Hello , my name is Johnny Payne and I am a I’m sixty-eight year African American man. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2002. I was diagnosed by a routine screening during a Health Fair conducted by my employer at that time. I was given the PSA and DRE. I learned that my PSA was high, in fact, it was 15. At that time I did not know what that all that meant. I then consulted a urologist, and had another PSA, which was 15. A couple weeks or so later, I got a third PSA. All readings were very high. All were over fifteen.
My urologist ordered a biopsy. The biopsy indicated prostate cancer. My Gleason score was 7 and I was diagnosed at Stage 2.
There are several urologists in Greenville-Spartanburg South Carolina area where I live. Greenville is medium sized city. There are three major hospitals in the area. There were about 10 urologist in the firm with the urologist that was treating me. I traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina, which is a larger city, about 90 miles away for a second opinion. Once I interviewed the urologist in Charlotte, I selected him to perform my surgery based on his experience of doing a greater number of surgeries . My initial urologist was very understanding that I had selected another surgeon, and agree to accept me as a patient for follow up.
After I was diagnosed with Prostate cancer I asked my doctor, “What’s the next step?” He said, “That’s for you to decide.” That was kind of strange, I never heard a doctor say that to me. I said, “What do you mean for me to decide. I don’t know anything about this.” He then goes on to explain the different treatment options and that I should educate myself on the different treatment options, the pros and cons, and how it fits my personal situation. Once I did that, the decision on treatment was mine.