Learning and Teaching About Prostate Cancer
Elzie McCord, Jr., PhD, has spent the best part of his life in the world of research and academia. An entomologist, research scientist, and biology professor, he can tell you most anything you want to know about insects, and a great deal about sailboat racing. Today, add to that list a first-person’s intimate knowledge of prostate cancer.
At age 50, the professor insisted that his annual physical include a PSA test, although his doctor thought he was too young, too fit to be concerned about prostate cancer. Although neither his blood test nor digital exam revealed an abnormality, within 2.5 years his life would be on the line. His PSA would rise from 3.4 to 6.4 and 6.4 to 6.7 in just months.
Shortly after his mind-numbing diagnosis, Elzie would learn about prostate cancer treatment options and the Dattoli Cancer Center from a sailing buddy.
Steeped in the scientific method, even a friend’s recommendation was not enough to convince the professor. He needed to investigate for himself. What he learned was not necessarily encouraging because his cancer had already spread beyond the gland. Thinking back on his upbringing in rural Vidalia, GA, he suspects that several of his uncles may have had this disease.
His aggressive treatment at the Dattoli Center has given him a new appreciation for life. He suffers no ill effects from the combination treatment, but admits that he is a “changed man.” His is a vocal advocate for prostate cancer education and screening, especially in the African-American community. And he rarely misses an opportunity to race a sailboat. It is a feeling of “euphoria,” one that he savors as often as possible.