AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - In most cases, prostate cancer can be successfully detected if caught in its early stages.
A few weeks ago, I found out that I have prostate cancer.
Now, I know this is supposed to be Good News with Doppler Dave, and I’m getting to the good news.
In fact, through my journey, I’m learning some things that just might be good news for you.
My life changing journey began with a simple blood screening sponsored by the Friends of Fogelberg, a group dedicated to the early detection of prostate cancer.
I’ve done this for several years without incident, but this time, my results came back abnormal.
This is when I began to learn things that every man should know.
Most guys are familiar with a test for prostate cancer. When I found out about a little blood test, I thought, “Well, that’s the way to go. I would rather do that.”
What I found out though is that you still have to do both. The blood test alone is insufficient.
My doctor, David Willhelm explains, “Well, the blood work is a good starting point for a lot of our men, but we know that because the blood work isn’t perfect, the blood work can be elevated for other reasons.”
Since the blood test alone is not enough, it’s critical for men to have a complete exam that can find the cancer, which otherwise may go unnoticed.
“I mean, that’s one of those things guys are terrified about,” Dr. Willhelm continues. “It’s a whole lot better than what women go through as far as pap smears and mammograms, but it is a finger in the bottom. That’s the best technology. It takes five to ten seconds to do and no one’s going to sign up to do it every day, but it’s not a big deal. It’s once a year. I tell you guys, you just got to man up and do it.”
Not manning up, as Dr. Willhelm says, can cost them their lives.
“And so we go in with small incisions in the abdomen, into the belly, and end up actually just kind of taking and cutting the prostate off the bladder where it joins the bladder,” said Dr. Willhelm as he explained my surgery. “For men that are identified early, our cure rates are very high. You did the right things, and you were caught early while it still looks like it’s well confined and something that’s very treatable and curable.”
I’m sharing my story to encourage other men because if not caught and treated the news is not good.
“Men like you are young and healthy, who have the disease that if we were to do nothing could progress and shorten their life and affect their overall quality of life over time,” said Dr. Willhelm. “You were found early and I think you can still be cured and go on and live a normal life.”
It’s all about early detection.
That’s why it’s good news for me. We found the cancer early and it is contained.
Yes, I have to go through surgery and recovery, and you won’t see me on TV for a while, but the outlook is good. I have reason to be hopeful.
That’s what I want to share with everybody to have the men in your life checked early so you can have good news too.