Daily Herald American Cancer Society
Living proof Barrington man learns lesson in early detection

Fewer than half of all Americans schedule early detection tests for cancer - but Jim Wilson of Barrington is living proof that preventive cancer screenings work.

Jim Wilson, prostate and skin cancer survivor, says testing saved his life.
Jim Wilson, prostate and skin cancer survivor, says testing saved his life.

Today, Wilson is a skin and prostate cancer survivor and cancer screening advocate. "The earlier you have your cancer screenings done, the smarter it is," he says.

After Wilson's father lost his battle with leukemia, he told himself, "Whatever it takes, I won't let my kids go through the pain that I did." He realized that in order to keep his promise, he had to stay on top of his health. At age 50 during his yearly physical, he decided to add cancer screenings to the mix, getting tested for skin, colon and prostate cancer. It was a decision that later saved his life by catching his skin and prostate cancers early enough to be treatable.

"Testing saved my life!" he says, stressing the importance of getting a baseline screening and then following through yearly.

"But the combination of the DRE (Digital Rectal Exam) and the PSA (Prostate-specific Antigen Blood Test) is the key."

And because most men most would rather "tough it out" than see a doctor, Wilson regularly urges the men he knows to get screened. "Just go and get it over with. Keep in mind that the procedure is strictly medical. And consider what could happen if you don't go."

Wilson is just one example of how we're beginning to win the war against cancer. But we must keep spreading the word about the benefits of healthy eating, not smoking or breathing secondhand smoke and routine cancer screenings.

More lives can be saved with just a few basic changes.

- Source: American Cancer Society


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