Volunteering for a Healthier Life

Health Alert for those over 40 and a Challenge

I recently learned of a form of cancer that is disporportionately affecting African Americans over 40 and the Elderly, it is called Plasmacytoma (or multiple mynoma if it morphs). It is very treatable if detected in its early stages. Unfortunately, most find it as a result of trying to solve another problem and the cancer is discovered when it is too far along.

No, I am not a doctor, but someone close was recently affected by this disease and it was a shock to everyone around him. He was otherwise healthy and had actually just gone in to get something else checked out. After three weeks of thinking it was something else he was admitted to the hospital. It all happened pretty quickly. I am telling you this because many of us are approaching or have reached/passed 40 and need to seriously start thinking about our health because it can drastically affect our families for years to come. In my very brief research, I have also found that it tends to affect men more than women. The focus with cancer many times is on Breast or Lung cancer, but this cancer is neither. It is actually something that I believe starts in your blood or bone…although it is not bone cancer. Many symptons, although not all of them, are things such as bone and muscle pain, numbness or weakness. One of the major issues is that it masks itself as something else because the systems are very common.

It is very important for each of us to get regular wellness checkups to ensure everything is working as it should. If you don’t have a primary care physician you should begin researching one. Find someone who is familiar with issues that may affect you and your family. If you are white, black, hispanic, asian or something else…make sure they are familiar with your culture and the issues of that culture. This may be hard, but it is important for your health. And while I’m on the subject, get your prostate exam, your colonoscopy and any other test that you should be getting after you reach age 40. Ladies make sure you are getting your yearly exams. Being scared of the doctor doesn’t make an undiagnosed problem go away…in fact it just gives it the opportunity to get worse.

One of the goals of BACVOL-life is to encourage us to think about our health and lifestyles on a different level…we are our future. Our choices affect more than just us, but our families as well. For those who choose to eat out more than they cook at home, what is your excuse…there are crockpots and freezer meals galore on the internet? For those who don’t get out when it is nice out and walk in the park or play with our kids…what is your excuse it now stays light outside longer? People are dying way too young of heart attacks, diabetes and obesity. We need to invest in ourselves and our community by identifying and changing things we have the power to change. Come on VOL family! We can do it…if we support one another and stop being lazy. Lets really focus on our health and lifestyles and change them for the better!


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