In 2005, I participated in a screening event at my local church. My test came back with an abnormal result that I initially ignored. I was busy with family and my work as a pastor, and the results weren’t an immediate priority. A few months later, I was in a serious car accident and new tests revealed I had advanced prostate cancer. A doctor told me I couldn’t expect to live beyond five years. I was stunned and confused.
Through the comfort and guidance of friends, I was referred to UCSF where I underwent seven months of treatment. Ten years later, I remain cancer free and just celebrated my 65th birthday with my wife, children, and grandchildren.
Truly, I was "blessed," as they say within the Christian tradition, to have the support of friends and family and access to excellent medical care. I want to share my blessing with other African American men who might be unsure if they need screening or are fearful of it.
Spreading the word about SF CAN and screening is my way of giving back. I invite people to join the movement that seeks to add years to our lives, years that cancer too often steals from us. I don’t know if things would have been different if I’d followed up immediately on my first test results, but I am sure of one thing: I am a survivor of prostate cancer. I believe in screening and encourage men to have it.