What I would tell younger men about Prostate Cancer?
Educate one’s self about this disease in the same way we educate ourselves about diabetes, heart disease and other cancers. Also, younger men, especially those under 60, need to hear the hard truth about how these treatments impact sexual performance, the bladder pain and leakage and other topics that we men hold taboo for public discussion.
Many doctors recognize Prostate Cancer as a disease in men 60 and over, but at the very young age of 43, I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. At the time I was sent for a PSA blood test, I admittedly had never heard of, or totally ignored the words “prostate cancer”. Truthfully, I did not even know the function of the prostate, but you can bet I do now!
To keep this short, my older male doctor could not determine what was causing me to have sporadic 103 degree fevers – once or twice a month they came; I was otherwise totally healthy, good weight, perfect blood pressure, etc. A younger doctor took over, saw all the tests that had been done, saw my family history of cancer, then sent me for PSA and the eventual diagnosis. I had robotic surgery performed later that year. Three and a half years later, after having undetectable signs of cancer, my PSA exploded from .01 to 2. This forced me into 48 rounds of radiation; I am now three years sitting at a PSA of 1 with no chance of ever seeing that .01 number again, but recognizing that as long as that 1 does not start inching upward, this battle is won.