Anthony Ellis – Prostate Cancer Success Story

Anthony Ellis, 57, computer audit specialist, prostate cancer success story

Anthony Ellis – Prostate Cancer Success StoryBack in 2002, I was 46. My wife and I lived in Garland, but some friends in southern Dallas invited me to do this men’s health program at their local YMCA. The program taught us about nutrition and fitness and offered health screenings for diabetes and prostate cancer. In that program, the screenings were done by Methodist Health System’s brand-new Prostate Screening and Awareness Program, and it just so happened that I was the first guy they screened.

I’ll be honest: I had no idea what a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test was. All I knew was that my score was normal, and through the program I learned the importance of having that baseline to start with. Because black men run a higher risk of getting prostate cancer at an early age, I had my doctor start checking my PSA every year.

Then in my late 40s, it started going up — something it’s not supposed to do. When it got to 3 in fall 2006, my doctor referred me to R. Carrington Mason, DO, at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

Dr. Mason did a biopsy, but it came back negative. For the next four years, Dr. Mason just kept monitoring me. He still thought something was wrong.

Then in 2011, my PSA shot up to 4. We did another biopsy, and bam! There it was: cancer. That was the bad news. The good news was that we had caught it early, so I had a 95 percent chance of surviving.

There’s controversy about if you should test for prostate cancer or even treat it, but for me, knowledge is power. My doctors helped me understand my scores and my risks.

I was only 55 years old when I was diagnosed, and cancer is cancer. It can kill you.

I wanted to be around for my family, to keep dancing with my beautiful wife. And now that I’m cancer-free, that’s exactly what I plan to do.