A year ago today I was in a hospital room recovering from prostate cancer surgery.
It was a difficult period for me and my family, but the good news is that I am cancer free! The support from the community was overwhelming. We were very touched by the prayers, the flowers and words of encouragement from so many of you. I really had intentions of writing to each of you, even though I expressed my gratitude on the air. But, the task became so great that I hope you will accept this as my "thank-you card."
I am often asked how my health is, and I wanted to give you an update. My follow up treatment consists of regular check-ups and PSA blood testing. My last PSA test result was actually a negative number. That is very good! I often hear about someone getting tested for prostate cancer after hearing about my case, which Karin followed with a series of HealthWise reports. That is wonderful news because I decided to go public for that very reason. My understanding is that the campaign to offer free prostate cancer screenings, sponsored by KCBD along with the Junior League of Lubbock, University Medical Center and Covenant Health Systems, was very successful.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men and 200,000 new cases are diagnosed annually. The key to survival is early detection. So, I hope that if you are a man older than 50, or have someone in your family who is; you will have an annual check-up. It is age 45 if you are high-risk. Talk to your doctor. Believe me, I know it is not easy for some of us to talk about our private areas, but it is very important! September happens to be "Prostate Cancer Awareness Month." It would be a good time to find out more about the disease; the symptoms, who is most at risk and treatment options. You could start with the internet (click here) or the American Cancer Society.