Patient notes the importance of routine checkups and screenings, especially for African-American males.
“When you hear those three words — you have cancer — it does something to you,” said Bobby Hill, 68, a retired minister from Hendersonville, NC. Mr. Hill was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April 2021 and treated at Pardee Cancer Center. The importance of preventive care and staying up to date on regular health screenings, like Mr. Hill did, can help with early diagnosis which can lead to better outcomes.
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and it is important for men, especially black men, to understand the importance of regular health screenings, including for prostate cancer. Compared with white men, black men are more likely to develop prostate cancer in their lifetime and twice as likely to die from the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute at the National Institute of Health. “It is very important to use preventive care and get regular checkups, especially for black men,” said Mr. Hill. “As you get older, the more susceptible you become to those kinds of diseases. A regular checkup is what saved my life.”
Mr. Hill was referred to Dr. Glover Little, a urologist with Pardee Urology Associates, by his primary care physician after his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels came back elevated, meaning the risk of prostate cancer is higher than normal. After a biopsy, Dr. Little confirmed Hill had prostate cancer. Mr. Hill chose to have radiation therapy to treat the cancer and was referred to Dr. S. Yaseen Zia, a radiation oncologist with Pardee UNC Health Care.
“Prostate cancer can be treated with a variety of methods with radiation and surgery being the two most common,” said Dr. Zia. Mr. Hill received 44 treatments of external beam radiation therapy using intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). IMRT is a type of cancer treatment that uses advanced computer programs to calculate and deliver radiation directly to cancer cells from different angles. “Like many cancers, early detection for prostate cancer is critical to get the best outcomes,” said Dr. Zia. “Mr. Hill’s prognosis is excellent with a greater than 95% survival rate at 10-15 years from his prostate cancer.”
Research shows that getting preventive care reduces the risk for diseases, disabilities and death. Pardee has a comprehensive network of primary care providers who focus on preventive care and the importance of regular screenings. To establish care with a primary care provider, visit www.pardeehospital.org.