INDIANAPOLIS – Cancer was not a worry for Brodie Palmer — that was until a screening following a routine check-up at his primary care physician.
Nearly 17 million people in the United States are cancer survivors, according to the National Cancer Institute.
“When you hear cancer, the first thing you think of is gray clouds and dooms day,” Palmer said.
Palmer was diagnosed with prostate cancer. A diagnosis that immediately became personal as Palmer had lost his dad and sister to cancer.
“It took the wind out of my sails, but I had to remain faithful and rely on the process,” Palmer said.
Biopsies and imaging began for Palmer last September. He enrolled in a clinical trial with his IU Health Physicians Urology specialist, Dr. Clint Bahler, and by March, he underwent surgery.
“Cancer screening admittedly is done when you have no symptoms, so and that can be difficult. You have no symptoms of a disease or cancer, so why would you do cancer screening? It’s investing down the road,” Bahler said.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men aside from skin cancer. Early detection is key, Bahler said.
“Commonly there’s an attitude with men that we’ll just take life as it comes and I think they don’t realize how important they are in the lives of their family and their friends,” Bahler said.
According to Bahler, most often it is those friends and family that encourage his patients to get originally checked.
Palmer has now made it his mission to share not only his story with other men but to encourage them to take their health seriously.
“Well, it’s because of the lack of participation in screening for prostate cancer. In Black men, it’s influenced by several cultural factors including knowledge of health, believing in the health process, and the relationship with your primary provider,” Palmer said. “I think it’s my goal to do everything right moving forward to try and push other men to get checked out, get screened. It could be the difference between life and death.”