Neither was what they found inside; the tumor had a "finger" on it that was millimeters from being contained. It was ready to spread, and would have, had it not been removed.
Why am I telling you this? I want you to hear it from me. Not from the Internet. Not from a gossip column. Not from someone who doesn't know me.
And I want to make you aware. Men, you are likely to get prostate cancer. The odds are you will if you live long enough. When you do, don't freak out. You don't need to take action today. In many cases, time is on your side.
What concerns many males faced with prostate cancer is not the cancer itself, but possible incontinence, and sex. Nerves at the base of the penis, necessary for an erection, can be irreparably damaged by surgery and radiation. Research shows that many men do not get tested for prostate cancer because they fear the effects of surgery they may not even need!
I returned to work 10 days after the surgery. In hindsight, the job(s) could have waited. I am working out again, eating well and feeling very good. I'll begin running again soon. The only remnant of cancer surgery is six small scars on my torso. They are fading fast. I'm hopeful I am cured.
I'm grateful this was a detectable, survivable cancer. I'm pleased that the judgment and intuition of my physicians were spot-on every step of the way. And I'm glad my wife's internal radar was working well. Thank you, Susan, for making me go to the doctor.
10 things to know
• Prostate cancer is a complex disease.
• It behaves differently at different ages.
• PSA screening is complicated and controversial.
• If your doctor recommends a biopsy or ultrasound, don't refuse simply because it involves a sensitive part of your body.
• If the results show the presence of cancer, don't panic.
• Time is on your side. Don't rush decisions about radiation or surgery.
• Many men can opt for active surveillance, watching the prostate over a period of months or years.
• There isn't a by-the-book, one-size-fits-all treatment.
• Trust your doctors' judgment and instincts. They have seen thousands of cases.
• You're seeing your first case, and it's you.
For more information about prostate cancer, including what it is, how it's treated, what should you ask your doctor and how it may affect you, the Prostate Cancer Foundation is an excellent resource. Go to www.pcf.org.