View Full Version : Ex-Steeler's goal: Get every man tested

04-02-2010, 06:57 AM
Ex-Steeler's goal: Get every man tested
By Chris Togneri
Friday, April 2, 2010

Former Steelers linebacker Robin Cole knows what might have been.

If only his father, Obediah Cole, had gotten tested for prostate cancer -- a deadly but highly treatable disease when detected early -- he might be around today.

"It's all about information," Cole said Thursday night outside the Hard Rock Cafe in Station Square. "If my father knew what we know today, we could have saved his life."

Obediah Cole died in 1976 of advanced prostate cancer.

Robin Cole created the Obediah Cole Foundation for Prostate Cancer to promote education, awareness and early detection.

The foundation will sponsor the eighth annual Father's Day 5/10K Run and Walk in the North Side to increase awareness of prostate cancer. The event raises $10,000 to $15,000 a year, and last year attracted 2,000 runners, said Jerry Bortman, 73, of McMurray, secretary-treasurer for the foundation.

The foundation's goal is to get every man in Pittsburgh tested. A kickoff party last night, attended by about 400 people, should help increase awareness and teach men where and how to get tested.

"I thought it was an old man's disease," said musician Danny Gochnour, 52. "But I got it, and I know a guy who's 38 years old who has it now."

Cole and others -- including Pitt football coach Dave Wannstedt and former Steelers wide receiver Louis Lipps -- delivered that message, some wearing shirts reading: "Man up for Prostate Cancer. It's a guy thing."

Cole was diagnosed with the disease in 2004, when he was 49. He underwent surgery and is cancer-free.

His family members have since learned they have a genetic predisposition to prostate cancer. Obediah Cole's twin brother died after battling several cancers, including prostate cancer, and six of his eight sons are prostate cancer survivors.

Cole stressed the importance of getting tested early and regularly. "It saved my life," he said.

The American Cancer Society recommends that men get annual prostate cancer screenings after age 50. Black men and men with a family history of the disease have a higher risk and should begin screenings at 45. Bortman, a 15-year prostate cancer survivor, said the foundation recommends men get tested as early as 40.

"You don't need to die from this disease," Bortman said. "Just get tested regularly, talk to your doctor and get treated early."

For more information about the Obediah Cole Foundation for Prostate Cancer, visit www.obcolefoundation.org or call 412-572-6830.

Chris Togneri can be reached at ctogneri@tribweb.com or 412-380-5632.

(For any of you dudes out there over 40 you do need to get tested. Prostrate surgery can leave you both impotent and incontinent. - mesa)

04-02-2010, 05:27 PM
From AARP 01/2010 Bulletin:

H. Gilbert Welch MD, a professor at the Dartmouth Institute of Health Policy and Clinical Practice, says he believes the risk of over diagnosing prostate cancer far exceeds the potential benefits–he doesn’t plan to have a PSA test even though he is in his mid-50’s.

“It’s a 50-to-1 ratio,” says Welch. “For everyone one man who avoids a prostate cancer death, 50 will be treated unnecessarily,” often because their cancers are so slow-growing that they will never cause problems. Considering the risks of INCONTIENCE and IMPOTENCE from treatment, he adds, “to me, that’s not a good deal.” The fact that many men are being diagnosed with early-state prostate cancer suggests many of being treated unnecessarily, he says.

04-02-2010, 06:39 PM
(For any of you dudes out there over 40 you do need to get tested. Prostrate surgery can leave you both impotent and incontinent. - mesa)

That's right. Stop thinking you 10' tall and bullet proof. My uncle passed away 6 weeks ago from this. From the time they found it to the time he passed was only 9 weeks, he was only 52.

Steel Fan
04-02-2010, 11:17 PM
Misdiagnosed, incontinence, impotence, has nothing over undiagnosed, untreated and death.