Famed television personality and medical expert Dr. Drew Pinsky revealed Tuesday that he is a prostate cancer survivor, having successfully been cleared of the disease after a nearly two-year fight.
"While many of you were celebrating the Fourth of July, I was at home on my couch recovering from a radical robotic prostatectomy," the host of HLN's "Dr. Drew on Call" wrote on the network's site. "Four hours of surgery had left me in great pain, without an appetite, and in need of help from my college-age son, Jordan, to get up and lie down. But I was cancer-free for the first time in at least two years."
Pinsky says he was diagnosed in 2011 after a routine medical check-up — when an ultrasound revealed that the central lobe of his prostate was larger than it should have been. Regardless, the 55-year-old admits he still thought there was nothing to be concerned about. "I was incredulous," he writes. "We were making too much of this. Even though my father and uncle had had prostate cancer, there was no evidence that I had cancer."
After a tissue biopsy, which Pinsky described as "awful," doctors discovered a low-grade tumor.
"My doctor and I decided on a course of active surveillance, also known as 'watchful waiting.' It’s just like it sounds," he says. "So we paid attention. The tumor was monitored over the course of more than a year. I had two more biopsies. I’m glad I did. I’m glad my physician’s intuition told him to order them. They showed that the mass on my prostate had spread. There was too much volume. The tumor had become unpredictable. Something wasn’t right, and my doctor knew it."
As a result, Pinsky's doctor ordered that the prostate be removed via a radical robotic prostatectomy. The new procedure is minimally invasive and results in greater precision and faster recovery for patients. As Pinsky attests, the only remnants from his surgery are six small scars on his torso. (If you're interested in an informative video on the procedure, and don't mind a bit of surgery in the mix, jump here.)
Today, Pinsky says he's cancer-free and sharing his story so that other men may learn the risks of prostate cancer. As he reveals in his post, more than half of all men will have cancer in their prostate by age 80.
"I want to make you aware," he writes. "Men, you are likely to get prostate cancer. The odds are you will if you live long enough. When you do, don’t freak out. You don’t need to take action today. In many cases, time is on your side."
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- 5 things you should know about prostate cancer
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- Ian McKellen reveals prostate cancer battle
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