Gentlemen, if you think you’re not going to get prostate cancer, think again. Even rock stars aren’t immune.
In November, Duran Duran, the five-member band that rose to fame in the 1980s was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Noticeably absent, the band’s 61-year-old guitarist and father of four, Andy Taylor.
On the band’s website, Taylor posted a letter to fans. “Just over 4-years ago I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer. Many families have experienced the slow burn of this disease and of course we are no different,” Taylor wrote.
“Although my current condition is not immediately life threatening there is no cure,” he added.
Taylor is not alone.
‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’
You know the song “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by 80s rockers Twisted Sister? That song has a totally different meaning for founding band member Jay Jay French. It’s become an anthem of survival – survival of prostate cancer.
French was diagnosed with the disease in 2018 at age 66.
“In the beginning, I didn’t want anyone to know. To be honest, it took me a little time to accept and process my diagnosis. Once I did, I realized I could be an advocate. Speaking out allowed me to educate friends, family – and even fans,” French said in a post on ZeroCancer.org, an organization charged with creating awareness about and eliminating stigma for prostate cancer.
French now works with the organization. He revealed his father had prostate cancer that was detected after he died. So French always knew there was a risk he too would be diagnosed with it. He was proactive in screening. Many men are not.
“My brother and I are now cancer survivors, and I believe that early screening is the reason both of us are alive today. “We’re Not Gonna Take It” is a fight song. So, take my advice and fight for your own health and well-being. Know your risk. Know your family history. And know that you are not alone in this journey,” he wrote.
Statistics on Prostate Cancer
Statistically speaking, the American Cancer Society reports that one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his life. And other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer for men in the United States. In 2022, about 270,000 men were diagnosed and 34,500 men died from the disease.
Yet, while prostate cancer is prevalent, men don’t want to talk about the disease or the risk of being diagnosed with it.
According to a blog on the Prostate Cancer Foundation website, while the disease should cause no more shame than any other cancers, it does. Getting to the reason why isn’t easy. But there are theories. It starts with the necessary, yet embarrassing screening called the digital rectal exam (DRE). Then there’s the perceived weakness during treatment, and finally the stigma attached to the possible side effects of treatment including problems with sexual, urinary and bowel function.
The only way to remove the stigma is to talk about it, especially in certain cultures where masculinity is a sign of strength.
Early Detection for Prostate Cancer
Sometimes there may be no symptoms with prostate cancer. Other times symptoms can include problems with urination or bowel function, sexual disfunction, blood in the urine or semen, and even pain in your back or numbness in your legs.
These symptoms may be the result of another medical condition. That’s why regular screenings and knowing your risk and your family history are key.
If you’re experiencing changes in your urination, bowel or sexual function go to your doctor and ask for traditional screenings like the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Test, a blood test measuring the levels of PSA, a substance made by the prostate or the DRE. If prostate cancer is suspected, more testing may be needed. And if you are diagnosed with the disease treatment depends on the type and stage of cancer, your age, and your overall health.
Doctors use surgery, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, other drug therapies and radiation to treat prostate cancer. Sometimes they use a combination of therapies.
More than 60,000 American men choose radiation therapy to treat prostate cancer each year, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
The cure rate for prostate cancer using radiation is well-documented, and there is a proven safety track record.
While there are different types of radiation for prostate cancer, the experts at the CyberKnife Center of Miami believe stereotactic body radiation therapy or SBRT – the type of radiation used by CyberKnife, has some distinct advantages.
How CyberKnife Works
CyberKnife is not a knife at all. It kills prostate cancer while reducing the risk of unwanted side effects associated with traditional treatments because it’s so accurate.
The side effects of traditional treatments can be life-changing, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. They can interfere with what men fear most about treatment and that’s urinary, bowel and sexual function.
With CyberKnife because of its precision, there are minimal side effects, which may include tiredness, and urinary and rectal irritation. Over-the-counter medications can help minimize these, and they usually go away in a few weeks.
There is also a lower risk of toxicity than with traditional radiation.
The radiation from CyberKnife focuses directly on the tumor. There is less risk of radiation effecting the anus or testicles. There is also a reduced risk of impotence and urinary incontinence. Sexual function remains the same for most patients after treatment.
Prostate Cancer Treatment Near Me
Most patients tolerate CyberKnife treatment very well, and cure rates are near 98%.
“CyberKnife is an amazingly precise way to deliver radiation to the prostate,” says Dr. Mark Pomper, board-certified radiation oncologist and medical director of CyberKnife Miami on CyberKnife Miami’s YouTube Channel. “It’s not readily available in all places, but Miami is blessed to have the CyberKnife Center of Miami, which has the most experienced team in Florida.”If you would like to find out more about prostate cancer treatment with CyberKnife, call us at 305-279-2900 or go to our prostate cancer website now for more information