Unaware: One survivor’s mission to save other men from prostate cancer

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December 25 2021 12:00 am

(WTRF) – When was the last time you went to the doctor?

For many, it’s probably been too long. While a regular check-up may seem unnecessary, there are certain tests during it that could save your life, like a PSA Test.

Jonathan Chance took the PSA Test just in time, before there was nothing doctors could do for his prostate cancer.

7News first introduced you to him when his cancer battle first took him across the country from Southern California to Wheeling. He was unaware that this test should be routine for men. Now, that’s the inspiration for his new book taking a proactive stance for men’s health.

He’s ultimately gonna save thousands of lives.

Dr. Gregory Merrick, Urologic Oncology Physician

All with just a few turns of the pages of “Unaware”, a primer about prostate cancer awareness that every man should read.

I’m on a mission to make getting a PSA test as common for prostate cancer as a mammogram is for breast cancer. Men need to be aware. They need to end the silence.

Jonathan Chance, Prostate Cancer Survivor, Author, Reporter

Jonathan Chance is a “hard-charging breaking news reporter” as he puts it when he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Stage III prostate cancer, requiring intense treatment.

His cancer journey began when Chance went to a new doctor after his family physician retired. There he had a routine physical as part of new patient protocol, which included a PSA test.

Chance was referred to a doctor in Los Angeles, who he says ignored his needs. With some research and a recommendation from family in West Virginia, Chance and his wife Christina ended up in the care of Dr. Gregory Merrick in Wheeling, who Chance said saved his life.

Two years in remission. I still get a monthly preventative treatment and according to the doctors I have to go five years in remission without any reoccurrence of cancer in order to be considered cancer free. So, I’m still fighting, but I’m gonna win.

Jonathan Chance, Prostate Cancer Survivor, Author, Reporter

Many men are unaware of the PSA test, but Dr. Merrick said they should consider it a regular part of medical care.

Mens’ health is under appreciated in this country. Men don’t go see physicians like women do. Women start early. Men get to see a doctor when their wife or significant other drags them through the door.

Dr. Gregory Merrick, Urologic Oncology Physician

The PSA test is a blood test and there are guidelines for which men should take it.

Recommendations in this country are somewhere between 50 and 55, if you are healthy with more than a 10 year life expectancy. The Europeans believe in a baseline at age 40 and I strongly support that.

Dr. Gregory Merrick, Urologic Oncology Physician

That test could be the only way men find they have prostate cancer because it isn’t easily detected. Dr. Merrick said the earlier the diagnosis, the better the prognosis.

In many cases men have symptoms, and in a lot of cases they don’t have symptoms. That’s why prostate cancer is called the silent killer. In my case I had absolutely no symptoms. If I didn’t get the PSA test when I did, according to Dr. Merrick, six months later I would have been beyond help.

Jonathan Chance, Prostate Cancer Survivor, Author, Reporter

Now, Jonathan is living a healthier life with his wife Christina by his side. He’s taken charge of his health, and wants other men to read the book and do the same. It starts with men having the right conversations with their doctors and each other about their health.

As you climb you must lift, and that’s what Jonathan is doing.

Dr. Gregory Merrick, Urologic Oncology Physician

If you’d like a copy of “Unaware” visit iknowmyPSA.org.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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