Senior Focus


As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney

In disguise . . .
I found out somethin’ this past week that might come in handy.
If I ever have a reason to be in disguise, all I have to do is appear in public without a hat on!
I do it occasionally, if the ole’ rumor crops up, again, that I might be bald-headed.
The other day when I walked into a meetin’ several folks did a double-take!
I guess I might have gotten my likin’ for hats from my Daddy.
He always wore one, as did most men in years past.
And it sat on his head crooked, or what ever way it landed when he put it on. And I seem to have that same habit.
Years ago, a lady wouldn’t think of goin’ to church without her hat.
And the men would never enter with theirs on.
If you’re acquainted with your Bible, you can find about it all there somewhere–and a lot of other interestin’ things too.
I remember one Saturday afternoon, when I begged Mama to buy me a hat at Nathan Rooth’s store in downtown Mabank.
She finally relented–and probably spent her egg money to do it.
I wish I still had that one to add to my collection.
Well, thru the years the whole thing has about got out of control.
Folks started givin’ me hats–I’ve even received ‘em thru the mail.
The idea kept spreadin’, and is still goin’! I love it, but I’m runnin’ out of space!
There are hats everywhere! I was straightening up a little the other day, somethin’ I don’t do very often. I don’t have time–too many more interestin’ things to do!
Anyway, I kept diggin’ out hats. They are hangin’ on the walls, stacked in corners–I almost had claustrophobia!
But I like ‘em all. I guess I’ve just gotta find me some kind of smokehouse, or maybe a little corn crib to store ‘em in.
So the word is out–if any of you have a little spare buildin’ let me know. Okay?
As I was saying, I know how to be in disguise–go without my hat!


Athens ETMC launches prostate cancer screening
Special to The Monitor
ATHENS–It’s time to sign up for East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System’s ninth annual free prostate cancer screening for men.
Last year, ETMC screened more than 1,400 men.
From our annual ETMC PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood tests, 64 tests came back with abnormalities. These men were referred to their doctors for further evaluation.
The screening is a simple blood test, which identifies the level of PSA in the blood.
An elevated level is an early sign of prostate cancer. During the past eight years, ETMC has screened more than 24,000 men during its annual June prostate cancer screening.
You are at risk and eligible for the screening if you have one or more of these that apply to you:
• You are 50 or more years of age.
• You are 40 or more and are African-American.
• You are 40 or more and have a family history of prostate cancer.
• You are 40 or more and have not been in the care of a urologist for any prostate-related problems or diagnosis in the past year.
• You have not had a PSA test since July 1, 2005.
Symptoms of prostate cancer may include a painful or burning sensation when urinating, difficulty starting or stopping urine flow or inability to urinate, continuous pain in the lower back, pelvis or upper thighs, painful ejaculation, frequent urination and blood in urine.
“When prostate cancer is in its earliest, most curable stage, there may be no symptoms to warn you,” radiation oncologist and medical director of the ETMC Cancer Institute James Kolker, MD said.
“Prostate cancer is highly curable when detected early,” he added.
According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer kills 27,350 men each year and every man has a one-in-six chance of developing the disease in his lifetime.
Prostate cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in men.
One in 34 men will die from prostate cancer.
This year, 234,460 new cases will be found. African-American men are more likely to have prostate cancer and to die of it than are white or Asian men.
The good news is that the death rate is going down because the disease is being found earlier.
“In addition to surgery, radiation beam therapy, hormone therapy and various combinations of these treatments, such as radioactive seed implant are available,” he said.
“This is a one-day procedure, in which small radioactive seeds are placed inside the prostate gland to give a direct, high dose of radiation to the prostate tumor,” Kolker explained.
In June, prostate screenings will be available at a number of ETMC sites, including Athens, Carthage, Cedar Creek Lake, Clarksville, Crockett, Fairfield, Gilmer, Jacksonville, Mt. Vernon, Pittsburg, Quitman, Rusk, Trinity and Tyler.
You must have an appointment to take advantage of these special screenings.
Please call ETMC HealthFirst to schedule your appointment at (800) 850-7050.
Proceeds from ETMC’s Henry M. Bell Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament help underwrite the prostate cancer screenings.
The sixth annual charity tournament is set for Friday, Sept. 15, at Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler.
For more information, contact the ETMC Foundation at (903) 596-3645.





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