GOLD HILL, Ore. -- A prostate cancer diagnosis can be scary for any man. Ron Brown sat down with Mike Duffy to share his story of diagnosis and treatment. He also explained why he believes early detection is so important.
"At the time when they were ready to start treatment, it was up to 12," explained Brown. All of a sudden it had gone up to six and it had doubled again in six months up to 12. So it was obvious something was happening and it wasn't going back down, it was going up."
A doctor's test confirmed the worst.
"He did a biopsy and took 12 samples, tissue samples and every one of them was positive for cancer," detailed Brown. "It indicated it was starting to spread to the lymph nodes."
Those numbers Ron referenced are called a PSA. Dr. Kadi-Ann Bryan with Rogue Valley Urology explained what those are.
"PSA stands for prostate specific antigen," said Bryan. It is made by the prostate and it can be elevated in a certain number scenarios."
One of those scenarios is prostate cancer. It's more common than many people think. In 2018 alone, around 160,000 men will be diagnosed with the disease.
"Everybody!" exclaimed Brown. "So many guys that I know of who have it or their father had it or something like that. It's just pervasive."
Ron considers himself lucky because he was being checked regularly. Now he's undergoing androgen deprivation therapy.
In simple terms, medications are lowering his testosterone and keeping the cancer from absorbing it. It has worked to nearly eliminate his symptoms.
"The swelling has been reduced and all of that sort of thing," explained Brown. "So all of those symptoms that were giving me so much pain and discomfort before seem to have pretty much gone away."
He wants to encourage everyone to get checked.
"I just think there are a lot of people who don't think it can happen to them," said Brown. "It can be serious if you don't stay on it, if you don't treat it."