In the past few weeks Dr. Drew Pinsky, the host of HLN’s Dr. Drew on Call, has begun talking about his battle with prostate cancer. “While many of you were celebrating the Fourth of July, I was at home on my couch recovering from a robotic prostatectomy. Four hours of surgery had left me in great pain, without an appetite, and in need of help to get up and lie down. But I was cancer-free for the first time in at least two years.”
According to an essay on the HLN’s Network Blog, it was only after his wife, Susan, pressured him to get a check up, that it was noticed that Pinsky’s Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) levels had gone up from a “one” to a “four”. While this was still considered in the “normal” range an ultrasound was performed and revealed that the central lobe of his prostate was bigger than it should have been. Pinsky was then diagnosed with prostatitis or inflammation of the prostate.
Based on his PSA levels and this increase in the size of his prostate, Pinsky’s doctor strongly suggested that a biopsy be performed. This biopsy revealed that he definitely had prostate cancer. The next step was a phase of Active Surveillance, in which the tumor was monitored over the course of more than a year. Finally after a third biopsy, about two to three months ago, it was noticed that the tumor had begun to change shape, and as a result was time to have it removed.
Pinsky states, that he is discussing his battle to help make men aware. It is his goal to inform men that most are likely to get prostate cancer and that they should not panic if and when that time comes. “I’m grateful this was a detectable and survivable cancer. I’m pleased that the judgement and intuition of my physicians were spot-on every step of the way.”
We at the International Prostate Cancer Foundation commend Dr Drew Pinsky for his bravery and willingness to go public about his battle, as putting faces on this disease is key in creating awareness.
- Prostate cancer is a complex disease.
- It behaves differently at different ages.
- PSA screening is complicated and controversial.
- If your doctor recommends a biopsy or ultrasound, don’t refuse simply because it involves a sensitive part of your body.
- If the results show the presence of cancer, don’t panic.
- Time is on your side. Don’t rush decisions about radiation or surgery.
- Many men can opt for active surveillance, watching the prostate over a period of months or years.
- There isn’t a by-the-book, one-size-fits-all treatment.
- Trust your doctors’ judgment and instincts. They have seen thousands of cases.
- You’re seeing your first case, and it’s you.