My name is Steven Becker. I’m an author and a simple blood test saved me. Here’s my story:

A few years ago, at age 57, one of the legends in Northern California paddling died from cancer. l’m a competitive outrigger canoe paddler as well. We are the same age and I knew him. This and my girlfriends persistence (read: undying love) were the reason I got tested. Symptom free and with normal exams, I was diagnosed with and aggressive form of prostate cancer (Gleason 4+4) and had a radical prostatectomy in September 2017. Nothing is currently showing on my PET and bone scans, but my PSA never went away and now has risen enough to warrant radiation.

The dangers and randomness of cancer are common knowledge. It is a rare person that has not had a friend or relative affected by cancer in one form or another. The disease crosses all boundaries and shows no discrimination.

But, there is something we can all do about it: Screening saves lives. In most cases it is simple and covered by insurance. Early detection is the number one tool to fight cancer.

Cancer screening comes in many forms:

  • Imaging (mammograms, lung, and more advanced stages of other cancers)
  • Blood tests (prostate)
  • Minimally invasive (early detection of colon cancer)
  • Procedures (colonoscopy)
  • Urine tests (bladder cancer)
  • Sampling (Pap smear)

Screening Guidelines from the American Cancer Society. More information can be found at 

  • Breast Cancer mammograms every one or two years starting at age 40  
  • Colon Cancer has several options depending on family history. There are several less invasive options than a colonoscopy that should start at age 45
  • Cervical Cancer. Women should be screened by getting a pap smear after age 21
  • Lung Cancer. Screening for smokers by a low dose CT scan
  • Prostate Cancer. Men should be screened by a blood test starting at age 50 (45 for African American males)

Talk with your doctor about when and how often you should be screened. Depending on your personal health history, family health history, or screening results, your doctor may recommend a different screening schedule.

Here's The Deal...

You’ve read the information. Now act on it:

Get yourself tested or screened

Help a loved one with this information

For your help, we’d like to offer you this amazing collection of full length novels by some incredible writers.

"I was healthy my entire life and never went to the doctor. It was late summer, three years ago that I got sick and came up with excuses, flu, etc. Until one Saturday, I was so ill I could barely get out of bed and instinctively knew if I didn’t get to the emergency room, I would die. They diagnosed me with a gallbladder problem requiring its removal and ultimately saved my life. It was then the doctor discovered that I had endometrial cancer and thankfully at an early stage. I encourage people not to skip their yearly checkups.”

Deborah Brown,

Author of Crazy in Paradise.

"Yeah, I know. We’re all busy nowadays. But don’t tell me you can’t make time for a cancer screening at least once a year. Nobody’s that busy!

We’re talking about your life here… And the impact your health and ultimately your survival has on family and friends. Dying is the easy part, compared to having to watch your family tortured and their lives torn apart because you couldn’t find your way to the doctor’s office for simple damn screening…”

Michael Reisig,

Author of The Road to Key West

"In January, 2017, I felt a large lump in my right breast. A visit to the doctor, and subsequent biopsy, revealed it to be Stage 2 breast cancer. If I’d gone for a mammogram a year or three earlier, it could have been caught before it had gone to my lymph nodes. Now, exactly one year later, I’ve been diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer; the lymph nodes had carried the cancer to the bones of my spine, right hip, and right leg.

Entertainingly, breast cancer wasn’t my first introduction to cancer; like a lot of Florida natives who lived in the sun, I had melanoma at 24, 29, and 35. Those were caught very early, and I guess I thought the boobs would get a free pass. It turns out this isn’t how it works.

The survival rate for Stage 1 breast cancer is extremely high, because the cancer has been caught before it has gone to the lymph nodes. The survival rate for Stage 4 cancer is 2-5 years.

Go. Get the mammogram, the colonoscopy, the skin check, whichever screenings apply to you.

You have dreams and goals that haven’t had time to happen.

You have family and friends who need you to stay here."

Dawn Lee McKenna,

Author of The Forgotten Coast Florida Suspense Series


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