I can’t believe it has been 13 years since I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and treated in August 2001. I am still healthy.

Between then and now, the world of those afflicted with prostate cancer has changed dramatically. The best change is vast improvement in quality of life and long-range outcomes.

In Augusta, we are most fortunate to have state-of-the-art Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care with some of the finest care available anywhere. Successes in slowing cancer growth in some men and complete eradication of the scourge in others are now commonplace.

In 2001, there were far more sorry results to treatment of prostate cancer than today. Treatment side effects are lighter now and new techniques are less aggressive.

What hasn’t changed, however, is the need to be aware that 1-in-6 men will get prostate cancer, not good odds to stake your life on. If you get it, it still pays to find it and get care before it progresses to the point of being irreversible.

Men at middle age need to talk with their doctor. Do it on your next visit. If you are not a candidate of concern, your doctor will tell you. Don’t shy from the discussion out of fear or wait until it is too late. Encourage your family members to also get checked.

Nelson Leavitt


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