SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- A few people in Patrick Young’s family have had cancer.
"Cancer alone, you know, it's that word,” Young recalled. "It killed my mother; my baby brother had testicular cancer."
Young learned about a year ago that he too had it. At the age of 54, it was prostate cancer, and he had no family history. Age 55 is when screenings are encouraged.
"I experienced something that was not normal," Young explained of his symptoms.
He went to his doctor, who then referred him to a urologist. He had two biopsies over a period of time, which was cause for some concern, and at the urging of his wife, he got a second opinion. That brought him to Dr. Gennady Bratslavsky's office.
"We have provided some additional testing; in fact, we have performed something that we can only do at SUNY Upstate, which is a 3t MRI, a specialized MRI of the prostate," said Gennady, who is a chair and professor in Upstate Medical University’s Urology Department.
"A good thing in my case," Young said of the MRI, "because my cancer was growing up around the backside of the prostate."
Young had his prostate removed and is now cancer free. Dr. Bratslavsky is a big advocate for awareness and screening.
"While some of the tests like PSA may not be perfect, they're often an opportunity for some men to find early sign of disease and allow it to have aggressive, early treatment," Bratslavsky added.
Young's advice for other men is simple: "I recommend listening to your body, listening to your health care professional and listening to your wife."