HOUSTON – On Tuesday, KPRC2 chief meteorologist Frank Billingsley decided to announce that he has prostate cancer. Now, he’s shedding light on just how common the disease is and the decisions men with a diagnosis face.
“Don't wait," Billingsley said. "When you go for a regular blood screening, it's very simple, just one more vial of blood, and they test it and see what your PSA is. That doesn't guarantee you have cancer, that just means something is going on and they need to check, and you need to see a urologist about it.”
Billingsley said he decided to go public about having prostate cancer because he had no symptoms and no plans to get checked. He said he wants that to serve as a warning to other men.
“I was in the studio talking to Dominique (Sachse) about health in general and she said, ‘Go to my doctor,’ and if she hadn't, I would still be, till this day, walking around with cancer and not knowing it,” Billingsley said.
Dr. Adam Hollander from Memorial Hermann Medical Group Greater Heights does not treat Billingsley, but he said all men between 50 and 70 years old should get annual screenings. He said the screening consists of a physical exam and a blood test, totaling less than a 10-minute visit.
If the cancer is isolated to the prostate, there's a chance nothing more than observation is needed, according to Hollander, but if it spreads the disease is dangerous.
“If the cancer has spread, then it’s no longer curable. So, all you can do is really delay its growth and extend the life that way,” Hollander explained.
Treatment to eliminate the cancer is in Billingsley's future. When it comes to treatment, there's a lot of choices: different kinds of surgery and different radiation therapies.
Billingsley said is ready to weather the storm.
“None of them have great side effects but all of them are curative," Billingsley said. "If you catch this disease early enough, it's about (a) 100 percent cure rate."