When Tony Minter was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012, he was 50 years old and had been monitoring his PSA with his doctor since he began testing at 40. After his diagnosis, his doctor encouraged him to do his own research and eventually his medical team landed on treatment with a combination of brachytherapy and a course of external beam radiation. Though he remains cancer-free, Tony still deals with the side effects of his treatment daily.
Once you’ve been diagnosed, take some time, connect with someone you trust, who will help you navigate this process. At the end of the day, whatever decision you make is yours. To educate yourself about the treatments and their side effects is very important.
After his treatment, Tony resolved to do whatever he could to educate men about prostate cancer. It became apparent to him that African American men suffer in greater numbers from the disease, and that part of it was likely due to access to care and resources, as well as a lack of awareness in the community.
Tony sought to change that. He is now a passionate ZERO advocate who attends the ZERO Summit each year in Washington, DC and educates men in his local community about their risk for prostate cancer. At each year’s Summit, Tony speaks with other advocates and share his story on Capitol Hill, where he fights for increased prostate cancer research funding with other patients, survivors, and advocates.
Tony has also focused his efforts on helping men living with prostate cancer, those dealing with side effects of treatment, as he is. He seeks to educate men on what potential side effects are associated with different treatment options. He also spends time working with urologists to further encourage them to talk with their patients about potential side effects as a part of their conversation after a diagnosis.
Take your time, ask questions – no question is a dumb question. Seek out those people who you feel comfortable opening up and talking to. You can’t keep it to yourself.
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