Handbook of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Administration and Policy

By Wallace Swan | Go to book overview

10

No Longer Silent

The Emerging Opportunity for Gay Men to Thrive and Survive Prostate Cancer

Sid Guthrie

Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.


I.

INTRODUCTION

Jerry was devastated as he walked out of the doctor's office after his annual physical. During the exam, out of the blue, his physician asked if there was any history of prostate cancer in Jerry's family.

Jerry looked baffled, so the doctor went on. Based on an elevated PSA level of 9 ng/ml and the findings on the digital prostate exam, he would be referring Jerry to a urologist. He then told Jerry that he would probably need a biopsy of his prostate but that the urologist would go into more detail with him.

Only 52, the idea of prostate cancer never crossed Jerry's mind. He had always been healthy. He prided himself on maintaining a trim, fit appearance; this, the result of working out 4 days a week and disciplined eating habits. People were always surprised when he mentioned he was in his fifties. He looked like a man in his thirties.

Jerry knew little about prostate cancer. Was he not too young for something like this? He remembered his uncle, who had died 2 years ago, was under treatment for prostate cancer, but the uncle had ended up dying of a heart attack instead. Uncle John had been in his eighties.

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