gov. Dannel P. Malloy‘s school reform effort is stepping down just as Malloy’s re-election campaign gears up for the November ballot.

The governor’s office said Monday that Stefan Pryor is looking for a new job and will not seek a second term, which would coincide with Malloy’s re-election in November.

Pryor’s three-year tenure was marked by major changes to student testing and teacher evaluations designed to narrow what is considered the nation’s largest student achievement gap. But the breakneck pace of the changes turned off many parents and educators and loomed as an election issue. (Isn’t education reform supposed to be about benefiting students? What are the considerations for the students in all of this?)

“Whether (Pryor’s impending departure) placates teachers remains to be seen,” said Boucher, ranking member of the Education Committee. “I think they will see through the smoke screen.”

Danbury Schools Superintendent Sal Pascarella saw a different side of Pryor.

Pascarella, co-chairman of the Connecticut Association of Urban Superintendents, said Pryor was accessible, helpful, honest and always willing to explore alternative solutions.

“Under his leadership, increased resources and greater opportunities were provided to the students in our urban settings,” Pascarella said. Isn’t this what urban parents and community leaders want? What about teachers and education administrators?

Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield, who lost the Republican primary to Foley, has been calling for Pryor’s resignation for months. On Monday, he called Pryor a political liability. (To whom exactly is the commissioner a liability? What are Mr. McKinley’s real concerns?)

“The governor is trying to save face with public school teachers, who he’s insulted and disrespected for almost 3 1/2 years,” McKinney said.

The impending departure was also celebrated by Jonathan Pelto, a petition candidate for governor, as great news and long overdue.

Pelto said Pryor and his team were “anti-teacher, pro-standardized testing, privatization zealots” who have “done immeasurable harm to Connecticut’s public education system.” (It would be more productive if Mr. Pelto could actually name the harm done to CT’s education system. Anyone can make claims providing such a one does not have to prove them.)

“When it comes to actually supporting Connecticut’s public schools, Malloy’s true intentions remain unknown, but Pryor’s departure is a small step in the right direction,” Pelto said. (Since when is an appeasement policy, or practice, a step in the right direction for students?)

Others predict Pryor’s departure won’t turn back the clock on school reform. (Do we really want the clock to be turned back on education reform in Connecticut?)

Jennifer Alexander, chief executive officer of the Connecticut Coalition of Achievement Now, called Pryor a tireless advocate for Connecticut students but said “improving education for our kids is about more than one person.”

***During Pryor’s tenure, graduation rates rose and Connecticut’s 12th grade reading and math scores were deemed tops in the nation. (Does this matter to anyone?)

Pryor, in a written statement, said he thoroughly enjoyed the job. “The work has not always been easy, but start to finish and top to bottom, it has been extraordinarily worthwhile,” he said.

Rep. Andrew M. Fleischmann, D-West Hartford, co-chairman of the legislative education committee, said Pryor’s job was to take the governor’s vision and implement it.

“That’s what he did his level best to do,” Fleischmann said. “Our curricular standards in Connecticut were outdated and it made sense to join the 48 states looking for new standards that are going to move Connecticut students farther ahead.” (Isn’t education reform about preparing Connecticut’s students by giving them the best foundational education possible for the 21st Century? Certainly there are issues to be addressed, but are we mixing apples and bananas in the same bucket?)

Mark Waxenberg, executive director of the Connecticut Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, said although it seemed the commissioner was losing trust among teachers and the education community, he didn’t see Pryor as someone who had a hidden agenda to replace public education with private concerns.  (How refreshing!)

“I believe that the end goal of improving public education — our goal and his — matched,” Waxenberg said. “It was how to get there where there were disagreements and issues.”

One of the benefits of diverse opinions and strategies is that we can often find hybrid formulas that seldom can be found when we all start off on the same page. Of course, there needs to be a willingness to work together and struggle together to attain the main objectives — improving Connecticut’s public education system, and making good schools accessible to all children.


OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc is a small group of committed volunteers who produces community television programs and critical-thinking forums, and sponsors oratory competitions and high school debates. Areas of focus are education, health literacy and civic engagement.  Learn more about OneWorld at:  www.oneworldpi.org

https://www.youtube.com/user/oneworldpi/videos – OneWorld’s YouTube https://www.facebook.com/pages/OneWorld-Progressive-Institute-Inc/151551484879941

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State (of CT) Must Keep Health Care Assistance

State Must Keep Health Care Assistance


Connecticut, along with the nation, is heading into the Affordable Care Act‘s second open enrollment period starting Nov. 15. What’s troubling is that our state has no public plan for linking consumers with the in-person assistance that was available a year ago.

During round two, the 257,000 plus people statewide who enrolled in the first year will have the opportunity to renew or select a different plan from a dizzying array of expanded offerings. Concurrently, this will be a time to target the population that remains uninsured. We still have unfinished business in enrolling those under age 35, males, African-Americans and Latinos. These groups are more challenging to reach and harder to convince about the benefits and peace-of-mind health insurance offers.

As the leaders of three of Connecticut’s independent health foundations, we provided grant funding to Access Health CT last year. This helped to provide for navigators and in-person assisters to deliver face-to-face education and enrollment assistance in communities for those seeking to sign up for health insurance. We knew consumers, especially those new to the complex world of health insurance, would need knowledgeable and trustworthy local resources to help them understand the various options available to them and how to sign up for them.

These in-person assisters engaged Connecticut residents 605,495 times with information about the new insurance options and financial assistance, and enrolled 31,769 residents — about half of whom were uninsured — in coverage.

The findings of an independent enrollment evaluation, conducted by the Community Alliance for Research and Engagement of Yale School of Public Health, overwhelmingly support the value of in-person assistance, especially with harder to reach communities. For example, the study found that consumers were better able to obtain the information they needed with greater satisfaction from in-persons assisters than through Access Health CT’s website or helpline.

This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded $60 million in grants to 90 navigator organizations. Unfortunately, organizations in places with state-facilitated marketplaces such as Connecticut were not eligible. Connecticut’s inability to renew more than $3 million of federal funding that supported last year’s in-person assistance efforts has left the fate of many uninsured residents uncertain.

Our foundations are not able to replace federal funding, but we have been ready to help in any way that we can, including with additional grant funding. Community organizations that were part of the in-person assistance network during round one, including many of our grantees, have been eager to re-engage in the enrollment process. But, so far, the state plans for implementing the second round of open enrollment have not been publicly released. It remains unclear where we fit in. For Connecticut to leave private funding and experience on the table would be a missed opportunity.

Connecticut cannot go back to a time when the state uninsured rate was 7.9 percent. In-person assistance is a key component in preserving the gains that made us a national leader. In-person assisters are part of a “no wrong door” approach to helping consumers through barriers and covering those who might have otherwise given up and remained uninsured. These consumers now have access to — and are using — important benefits such as doctor visits, prescriptions and preventive care.

We understand that as a practical reality, in-person assistance will need to be scaled back and look different this time, but the state is not at the point where we can let go of high-touch efforts as part of a comprehensive strategy.

We need to ensure that in-person assistance remains an essential part of the consumer support system this enrollment period and beyond, providing support yearlong for consumers who face challenges using their insurance. So the question to Connecticut’s health reform leaders remains: What’s the plan?

Patricia Baker is president and CEO of the Connecticut Health Foundation. Frances G. Padilla is president of the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut. Nancy L. Heaton is CEO, of the Foundation for Community Health. (Copyright © 2014, The Hartford Courant)

OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc concurs 100 percent with the authors that the in-person assisters need to remain in place to help consumers to sign-up and navigate what is still a challenging health care pathway to getting affordable and suitable health coverage.

OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc is a 501©3 volunteer organization in CT. OneWorld produces community information television programs and community forums on health literacy, education and civic engagement since 1996. Visit our web site at: www.oneworldpi.org/ OneWorld has been providing key information about Health Care Reform since 2009, and has provided informative blogs and produced a comprehensive Sign-up Workshop and much more information about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for viewers of our programs, and visitors to our YouTube channel: http://youtu.be/M_eK_jGyHsE

Our television programs air on AT&T Uverse (Channel 99, drop-down menu) statewide, and on Charter Communications Chan. 21, on Comcast channels 10, 15, 18 and 26.

Additional information is provided here: http://youtu.be/IIKo8DxODGo

Visit OneWorld’s YouTube Channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/oneworldpi/videos -

See OneWorld’s Comprehensive Health Section Index at: http://www.oneworldpi.org/health/index.html

Learn more about Access Health CT here: Health Insurance Exchange – CT.gov www.ct.gov/hix/ also here: AccessHealthCT com | Access Health CT Health Insurance  www.healthcaregov.net/accesshealthctcom.html

The next open enrollment period starts Nov. 15, 2014. Check with the Access Health CT site for the latest information.


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Evaluation of the ACA Enrollment Experience in Connecticut

Evaluation of the Access Health CT First Open Enrollment Experience in Connecticut between Dec. 2013 and March 2014.  The survey was designed and carried out by CARE.  See more about CARE at the end of this blog.

Raising up the Voices of Urban Consumers, Assisters and Navigators. This article is presented by the Universal Health Foundation. It is comprehensive and very informative for individuals, organizations and for providers. OneWorld recommends it as being highly beneficial.


The Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers an unprecedented opportunity for Connecticut to increase the number of people covered by health insurance. An important measure of the ACA’s success in Connecticut is its ability to enroll underserved populations through Access Health CT (AHCT) — the state’s new health insurance marketplace — into private insurance plans or Medicaid. This evaluation focuses on the consumer experience of the AHCT enrollment effort between December 2013 and March 2014, with emphasis on the experiences of underserved urban populations, as well of the navigators and in-person assisters who helped them. The goal was to identify factors that facilitated or impeded enrollment and outreach during the first open enrollment period in order to provide recommendations to enhance future targeted outreach and enrollment efforts.


The evaluation was conducted and designed by CARE: Community Alliance for Research and Engagement at the Yale School of Public Health, using a multi-method approach:

1)     In-person surveys (n = 164) were conducted in English (n = 113) and Spanish (n = 51) among a convenience sample of consumers who visited community-based organizations and AHCT enrollment centers in New Haven, Bridgeport and New Britain between December 2013 and March 2014. These individuals were interviewed by CARE staff immediately after interactions with in-person assistance.

 2)     Telephone surveys (n = 121) were conducted with a sample of uninsured residents during February and March 2014.

 3)     Assister focus groups were held with a total of 49 assisters in March 2014 in the six designated regions of the state: Hartford County; New Haven County; Fairfield County; Litchfield County; New London and Middlesex Counties; and Windham and Tolland Counties.

 4)     Key informant interviews were conducted in April 2014 with one navigator/navigator coordinator from each of the six regions.

 Read the complete report here: http://universalhealthct.org/images/PDF/CAREreport82014.pdf  

Learn more about Access Health CT here: Health Insurance Exchange – CT.gov www.ct.gov/hix/ also here: AccessHealthCT com | Access Health CT Health Insurance  www.healthcaregov.net/accesshealthctcom.html

The next open enrollment period starts Nov. 15, 2014. Check with the Access Health CT site for the latest information.

Evaluation of the Access Health CT Enrollment Experience in Connecticut: Raising up the Voices of Urban Consumers, Assisters and Navigators was written by Alycia Santilli, MSW and Jeannette Ickovics, PhD of CARE: Community Alliance for Research and Engagement at the Yale School of Public Health. Funding support was provided by Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, Connecticut Health Foundation and the Patrick and Catherine Weldon Donaghue Medical Research Foundation. The views expressed in this brief are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the funders.

 OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc is a small group of committed volunteers who researches, writes and seeks out reliable health care and education information and make these available to the broader community.  We do place emphasis on inner-city, urban, communities of color and disenfranchised communities.  Learn more about our work at: www.oneworldpi.org/ and see some of our community television programs and education forums on our YouTube channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/oneworldpi/videos – OneWorld’s YouTube – Please Visit us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/OneWorld-Progressive-Institute-Inc/151551484879941

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