Howard Williams with his high school sweetheart of 40 years at his side, was the special speaker at the joint Women's & Men's prayer breakfast last Sunday. His one goal: to inform everyone about the silent killer, that he survived, prostate cancer.
An engineer of plane engines, a writer, and international advocate for prostrate cancer prevention, Mr. Williams is adamant about men taking a stand and fighting for their prostate health. He mentioned that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Jamaica. The reason is not known, but, thankfully, it is also the most treatable cancer in the world, once caught early.
Mr. Williams credits his wife with saving his life, by encouraging him to have yearly physicals. He warned the men and women at the breakfast, that annual PSA screenings, as well as digital rectal exams are crucial to finding and fighting this disease.
Several risks include, but are not limited to, age, race (African Americans are 60% more likely to get the disease), genetics and diet.
It's time to start thinking about food like gas. It is fuel for your body, and doesn't have to be tasty to be good for you. Just like no one would put gas full of water in his or her car, good food has to be put in our bodies. Howard discussed his diagnosis in 2006, and how he cut out everything that wasn't benefiting his body. He exercised more, and ate more live enzymes.
One in six men will get prostrate cancer, and it could be any male that you know. It is a slow growing cancer, which is why it can be cured if caught early. Interestingly enough, Asian men are less likely to contribute to prostrate cancer, unless they move to Jamaica or the U.S. This means that genetics only play a small part, and that the lifestyle is the real culprit in developing this disease.
This is good news, because it means that we can reduce this disease in the lives of our loved ones. Obesity, little exercise, fatty foods all contribute to prostate cancer. Sometimes there are no symptoms, but ensuring that we keep up with the necessary tests, will help us find the cancer cells in time.
Mr. Williams also stressed that as parents we need to give our medical history to our children. They need to know their history and what illnesses are in their lineage.
Breast cancer was also discussed. Howard said that the rates of breast cancer and deaths from the illness are going down. The same needs to happen with prostrate cancer. Once we make our health a priority, and eat the right foods (more fresh veggies and enzymes), as well as trust in God.