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PULSE CONQUERING CANCER.

Byline: Mariko Thompson Staff Writer

Hap Weyman had always been the mountain in his son Terry's life. So scaling mountains seemed like an appropriate way to honor Hap, who died of prostate cancer in 1990.

Terry, a sports chiropractor in Westlake Village, organized the first Hap Weyman Memorial Prostate Cancer Climb in 2001. A team of 14 climbers reached the summit of Mount Aconcagua, Argentina, and raised $250,000 for prostate cancer awareness and education. Now Terry and the nonprofit Prostate Cancer Research Institute are working on a second high-altitude climb to tackle Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in September.

``When you stand at the base of a 23,000-foot mountain, it's probably the same feeling you have when you're diagnosed with cancer,'' Terry said. ``You either stay in your tent or climb for the summit.''

In 2002, an estimated 30,200 men died of prostate cancer in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. Only lung cancer accounts for more cancer-related deaths among men. Glenn Weaver, executive director of the Los Angeles-based Prostate Cancer Research Institute, said many people aren't aware of the parallels between prostate cancer and breast cancer.

``If you have a family member who had breast cancer, it puts you at high risk for prostate cancer and vice versa,'' he said. ``Prostate cancer needs as much effort put into it as breast cancer.''

Hap, who died at age 65, worked as a production manager in the movie industry. Initially, he was diagnosed with lower back pain and arthritis, Terry said. Today, the American Cancer Society recommends men undergo screening for prostate cancer starting at age 50. Men at high risk, including those with a family history and African-Americans, are encouraged to begin testing at age 45.

Terry won't be among the climbers for the Kilimanjaro trip. But he plans to remain a driving force behind the event.

``We're not just raising money but awareness,'' Terry said. ``Men don't want to deal with health problems until it happens. They're afraid of the exams and tests. As a society, we need to talk about our bodies and be aware of the risk factors.''

For more information, visit www.prostatecancerclimb.com or www.pcri.org. The PCRI will offer free screenings Sept. 5-6 at the Hilton Burbank Airport and Convention Center.

EXERCISE IS GOLDEN: Inactivity is a hazard to health, especially for those over the age of 50. In order to live healthy, independent lives, older adults need to maintain their endurance, strength, balance and flexibility, according to the National Institute on Aging. To help older adults create an exercise plan, the institute has published a book called ``Fitness Over Fifty'' (Hatherleigh Press; $15.95). The guide illustrates different types of exercises and provides medical safety tips.

THE FACTS ON BREAST CANCER: Faced with a diagnosis of breast cancer, the last thing a woman wants to do is navigate the overwhelming amount of information on the disease. So Charyn Pfeuffer, a journalist certified as a breast health educator by the American Cancer Society, decided to take on the job. She distills and organizes what women need to know in ``Breast Cancer Q&A'' (Avery; $14.95). Pfeuffer provides the answers to the 100 most frequently asked questions, moving through breast cancer basics, screenings, treatments and after care. Breast cancer is the second-most-common cancer in women. An estimated 205,000 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in 2002, according to the American Cancer Society.

MRI VS. PET SCANS: It's hard enough to say esophagogastroduodenoscopy, much less determine if you should have one done to you. The doctors at Johns Hopkins Medical School explain common tests, how they're performed, and how results are evaluated in ``The Johns Hopkins Consumer Guide to Medical Tests'' (Rebus; $39.95). The book, with Dr. Simeon Margolis serving as medical editor, will tell you the difference between MRI and PET scans, what the potential benefits and drawbacks of screening tests are, and even the approximate cost of the test. In case you wanted to know, an esophagogastroduodenoscopy is a test to detect problems in the esophagus, stomach and upper portion of the small intestine.

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY: Send Dad a message of good health for Father's Day. The National Cancer Institute is offering free animated e-cards that remind Dads to eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of many cancers, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke. Visit the NCI Web site at 9aday.cancer.gov to link to the e-card sample and form.

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(1) ``We're not just raising money but awareness. ... As a society, we need to talk about our bodies and be aware of the risk factors,'' says Westlake Village resident Terry Weyman, organizer of the Hap Weyman Memorial Prostate Cancer Climb.

Tina Burch/Staff Photographer

(2 -- 4) no caption (Book covers)
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jun 9, 2003
Words:818
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