DENVER- Prostate cancer can be a silent killer. It's not because there aren't any symptoms, but because of the silence surrounding it. A conversation about prostate cancer is not one in which many men want to have with their doctors or the women in their lives.
For Sue Ellen Goss, the journey to save her husband's life started with a conversation that neither one of them will ever forget.
"Paul walked in and went over to the counter and laid out some papers and said, 'I have cancer.' I have never been hit by lightning, but I felt like it. It was like a bolt just shot through me," Sue Ellen said.
That was in April 2007. At first, Sue Ellen didn't know what kind of cancer it was. She later learned Paul, her husband of 42 years, had cancer in four out of 12 segments of his prostate.
Sue Ellen was scared and in shock. Paul was in his early 60s and had always been healthy. He ate right, exercised and most importantly, he was vigilant about going to the doctor. In fact, it was during one of his annual exams that Paul's doctor noticed his PSA level was higher than during his last visit. The doctor did a biopsy and found the cancer.
Sue Ellen and Paul worked together to learn all they could about prostate cancer. They researched the different tests and treatment options to determine what was best for Paul. In the end, he decided to have surgery to remove his prostate. Because his doctor caught the cancer so early, he didn't need chemotherapy or radiation.
Paul says he's alive today because of the conversation that started in his doctor's office and then continued at home.
Sue Ellen believes both men and women have to stop being embarrassed when talking about prostate health. She's involved in one event to help women. The "Save the Males" fundraiser, which is exclusively for women, is Tuesday, Sept. 17 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Ritz-Carlton in Denver. Lannie Garrett of Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret is the entertainment. For more information: call 720-848-7772 or go to savethemalesdenver.org.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)