Kierone Williams

After my PSA levels kept rising for three years, my primary care physician recommended I go see a specialist. I was scheduled for a biopsy and diagnosed with prostate cancer. My initial reaction was shock, but I put my faith in the Lord and my life in Dr. Bennett’s hands. I felt very confident in my doctor and felt that prostate cancer, if detected in a timely manner, was something that could be treated. I was 48 years old when I got the diagnosis. My relatively young age was what surprised most people – myself included. I got a lot of, “Wow – prostate cancer in your 40’s?” types of comments.

After speaking with Dr. Bennett, I didn’t have any fears. Going through the process was hard at times, but I now look at the experience as a stage of life I had to go through. What I learned from it all, though, is that early detection really is key. I now encourage every man to go and get checked frequently, as it can be the difference between life and death.

I’ve become an advocate for men’s health and have made lifestyle changes of my own, including eliminating pork from my diet. I appreciate what CHAMPS does to educate men, empowering us to take charge of our own lives and our health. I think CHAMPS gives men that extra bit of support they sometimes need to get active and to take health and wellness seriously. Altogether, I’ve become a stronger individual, thanks to everything I went through.

Clark Duncan

My name is Clark Duncan. In the spring of 2018, at the age of 63, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. A biopsy discovered cancer in 7 of the 12 samples taken. My Gleason score – which, I would come to learn, was a strong indicator of how bad the cancer was – was 7.

When learning about the diagnosis, my very first thought was my family and how I felt like all that mattered was beating this disease for them. The blessing in all of it was me knowing the hereditary burden I had in relation to prostate cancer. I knew that since my late father had it, my brother and I had a 50% chance of getting it. Knowing the risk, I stayed diligent and got my PSA checked every year, if not more often. I still got it, but I caught it early on. After several pretreatment tests like bone scans, I was told that the cancer had not spread and that it wasn’t even in the walls of the prostate.

When I told my wife, she was at first extremely upset. But then she quickly kicked into her usual mode of being my rock, and I can truly say that we tackled this just like we do everything else: together.

As for treatment, I decided not to remove my prostate and opted for the radiation and seed implants. I won’t lie: this has been one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make.  Since the treatment, my PSA has remained well below 1, which is excellent. But the hard part remains the side effects from the radiation and seeds.

Since this experience I have become a one-man advocate on men – especially black men – knowing their PSA number. I will shout from the rooftops how regular monitoring can save lives. I absorbed lots of information about prostate cancer not only for myself, but also so I could better educate other men about this critical issue. For me, having had cancer, and having beaten it, has shown me just how precious yet precarious life can be for us all.

I first heard about CHAMPS through my then urologist James Bennett. I love CHAMPS for being the advocate for all men in various communities by providing the testing and related medical services men need to maintain good prostate health. That is what my late mother would call “doing the Lord’s work.”

Timothy L. Sinkfield

I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer on April 19, 2018 at the McGuire Veteran Administrative Center during a routine physical examination. I was 56 years old. When learning about the diagnosis, I was surprised – shocked, even. How could it happen to me, and at this point in my life? I considered myself to be in pretty good health. To me, prostate cancer was something that happened to people much older than me, and frankly, I didn’t think it would affect me.

After the diagnosis, I made an appointment to speak with a specialist about my options. He talked about things like radical prostatectomy and external radiation. I listened to him, and felt like someone had just run me over with a Mack truck. My whole world came to a complete halt. The only thing I heard him say was cancer, cancer, cancer – everything else was just jargon.

My biggest fear was that the cancer could not be stopped in time before it would spread to other organs. What if they treated it and it would return a year later? I felt that any type of cancer was a hit or miss.

When I told my wife about the diagnosis, she started crying. After she calmed down, she went online and looked up everything she could find. Being a licensed practical nurse (LPN), she found a lot of information. Learning more about it was helpful, although it was hard to figure out what was reliable and accurate.

The hardest part about it all has been enduring two different surgeries. My first urologist wasn’t able to remove the entire mass, which by this point was enlarged. To me, the biggest lesson in all of this has been to start listening to my body, and if something doesn’t feel right, to get it checked right away. I am now getting regular checkups for colon and pancreatic cancer.

I first heard about CHAMPS during a follow up appointment with my urologist, Dr. James K. Bennett, at Midtown Urology. I am thankful for CHAMPS for giving individuals like myself a platform to let other men know how serious prostate cancer can become, if left untreated. If men would only get checked regularly and if diagnosed, take care of the issue at an early stage, they would have options.

I wish I myself had had more general information about prostate cancer and about the symptoms and early signs of prostate cancer – although I now know that it can be asymptomatic for very long. It would have been especially helpful to prevent getting it in the first place by knowing about preventive measures.

My advice to other men is to get regular checkups, and to avoiding eating trans and saturated fats. Choose a low-fat diet and exercise regularly while watching your weight and blood pressure. These days, I watch what I eat, I exercise regularly, and I follow a low-fat diet. I also drink more water and get regular checkups with my doctor. Being a cancer patient and now a cancer survivor has been an eye-opening experience for my entire family. I didn’t even know my father had had prostate surgery until I was diagnosed.

What I wish all men knew is that prostate cancer is very serious, but that it can be treated and cured with early detection, followed by the correct procedures. I had one of the best urologists in the world, Dr. James K. Bennett, and I owe him and Midtown Urology so much – not only for treating me, but for saving my life.