My name is Kelton Kent. I am in my mid 50's. I am married to the love of my life, Cindy and have two wonderful children, Jaron and Joffrey. And I have prostate cancer. While all men are at risk for prostate cancer as we age, the risk is significantly higher in African-American men.
I did not have any symptoms, but when visiting my primary care physician for another health issue in the Spring 2016, I asked if he would also check my PSA level. (PSA is prostate-specific antigen, a protein produced by the prostate that, at elevated levels, could indicate the presence of prostate cancer.) My primary care physician was adamant that since I had been screened in 2015, there was no need to screen again for five years. But I have had several family members suffer from several forms of cancer, including prostate, and myself had been treated for kidney cancer in 1999, and as a result, I have become very proactive about my health. So when visiting my endocrinologist a few weeks later, I requested a PSA check again. This time, he listened. The test indicated my PSA was elevated and I was referred to a urologist and several scans and biopsies later, I was diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer.
The news was hard to hear. I was scared and had so many questions—like, was it treatable? Would I die? What about my family? What were my treatment options? Thankfully (though I wouldn’t wish it on anyone), I had a good buddy who had gone through a radical form ten-months earlier. His advice, experience, support, prayers, and sometimes just a listening ear, has helped me tremendously on my journey.
So now on the eve of my surgery, I am both confident and grateful. I am grateful that we caught it early and my prognosis is very good. I am grateful for my family, friends and brothers from my church who have been a source of emotional and spiritual support. I am grateful for good insurance that has afforded the best medical care in the world with a renowned expert in this field. I am grateful for God whom I’ve put my situation into his hands, because he has never left nor forsaken me.
In closing, I'd like to encourage you to take action. Nearly one in five black men will have prostate cancer in their lifetime, and it has become the fourth leading cause of death for us. I would just like to encourage you and/or the men that you love and support to take control of your health and get screened—there may not always be symptoms
Thank you for your love, prayers and support during this time.