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After beating cancer, Rep. Ford to discuss need for cancer screening with Gov. Pritzker

Thursday, Jun 17, 2021

* Rachel Hinton

A state legislator who represents the West Side of Chicago hopes to use his surprising prostate cancer diagnosis to encourage residents to get screened too.

“When a doctor tells you you have an aggressive cancer and you have to have surgery, there’s automatically a feeling of fear,” Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, told the Chicago Sun-Times.

“The moral of the story is if I hadn’t advocated for myself it would have metastasized and become a death sentence,” the legislator said.

Ford plans to talk about his experience — and urge others to be screened — Thursday morning at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Gov. J.B. Pritzker plans to be there in support, Ford said. […]

Ford said his decision to speak out months after his surgery is also to address the disparities in life expectancy between Black and white men and help people “understand this issue.”

Go read the rest.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

9 Comments
  1. - Blue Dog - Thursday, Jun 17, 21 @ 8:09 am:

    I applaud Rep. Ford and agree that early detection is critical. I’ll let the politicians handle that one but will encourage all at every step I take


  2. - Occasional Quipper - Thursday, Jun 17, 21 @ 8:42 am:

    Thank you for this reminder, Rep. Ford. My father passed away from prostate cancer, so I’ve been sure to keep up with my annual physicals, which include a blood test for PSA (prostate-specific antigen) level. Then every 5 years they do the more thorough exam, but it’s a small inconvenience considering the huge benefit of possible early detection. Don’t put it off.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 17, 21 @ 9:55 am:

    Thank you Rep. Ford, my best to you now and going forward.

    OW


  4. - prairiestatedem - Thursday, Jun 17, 21 @ 9:56 am:

    Leave it to Representative Ford to take a horrible personal health crisis, and turn it into a moment of action for the betterment of the public. Thank God for his recovery, I applaud his continued call to eliminate the health care disparities that exist along racial and socioeconomic lines. We should work each day to reverse the stark differences in health care access and outcomes.


  5. - NIU Grad - Thursday, Jun 17, 21 @ 10:02 am:

    I would appreciate state guidance on how/where to get screened for not just prostate cancer, but any kind of cancer. Whenever I bring up to a doctor that I would like them to screen for early forms of cancer, they treat me like a hypochondriac. For many people, the cancer is detected too late for anything to be done about it.


  6. - Amalia - Thursday, Jun 17, 21 @ 10:13 am:

    good on Rep. Ford. hoping for his good health.

    @NIU Grad, screened for “any kind of cancer….” there are not screenings that fit this statement.


  7. - Rasselas - Thursday, Jun 17, 21 @ 10:36 am:

    NIU Grad - assuming your male, check this out: https://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/life-stages-populations/mens-health/screening-information

    Screening is a tricky proposition. There is the risk of false positives, which may lead to interventions that themselves carry risk. For example, an elevated PSA that triggers a biopsy may lead to a MRSA infection from the biopsy itself, even though no cancer is present. The number of such adverse consequences from screening-triggered interventions is surprisingly high. That’s why universal screening for all cancers is not recommended. Tradeoffs of risk of intervention are balanced against other indications (e.g., family history), leading to more narrowly-targeted screening recommendations.


  8. - Amalia - Thursday, Jun 17, 21 @ 11:44 am:

    not all cancers have screenings.


  9. - anon2 - Thursday, Jun 17, 21 @ 2:01 pm:

    Prostate cancer is second only to skin cancer in frequency among American men. A spotlight on it is appropriate, and LaShawn is providing that.


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