Movember: Thanksgiving is the perfect time to talk to family about your health history

Southeast Region

HAMPTON, Va (WAVY) — Since retiring from his job as an engineer at Newport News shipbuilding, Everett Browning has been building awareness.

“I was diagnosed with prostate cancer back in 2008,” he told WAVY. “I’m fortunate to be here and that’s why I’m out telling the story.”

In Virginia, more men die from prostate cancer than the national average. Men in Hampton Roads die at the highest rate in the state and black men are at higher risk.

We asked EVMS professor of urology, Dr. Robert Given why.

“There’s many different theories but I don’t know if we know exactly why,” he told 10 On Your Side.

Dr. Given says prostate cancer has a very high cure rate when caught early.

“Unfortunately, if it has spread outside the localized area of the prostate we don’t have a cure for it,” said Dr. Given. “We have ways to control it for many years.”

There is a simple blood screening to check PSA levels that he recommends all men have once a year beginning at age 55 or earlier if they have a family history.

Browning’s father and two older brothers were also diagnosed.

That’s why when his family sits down at the virtual Thanksgiving table, he will pass along a side of advice to the younger men and the women who care about them.

“Feeling fine don’t always mean you’re doing fine when it comes to your health.”

Browning encourages all families to take a minute or two over the holidays to talk about family health histories and consider it a gift that could save a loved one’s life.

He is also part of the Hampton Roads Prostate Health Forum which provides free community health screenings and a lot of good information.

Their next screening will be in February.

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