Bill Cox says that men shouldn’t be embarrassed to talk about prostate cancer—and to get screened. The St. Joseph resident, who initially began screenings for prostate cancer eight years ago, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2003, after his results showed a steady incline in the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in his blood, which can be an early indicator of prostate cancer.
“I’ve told so many men what a valuable tool screenings are,” Bill says. “Men need to know to get over the embarrassment and get screened, because the earlier prostate cancer is detected, the better.”
According to the American CancerSociety, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer found in American men, other than skin cancer. One in six men will develop prostate cancer during his lifetime, and one in 35 men will die of this disease. However, the death rate for prostate cancer is decreasing, and the disease is being diagnosed and treated earlier as well.
Bill credits his family physician, Dr. Troy Thompson of Southwestern Medical Clinic, and urologist, Dr. David Terhune of Lakeside Urology, with detecting his cancer early and explaining his treatment options. Bill was treated using the minimally invasive robotic da Vinci Surgical System and, although he had some lifting restrictions, he was back at work a week after the procedure.
“For me, the whole experience was very positive—a quick recovery with no pain issues or major side effects,” he says. “For anyone who asks, I’d tell them to get robotic surgery in a heartbeat. I’m blessed that I’m still here and to be able to share my story with other men.”