A Close Call
I received this email this afternoon, and it is another reminder of how we guys always think we’re invincible. We just don’t think about prostate cancer.
“Robert — back in 2012 I was lucky enough to win the KOM in my age category and you kindly arranged to ship me my winner’s jersey. (I missed the race in 2013 because of business travel.) Wearing the jersey will now have additional meaning for me because I recently learned that I have prostate cancer. I’m 60 years old, my Gleason is 6, PSA is 2.5, and the biopsy revealed cancer in only 30% of the cells in only one of twelve places. So, after consulting with doctors, I’m electing for active surveillance for the indefinite future. If the cancer worsens then I’ll make a treatment decision.
I have to admit I never gave prostate cancer a thought before I spoke to you briefly after the ride in 2012, and when I wore the jersey in 2013 I still never inferred any possibility that prostate cancer could affect me. Ironic, yes?
When the doctor starting talking to me about prostate cancer it was only because of my conversation with you and my having been to your website that I already knew a few things, like the significance of rising PSAs, so I want to thank you.
I sincerely hope to be in the Jeremiah Bishop ride this fall. Only business travel will keep me away.”
The good thing about this story is that he has found his prostate cancer fairly early, when he still has the full range of options available. And it’s important to remember that prostate cancer generally is very treatable when it’s detected early.
What Can You Do?
Prostate cancer only strikes one in six men (one in four African American men). While prostate cancer generally is detected later in life, aggressive prostate cancers tend to come early – in your 40s. So you need to get a baseline PSA value and watch for any change.
Here’s your simple checklist:
- Begin getting an annual PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood at age 35
- Activate a free ProstateTracker early detection account – ProstateTracker – and enter your annual PSA values
- At each test date, look for a rise in the PSA number from the year before. A rise of .75 or more is a reason for concern.
- If you see a rise in values, contact your doctor or health care provider immediately.
- That’s it!
How do you get to ProstateTracker? Just click the image below . . .