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Winning the Prostate Cancer Battle

When WebMD community member Chuck Warren was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he turned to friends to find the strength to fight it.

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Even with this setback -- not one, but two cancers -- Dr. Marshall said the outlook was good. Ten days later, I had surgery to remove half my kidney. The kidney surgery was very difficult and painful, and the recovery was months. Every time I would ride in the car and hit a small bump in the road, I would get tears in my eyes. It was difficult getting any work done and I had to take a nap every day. After about three months, I started feeling fairly normal, but then it was time for prostate surgery. Getting over prostate surgery was easier and I was even able to attend my son’s little league baseball games with my catheter and bag!

I often tell people that prostate cancer saved my life. Had I not been diagnosed with prostate cancer, chances are the kidney tumor may never have been discovered. To this day, I thank Dr. Marshall for his thorough pre-op exam. And I also discovered the answer to my earlier “Why” question -- we are all mortal.

Today, I celebrate three years of being cancer-free. Through my experience, I've learned that beating cancer is a combination of things: good medicine, a good attitude, and good family and friends. These days I spend my free time serving as chairman of Emory's Urology Board of Advisors, raising money for prostate cancer research and being a mentor and pal to cancer patients. It's my way of saying “thank you” to the team of doctors, family, and friends that helped me along my cancer journey.

No man should die of prostate cancer. And yet about 30,000 men do die from the disease each year; it is the second leading cause of cancer death for men. This should not be the case. According to the American Cancer Society, every man over 50 should have a PSA each year.  When the PSA number goes up or down, talk to your doctor. You may need additional tests. And if you have a family history of cancer like I did, you may need to begin screening earlier. That annual exam could save your life. 

And if you are diagnosed, your life isn't over. I tell new cancer patients not to get sad or down but I do tell them to get angry; then you can fight -- and win -- like I did.

 

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Reviewed on June 04, 2007

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