“So I’m going in a couple of weeks to get a biopsy on my prostate,” my Dad says while we are watching the Masters Tournament on TV. My heart plummets and my ears buzz…wait a second, did MY DAD just say he may have prostate cancer?
It is typical for my stoic, U.S. Marine Veteran Dad to be nonchalant about this potential health crisis. He gets his PSA Test every year – and every year they tell him his levels are ‘normal’ until this year. The doc at the VA doesn’t like his rising PSA. Record scratch – “Dad haven’t you been getting your score every year? What are your numbers?” He says “well five years ago it was 2.3 then it rose to 2.7 but then it went down a bit but now it’s at 3.8.” Add in the fact that he’s also taking Flomax that will skew PSA test scores and his doc is right, something is up in his prostate, time to take a closer look. I got a metallic taste in my mouth and tried not to think of the men I know who have been in this same exact situation only to learn that they do indeed have prostate cancer.
This is happening. I’ve been on staff at ZERO Cancer for five years and now the statistic of one in eight men getting a prostate cancer diagnosis hits home – that ONE could be my Dad. Now I know the fear that strikes the hearts of thousands of family members when they learn that their father, their hero, the guy who can fix anything, could have prostate cancer. Now I know how imperative the work we do at ZERO Cancer is – and we can’t stop until we end prostate cancer.
Father’s Day is approaching, I’m praying that when he gets his biopsy results this week that he’s not the one diagnosed with cancer but he could be. He says that waiting for the test results is the hardest part. If he does have cancer it should have been caught early enough, thanks to those PSA tests he got each year, that he will have plenty of treatment options. And he’ll have the backing of the ZERO Cancer community so I know he won’t be alone.
This Father’s Day I’m thinking of all the kids whose dads have fought or are currently fighting prostate cancer – turn to ZERO for resources to help your family please, we are here for you. If you are worried that this could be your dad someday ask him now what his PSA score is – and if need be talk to him about the importance of early detection and getting his prostate screening every year. It could save his life.