KENNEWICK, Wash. –
Prostate cancer is a silent cancer that may not make itself known in a man’s body for many years.
According to Doctor Sherry Zhao with Kadlec’s Tri-Cities Cancer Center, prostate cancer is one you want to catch early.
Zhao says, “The thing about prostate cancer is that it usually does not have any symptoms. By the time that it grows enough to have issues, most of the time, it is too late to perform curative treatment.”
Zhao says there is no need to get tested before you’re 40 years old, but speaking with your physician and getting regular tests, you could catch prostate cancer early and beat it like Doug Teachout.
Teachout beat prostate cancer five years ago and he still has regular visits with Kadlec’s TCCC to make sure the cancer is staying away. In the meantime, he tells me he hasn’t missed a step in his normal life.
Teachout says, “I have beaten it. My life is great you know, some days are harder than others but this has not stopped me from doing anything I could do before.”
Teachout says his family history of prostate cancer softened the blow when he was diagnosed.
Teachout says, “No one ever wants to hear that but it wasn’t a surprise to me and basically my whole attitude was we’ll just move forward, figure out what we need to do, and just get to the next steps.”
Teachout’s family supported him through treatments, but that isn’t the only support Kadlec’s TCCC offers. Hector DeLeon and Angela Gehlen are the Navigation Social Work team that helps patients get through treatments.
DeLeon says, “Like I always tell out patients, once you’ve been our patient you’ll always be our patient. Even if it’s been five years if you call and ask for services and ask for resources we’ll help you.”
Gehlen tells me the help with any barriers they might deal with from treatment to putting gas in the car or paying for rent.
Gehlen says, “Cancer affects your whole life, every aspect of your life. Your work, your family, your home life, that’s what we’re here for. We support the whole person.”
Gehlen and DeLeon tell me the Kadlec TCCC will help anyone battling any kind of cancer from anywhere around the region, even if they aren’t a patient with Kadlec.
Teachout used the support the center offered and he says it is what helped him through his treatment.
Teachout says, “You can either move back, get stuck, or move forward and I just opt to move forward.”