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More Than a Statistic: the Faces Behind Prostate Cancer

When my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 72, we didn’t care about statistics. We were just thinking about getting him well. At the moment, I just assumed that he was the only one in this world who had cancer.

We were all unaware of prostate cancer. I have witnessed cancer that was not prostate on my mother's side and had several family members that died of cancer. Some had limbs amputated, causing them to suffer for a long time. But it never occurred to me that one day my father would be a victim to cancer.

Early warning signs

When the term prostate cancer was introduced to me for the first time, the statistics didn't matter. All that mattered was thinking about my father.

My father was a very busy landscaper for decades. But thank heavens, he was always concerned about his health and scheduled check-ups with his doctor every six months. During one of his doctor's visits, he told the doctor about his recent burning while urinating.

They recommended a PSA test, which came back slightly higher than normal. But he was assured that it was nothing alarming. According to the doctor, statistics show that a lot of men go through this.

Prostate cancer confirmed

He was told to return in three months for additional testing, which he did. When his PSA level did not decline, the doctor assured him it was normal. It wasn't long before his prostate started swelling and he started having trouble urinating, so he decided to see the doctor again.

After much testing, the findings showed that his PSA had increased; they suspected prostate cancer and referred him to a urologist for additional tests and views, which confirmed prostate cancer.

The news was disturbing, so I immediately began researching the disease to learn more about it and how to treat it, and was in touch with the urologist. Following a lengthy conversation, his physician recommended surgery as the best option to treat him.

Undergoing surgery

The surgery went very well. He didn’t have to stay in the hospital for as long as we all thought, which was a relief. Recovery went well. The only adverse effect which I heard from my stepmom was that their love life hasn't been the same. She said that didn’t bother her, because his health was more important than anything.

He is back to normal now, but I'm more concerned about our family health because I know cancer runs in our blood. We don’t want this illness to steal anyone’s life too soon. He has been doing well since his surgery. He consumes healthy foods, and takes walks every day.

Spreading awareness

My goal is to spread prostate cancer awareness. I have made sure that my grown children are aware of their health and that they have regular check-ups. They are still not listening to me, but I won’t give up. I have freely discussed prostate cancer with my friends and colleagues, as well as the side effects of the treatments, to ensure that others are aware of their health.

Let’s keep advocating and sharing our journey with anyone that will listen to us. We are all in this together.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The ProstateCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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