FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Former Arkansas Razorback Wendell Jones is known for winning quite a few victories in his lifetime. Today he’s a different kind of champion, one who beat prostate cancer. Now he’s sharing his journey to raise awareness.
“I don’t mind people knowing what I went through, if I can stop somebody from going through that same thing. This is something that can be treated if caught early enough and it’s very survivable,” Jones said.
Jones learned of his diagnoses during a regular check up, back in May of 2018.
“that was my first time being tested, so within a month period, actually about a three week period, I was diagnosed, confirmed, and scheduled for a radical prostatectomy,” he said. “It was like a whirlwind, everything happened really quick.”
Chris Collier serves as the executive director of the Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation. Aside from a genetic family history of the disease, he shares some of the additional elevated risk factors.
“Frankly, if you’re African-American, you have an elevated risk. African-American men are two and a half to three times more likely to get the disease, and this surprises some people, if you’ve had a history of breast cancer in your family — your mother, grandmother or something of that nature, it also elevates your risk of prostate cancer,” Collier said.
Like Jones, over 90% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer, show no symptoms at all.
So, it’s PSA screenings and honest conversations during regular check ups with your doctor which play a major part in beating the disease.
“once I found out I had it, I was kind of keeping to myself., like a lot of men do,” said Jones. “You don’t really want to talk about this with other people.
One in eight men nationwide will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
“we’re seeing more men diagnosed not just with prostate cancer, but with later stages of prostate cancer because they’ve not done anything for two or three years,” said Collier.
Prostate cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among our fathers, sons, husbands, and brothers. Jones said he’s grateful for his recovery from the all-too-common disease.
“I’m alive, I thank god every day and I’m doing things. I appreciate life a lot better now,” he said.