Early prostate cancer testing can be a lifesaver

By Larry Keener | May 17, 2013
Larry Keener

I became involved in Canton’s Relay for Life because I was diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 53.

During routine bloodwork, my PSA showed a slight movement upward. My family doctor wanted me to see a urologist for further tests. Because of my younger age, my urologist wasn't sure if there was a need for further tests at that time.

He and I talked about waiting for six months, but decided to go ahead. We were both very glad we did. I had a needle biopsy done and was diagnosed with prostate cancer in December 2001, and had surgery in January 2002. Because the cancer was detected very early, I did not need to have any treatment other than surgery. My PSA blood work since then has been at zero. I have needed no other treatments or surgery.

There has been some debate about whether PSA tests are really needed in men at age 50, or if it is better to wait until age 60 to begin routine testing. All I know is that if I had waited until age 60, the cancer would have had seven more years to grow. Prostate cancer does usually grow slowly, but…I am very, very glad that I had the surgery when I did. I highly recommend that every man age 50 and over talk to their doctor about psa screening and for the two of them to decide what is best in their situation.

The American Cancer Society sponsors a monthly meeting at Haywood Med-West called Man to Man for men diagnosed with prostate cancer. This group meets the first Monday of every month at 7 p.m. in the second floor classroom.

These men (wives are welcome also) are a great resource of information. If you have been recently diagnosed or have questions about surgeries or treatment or side effects of treatment/surgery these folks can tell you what they did, why they chose that particular treatment, and the side effects, if any.

This program is made possible because of funds raised during Relay for Life. Please come out on May 17 to the Canton Rec. Park and support Canton’s Relay for Life.


Larry Keener