Prostate Cancer, Get Checked. NOW!
What You Don't Know Can Kill You.
It is a well known fact that many men would rather do anything than go to the doctor. Even more men hate the idea of having a doctor or nurse poking around in areas below the waist. There was a time when I was among those men who had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the doctors office, often by a woman who cared for and loved me and knew it was the right thing to do. I was so fortunate to have a woman like that in my life. It was the fall of 2008, that summer I had celebrated my 54th birthday and was feeling great. I was a life long runner, I had stayed in shape and had no medical issues. Other than vitamins, I took no pills and was under no medication. A year earlier my doctor had given me a digital examination and told me everything was alright. So I'm figuring this years examination would be routine. I would get in there, get poked prodded, give a few samples and be on my way. My doctor detected something he had not noticed the year before. He said "It's probably not anything, but let's be sure." He referred me to a specialist who I would see a couple days later. The specialist took a biopsy which revealed that I was in the early stages of prostate cancer. My next course of action was to make a decision of what to do about it. My choices were:
- Watchful Waiting
- Hormone Treatments
- Localized Treatments
- Radiation Therapy
- Radical Prostatectomy (daVinci Surgery)
I carefully researched my family history and knew that my father had died at the age of 53 from a cancer that probably started in his prostate. I shared that information with my specialist and urologist and we determined that the daVinci Surgery would be my treatment of choice. I did not want to deal with a lot of medication and/or chemo, or radiation. I also did not want to walk around in life knowing that a cancer was growing in my body and also knowing that one of those cancer cells could get into my lymph nodes and was capable of taking me out really quick. I had already fathered my children and was no longer in the position of having impress anyone sexually so I was pretty sure what direction I would take.
So Many Questions
I had a lot of questions both before and after my surgical procedure. After you get out of the denial stage often the first question is "Why Me." Then perhaps you will ask some of the following. Not necessarily in this order:
- How did I get cancer?
- Is there something I should have done to prevent it?
- Will I have urinary or bowel problems?
- Can I still exercise?
- What causes Prostate Cancer?
- Can I still have sex?
Of course these are questions that you should ask your doctor and even they will not have an answer to all of them. One thing that I found really concerning is I asked dozens of doctors what causes prostate cancer. Usually the common answer was "We just don't know." One doctor suggested that if a man lives long enough he will eventually get prostate cancer. I learned that many times men die of one cancer or another, but it many times started in the prostate. I am a cancer survivor who believes that it is enviromental. The air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Anyway, the research continues. Get Checked NOW, and don't be afraid.