California governor Jerry Brown and acting legend Sir Ian McKellen have recently disclosed their problems with prostate cancer. When was the last time you were screened?
Recently, Ian McKellen publicly disclosed that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer years ago, and has been carefully monitoring the disease since, lest it become dangerous.
Just today, doctors announced that California governor Jerry Brown’s treatment for prostate cancer is going quite well, and his prognosis is excellent.
“Fortunately, this is early-stage localized prostate cancer, which is being treated with a short course of conventional radiotherapy,” said oncologist Dr. Eric Small of the University of California, San Francisco, according to a statement from Brown’s office.
Did you catch what’s similar about both those cases? Well, apart from being about very smart and talented white guys in their 70s? Both men have excellent medical prognoses because they have early-stage prostate cancer. That means the disease was discovered early, and can be treated and contained relatively easily. In far, far too many cases, the disease is not discovered until it’s quite advanced, at which point treatment is invasive, disabling, dangerous, and too often futile.
If you or someone you know has a prostate, get it checked. The chances of cancer rise substantially as a patient ages, but in some cases it can strike surprisingly young. We can enjoy the fine work of Sir Ian and Governor Brown for a long time to come, because they got themselves checked out properly. Take the hint.