A smiling and pensive man in his 60's poses for a portrait in a barber chair
"Your health matters. And remember; you have loved ones." Image by: Max Rosenstein
A smiling and pensive man in his 60's poses for a portrait in a barber chair
29 August 2023

Ken’s prostate cancer story: Without my family history, I never would have known

Mo Bro
Ken Scott
3 minutes read time

Prostate cancer had never been on my radar. It never even dawned on me that that was something I would have to worry about and I had no clue if it was a part of my family health history. It wasn’t until an uncle, I barely knew I had, reached out.

My father left when I was a kid. After that, we moved away, and I haven’t seen him for over 50 years. Later, when I was an adult, my aunts and uncles tracked me and my two brothers down. We caught up, and eventually my aunt said, “Did you know prostate cancer runs in the family?” It turns out that my father and both my uncles had been diagnosed. But having not grown up with these people in my life, I never knew about it.

I told my doctor about it, and he decided to get my PSA levels checked out. The results came back, and they were very high. They sent me to a urologist to look into things further, who did a biopsy. This confirmed it: I had prostate cancer, just like my father and uncles had. My brothers had gotten tested as well once we found out about the family history, but they didn’t have it. I was the only one.

Ever since then, my doctor has been checking my PSA levels twice a year to keep an eye on it. So far, it’s stable, but it’s still there. It’s so important to know your family history. I didn’t know anything about my family history for most of my life, and I would have never known to ask about prostate cancer. I might not have gotten myself checked out. I would have never known.

I joined Movember this last year. I had wanted to for a while. But it wasn’t until I was going through a hard time because of my prostate that my girlfriend really encouraged me to be a part of it. I was feeling down and depressed, and she thought it might help to take my mind off it to sign up and raise some funds for other people having problems with their prostate as well.

I was amazed by how many people reached out and donated, whatever they could. I had felt alone, and all of a sudden, I wasn’t alone anymore. It was the first time people were hearing about my prostate cancer. And it made me realize how many other men are affected by this disease, but you just don’t know it.

For some guys, being tough stands in the way of them looking after themselves. But the reason I’m sharing my story, is to remind men how important it is to take care of themselves. For me, I don’t have that issue of being macho. If I think something’s different, I go to the doctor right away. I don’t play around with my health. Going to the doctor is never a waste of time, because if you can catch something early enough, it can be taken care of. If you keep waiting and putting it off, it might be too late.

My doctor is great. I go and see him any time there’s an issue. He keeps a close eye on me. It’s comforting – knowing that they’re keeping tabs on my health. Take this story as a reminder that your doctor is there for a reason. Your health matters. And remember; you have loved ones. You are a brother, father, husband, son. Nobody wants to lose you. So, if you haven’t already, start the conversation with your doctor. Life is too short not to.

Early detection of prostate cancer is key. Learn more about prostate cancer and your risk.