If you know the song “We’re Not Gonna Take It” – then you know me. My name is Jay Jay French and I’m the guitarist and founding member of “Twisted Sister” – the band that rocked the airwaves with this ‘80s anthem. Over the years, the meaning of this song has evolved for me. Today, I’m fighting for something that’s affected my life and family – prostate cancer.
“We’re Not Gonna Take It” was released in 1984. That’s also the year my Dad died at age 74. Although he died of a heart attack in the hospital, upon an autopsy they discovered cancer originating in his prostate cancer had metastasized over time in his bones because he went undiagnosed. This is why my brother and I became more vigilant. This vigilance saved our lives through early detection. My brother and I had regular conversations about getting checked because we saw what prostate cancer did to our Dad. Unfortunately our fear of inheriting the disease became a reality. My brother was diagnosed at age 66. Ten years later, I was diagnosed – also at age 66.
In the beginning, I didn’t want anyone to know. To be honest, it took me a little time to accept and process my diagnosis. Once I did, I realized I could be an advocate. Speaking out allowed me to educate friends, family – and even fans. And now that I’ve partnered with ZERO and Bayer, I’m reaching more men than ever. If you want to hear ‘straight talk” about this disease, you need to check out my three-part podcast series. “Prostate Cancer Uncensored” which gave me an outlet to talk about everything from treatment options to sex. ZERO’s CEO & President, Jamie Bearse and I didn’t hold back in our discussion about how this disease affects men, their partners, and their families.
My brother and I are now cancer survivors, and I believe that early screening is the reason both of us are alive today. “We’re Not Gonna Take It” is a fight song. So take my advice and fight for your own health and well-being. Know your risk. Know your family history. And know that you are not alone in this journey.
Download all three of Jay Jay French’s “Prostate Cancer Uncensored’ podcasts at zerocancer.org/podcasts. Episodes are also available at Apple Podcasts, Anchor.fm, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, PlayerFM, Pocket Casts, Spotify, PodBean, RadioPublic, and more.