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Living with Prostate Cancer

EUGENE, Ore. — Working quietly on maps, it’s hard to imagine Don Meckley would have much to worry about.

But last year, little did he know his life was about to take a drastic turn.

“Fear. Cancer’s a bad word,” Meckley said.

Doctors made the discovery at Oregon Urology Institute’s free prostate cancer screening event.

“The biopsy showed 20 percent of my prostate had cancer in it,” Meckley said.

Had Meckley not taken the few minutes for the checkup, Dr. Jeff Woolsey with Oregon Urology Institute says the cancer could have spread.

“There can be more aggressive prostate cancers, life-threatening prostate cancers,” Woolsey said.

Woolsey recommends all men over the age of 40 get an annual prostate exam.

“The reason we do annual exams for prostate cancer is most of the time the changes that occur in the exam of the prostate are going to be picked up on a once-a-year basis and still have an early diagnosis,” Woolsey said.

Since one in six men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime, Woolsey says it’s crucial for men to take advantage of the free screening.

“The benefit of knowing is going to outweigh the risk of the exam,” Woolsey said.

Back at the office, things have again settled down for Meckley.

After months of radiation and treatment, doctors say he could be one of the thousands every year who beat prostate cancer.

And while his story may be one of success, it does come with words of advice.

“Don’t be foolish. Get it done,” Meckley said.

Checkups early and often could find and cure for the second most common form of cancer.

Prostate cancer itself often has no signs of symptoms during its early and curable stage.

If detected early, the five-year survival rate is 99 percent.

The Oregon Urology Institute is offering free prostate exams July 10 and 11 at the Valley River Center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

No appointments or insurance is needed.

Doctors say the exam itself only takes a few minutes.

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