WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - "Dan left us this morning at 6 a.m. He fought a brave battle with cancer and died peacefully at home in Maine with his wife Jean at his side. His strength, dignity, and grace in the face of the daunting challenges of this disease were an inspiration to all who knew him."
When you click on singer/songwriter Dan Fogelberg's Web site, www.danfogelberg.com, his smiling, handsome face comes up alongside this sad message.
Fogelberg, 56, died of aggressive prostate cancer Sunday. He had been diagnosed in 2004 with an advanced form of the disease and, as happens many times when cancer is found after it has already spread, his life expectancy decreased.
Fogelberg wrote and posted an important message on his Web page after getting the news of his disease: All men over 50 should get the so-called PSA blood test and a rectal exam to test for prostate cancer, even though the PSA has become controversial and isn't always accurate.
And certainly men 40 and over with a family history of prostate disease, or who are African-Americans, should be more routinely and aggressively screened.
According to Weinstein, only one in four men who have abnormal PSA (blood tests) readings for prostate cancer actually show cancer and as many as 20 percent whose readings are normal can have cancer.
But with this screening, he said, the risk of finding prostate cancer when it has advanced is lessened because the chances of finding it early are increased.
There is no way to prevent the disease, but there are indications that men who drink and smoke have a higher chance of getting it in a virulent form, Weinstein said. Here are the symptoms:
_ A need to urinate frequently, especially at night.
_ Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine.
_ Weak or interrupted flow of urine or painful 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.
Because these symptoms can also indicate the presence of other diseases or disorders, men who experience any of these symptoms should get a thorough work-up to determine the underlying cause of the symptoms. *