Healthbeat 4: Prostate cancer survivor advocates for men’s health awareness

The month of November is dedicated to bringing awareness to men’s health, mentally and physically.
Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 1:01 PM CST
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - Roy Olsen is the owner of Oscar Carl Winery in Sioux City. When he was diagnosed with prostate cancer... he knew he had to put a cork in it.

It all started when Roy, now 62, went to the doctor 10 years ago to get his cholesterol checked.

“The doctor said, you know, you’re getting up there. Let’s do a PSA test, you know, get a baseline. Came back, like over four, it should have been in the one or two range. Then I had my first biopsy. It came back inconclusive. So then we went on active surveillance... during that nine years, my PSA just kept creeping up. And I had two more biopsies in that nine years,” said Roy Olsen.

Roy’s last PSA, or Prostate-Specific Antigen test showed his level at seven. But like most of us, the pandemic stopped Roy from getting his annual test, until he went to the doctor for indigestion in April.

“My family doctor did a PSA test: 14.7. In a year, it jumped that high. They found on the MRI, two-centimeter spot on one lobe of my prostate. So then we did another biopsy then, and they were able to hit that spot and six out of the 24 samples came back 100% cancer,” said Olsen.

Roy is cancer-free today because he caught it early and treated it fast, something Dr. Matthew Nwaneri at June E. Nylen Cancer Center said is the key.

“This type of cancer is easily treatable, especially when you find it early. And luckily we do have a way to test for it which is the PSA and the digital rectal exam, not very invasive methods in terms of finding it early. And once you find it early, you can treat it and people are curable with it,” said Dr. Nwaneri.

Roy said he wants men to take charge of their physical health.

“Get your PSA check and don’t worry about it, you know, we’re men, we need to, we need to step up and take care of our bodies,” said Olsen.

He also wants men to pay attention to their mental health.

“Let your family and friends know you need support during this. Don’t try to do it alone because some of my biggest struggles was depression, really, you know, just thinking that, ‘Why is this happening to me? And you know, what’s going to happen?’,” said Olsen.

Roy is still here because he kept a watchful eye on his body.

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