God Reinforces His Promises!

Since I personally have recurrent but asymptomatic prostate cancer, I have my PSA checked every four months.  Thinking back to similar experiences over the past twenty years, this regular PSA testing usually was accompanied by some degree of anxiety, fear and pleas to God that the results would be positive.  While some degree of apprehension or anticipation could be considered as  normal, I have been steadily progressing in my faith journey leaving my condition in God’s hand and getting to the point where I can truly say “not my will by Thine be done.”  Last week was a day of testing.  Over the years, God has given me the ministry opportunity and I believe an assignment to write this website and share my journey with others.  Remembering what He specifically promised me as recorded in the April 30th, 2015 video blog, He said “You (me) keep sharing your ministry and I’ll (Jesus) take care of your body.”  So last week as I am driving to my doctor’s office to get my blood drawn for my PSA test, I passed a local Methodist church whose pastor had written his upcoming sermon topic for the upcoming Sunday on the church signpost.  In big, unmistakable letters, it read “God Keeps His Promises.”  I praised and thanked the Lord  for this unexpected reinforcing message and took my test with a calm, submissive spirit.  By the way, the PSA result was very positive when it could have been otherwise.  As James 1:2-4 states, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance, and let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing.”  My medical journey with “the Great Physician” continues.

PSA Testing Do-Overs Recommended

According to a recent Canadian study, if your doctor suspects you may have prostate cancer because of an elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level, you might want to ask for a repeat PSA test to confirm the results. It could save you from undergoing an unnecessary prostate biopsy that could entail serious complications. Of 1,268 men who underwent a second PSA test within three months of their first test showing elevated PSA levels, 315 (24.8 percent) had normal results the second time around. As a result of their finding, the researchers recommend that men with elevated PSA levels should repeat the test before undergoing a biopsy. The American Urological Association echoes this recommendation. Elevated PSA levels may result from infection, physical activity or sexual activity. Other studies revealed that only 16 to 56 percent of primary care physicians ordered a repeat test for patients with abnormal PSA results. Most experts agree that PSA screening should be used in conjunction with a digital rectal examination, and additional information such as family history, race, and age to assess the likelihood of prostate cancer being present. The information presented here came from the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, published online in December, 2015 and re-printed in HealthAfter50, Scientific American Consumer Health.

To my readers: Very Important. Hearing from God; Be Still;

I published a blog on Feb. 17th entitled, “If You Want to Hear from God, Be Still”. This is one of the most important blogs I have written.  The post on the website looks fine but when I received an e mail of it, parts of it were too large and missing. Until I resolve the issue, please go to the original site, http://www.Godandprostate.net, and click on the February 17th post on the homepage. I am linking it here. Sorry for the problem.


If You Want to Hear From God, “Be Still.”

Gulf of Mexico, Boca Grande, Florida; BJ Gabrielsen photo.
Gulf of Mexico, Boca Grande, Florida; BJ Gabrielsen photo.

If you are like me, we often pray to God about our health status, specifically our prostate cancer.  It is indeed an amazing privilege to have that personal relationship with God the Father through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ and be able to bring our needs, anxieties, fears and uncertainties, to God Himself and seek His wisdom, healing, love, security, comfort and specific plans for us.  But how do we hear His response?  If you were seeking advice from a trusted friend, would you simply keep talking without stopping to focus on their response?  The answer is found in Psalm 46:10, “be still” or “cease striving” and “know that I am God.”  The Hebrew word translated “be still” can also be translated “become helpless”, “collapse”, “cease”, “fall limp” and “relax”. The sense is to stop striving.  Personally in my haste to prayerfully communicate my thoughts to God, I have to stop, clear my mind, be silent, shut off external stimulii, and ask God humbly “what would You have me to hear?”  The command to “be still” calls us to totally silence ourselves and listen to God often in the face of great turmoil.  In Psalm 46:1, we are also reminded that God is “our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”  When we learn to practice silence before God, we position ourselves to listen carefully to Him. We purposely quiet ourselves so that we are in a listening mode. We turn away from the constant chatter of our minds and digital world in order to grasp the mysterious ways God speaks to us when we turn our attention fully to Him.

But what of we are not sure if we even have a personal relationship with God?  If I wanted to enter the White House, I’d need to know someone.  In a way, we need a “pass” to obtain entry into the presence of a holy God.  Not one of us is good enough on our own to do so.  He is perfectly holy and righteous and perfectly just in all He does.  We certainly are not.  But when we accept by faith God’s offer to credit us with Christ’s righteousness, we have a “pass” that allows us to “approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).  We don’t have to worry about earning that grace; Jesus did it once and for all at the cross.  Do you really want to hear from God personally?  First you need a “pass” and His name is Jesus.  Then express your praise, thanks and needs, and “be still” or otherwise translated “cease striving” and “know that He is God.”

Portions of the above were adapted from two February 16th, 2016 devotionals; “Today in the Word”published by the Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, IL and from “Anchor”, a devotional from Haven Ministries, Riverside, CA. The latter was written by a man currently serving a 6-year Federal prison sentence.

Us TOO – An International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network

Us TOO was founded by—and continues to be governed by—people directly affected by prostate cancer. They are a nonprofit established in 1990 that serves as a resource of volunteers with peer-to-peer support and educational materials to help men and their families/caregivers make informed decisions about prostate cancer detection, treatment options and related side effects.  Their website is http://www.ustoo.org/home.

Surgery May Beat Radiation for Men With Early Stage Prostate Cancer

A new Canadian study has concluded that men with organ-confined prostate cancer are more likely to survive if they have surgery rather than radiation therapy.  The authors of the study analyzed data from 19 previous studies involving 119,000 men with localized cancer.  Findings from fifteen (15) of the studies showed that those who received initial radiation therapy were twice as likely to die from prostate cancer as those who had surgery.  Findings from ten (10) of the studies also showed that men who had radiation therapy were 50% more likely to die sooner of any cause, compared to those who had surgery.   The results of the study analyses were published on Dec. 14th, 2015 in the journal European Urology.

The authors add however that “prostate cancer treatment is never a one-size-fits-all matter.”  There are times when radiation therapy may be more appropriate than surgery so it is vitally important that a patient discusses treatment options with his physician.  It is also noted that radiation is still possible as a secondary treatment after surgery.  So patients have yet another way of combating their cancer if necessary.  In addition, a radiation oncologist pointed out that this review may not have accounted for recent improvements in radiation therapy that could boost patient outcomes.  For an additional reference, see the December 29th edition of Prostate Cancer News Today (linked).

Prostate Cancer Lesions Accurately Detected by New Imaging Agent

Current tests to initially detect prostate cancer rely on biopsies.  Scans such as bone and CT scans, and choline-11 and acetate-11 PET scans are used to identify sites of cancer metastases.  Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University have now developed a new imaging technique to detect prostate cancer cells and malignant lesions.  Their technique is both highly accurate and more effective than current detection methods.  Details of their imaging technique (see link) entitled “VPAC1 Targeted 64Cu-TP3805 Positron Emission Tomography (PET), were recently published in the journal Urology.  The novel copper-peptide (small protein) imaging agent 64Cu-TP3805 attaches itself to VPAC1 receptors on the surface of cancer cells.  The TP3805 peptide portion of the agent hooks on to the cell receptors and the copper-64 radiation-emitting peptide allows their detection by PET-CT scanning.  The technique was tested on 25 prostate cancer patients undergoing radical prostatectomies.  Compared to conventional biopsies, this technique found 105 out of 107 cancerous lesions in the removed prostates as well as nine lesions not found by conventional pathology.  Positive and negative lymph nodes, cases of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and cysts were also identified.  Larger studies are planned.