Baton Rouge man shares story after being diagnosed with prostate cancer

Now, he’s stressing the importance of early detection
It’s Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and a Baton Rouge man is sharing his journey after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 11:44 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2022 at 10:06 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - It’s Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and a Baton Rouge man is sharing his journey after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“Just a little over a year ago, I was at work, and I got a phone call from the doctor’s office,” said Charlie East, a prostate cancer survivor. “A biopsy had come back positive for prostate cancer.”

Charlie East said his PSA screening, what doctors use to test for prostate cancer, was at a three a few years ago. When COVID hit, it went up to 17 since he couldn’t see a doctor for a year.

“It’s a life-changing diagnosis when they use that word, and they say you have cancer,” said East. “It’s like someone’s kicking you in the stomach.”

He went into fight mode, with his family alongside him. Surgery and 45 straight days of radiation at Baton Rouge General’s Pennington Cancer Center were the next steps of the journey.

“I was just about to have a grandbaby be born, and I’m thinking, what if it’s this bad I don’t see her grow up,” said East. “I had told my doctor that my goal was at least to see her walk across the stage and get her diploma, and he said well I’m going to try and give you a little bit more than that.”

“I believe that screening is important in early detection in almost every malignancy is important in terms of better cure rates,” said Dr. William Russell, radiation oncologist at Baton Rouge General.

East’s big message is to get tested and screened.

“It’s a simple blood test,” he said. “Sooner rather than later, I am an example of what happens if you wait.”

As of September 2022, East is still cancer free. He has found a passion in bringing others education, and awareness and encouraging people to never ever give up.

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