About 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Nearly 250,000 men are diagnosed with the disease each year in the United States.
Chris Perkins, a 50-year-old Marine and veteran police officer, said he’s sharing his story because he never thought he’d hear that word: Cancer.
"I was in shock. I was terrified. I cried. I had a little break down,” Perkins said. “You think, ‘This is going to kill me.’”
Perkins said OU Health’s Dr. Daniel Parker quickly put his fears to rest.
"Dr. Parker was really good at reassuring me that prostate cancer was not what was going to kill me,” Perkins said.
"Mr. Perkins is very young (to) have developed prostate cancer,” Dr. Parker said.
Dr. Parker said it was Perkins’ early diagnosis that saved him.
“It's definitely rare, but not unheard of for patients to be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their 40s or at a very young age,” Dr. Parker said.
Perkins said he underwent a full prostatectomy, a procedure he feared. Thus far, his follow-ups showed the surgery was a major success.
Perkins was thankful for noticing all the warning signs, like an enlarged prostate, reduced urinary flow and getting up multiple times a night.
When he took a prostate-specific antigen test, he also learned prostate his PSA increased substantially.
“It came up two full points in two years,” Perkins said. “That’s a problem.”
Perkins is now in remission, but he hopes other men know how important it is to get screened.
"That's what I’m hoping for is to reach that one person that might have not gotten tested,” Perkins said.
If you have a first degree relative with a history of prostate cancer, doctors recommend you get screened at the age of 40.