Prostate-cancer survivor and living legend, Sir Elton John, invites fans to “kickstart your weekend” with his new “Elton John: Classic Concert Series.” These never-before-seen archival performances — the first of which features Edinburgh, 1976 — will premiere Friday on John’s YouTube channel. The six-week series will benefit his foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
Shown here with fellow cancer-warrior, Olivia Newton-John, just before quarantine orders descended, John has been an active supporter of pandemic relief efforts, like Global Citizen’s “One World, Together At Home” while on lockdown.
Elton John’s Cancer JourneyRead More
John wrote of his decision to opt for surgery: “A lot of men won’t have it, because it’s a major operation, you can’t have sex for at least a year afterward and you can’t control your bladder for a while.”
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Kickstart your weekend with my Classic Concert Series! For the next 6 weeks, starting this Friday, July 3, a different concert from the archive will be streaming on @YouTube, beginning with my show at the Playhouse Theatre in Edinburgh in 1976. The concert series will raise funds to benefit @ejaf’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund, which helps frontline partners prepare for and respond to the pandemic and its effects on HIV prevention and care for the most marginalized communities. We cannot jeopardise HIV testing and care during this time or else the results could be disastrous for the 37.5 million people living with HIV. The first concert goes live at 9am (LA) / 12pm (NY) / 5pm (LDN) and is only available for 72 hours, so make sure to tune in! Swipe right to watch the trailer 🚀
“But effectively my kids made the decision for me,” he continues. “I didn’t like the idea of cancer hanging over me — us — for years to come: I just wanted rid of it.”
Bladder Control: A Side Effect of Surgery
When cancer surgery leaves someone with little control over their bladder, it can be difficult to manage daily activities, much less perform in front of thousands of people. After overcoming a rare complication, where he had to “spend 11 days in a London hospital wondering if I was going to die,” John recovered and got back on stage.
In an interview on BBC One, he told Graham Norton that he wore a diaper under his outfit during a Las Vegas show in 2017, when he hadn’t yet regained bladder control after his treatment. “If only they knew at that moment I was pissing myself,” he said.
About Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is more likely to develop in men who are 65 and older, and having one or more relative with prostate cancer increases the risk, according to the National Cancer Institute. Although most men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die from it, it is the second-highest cause of death behind lung cancer for men. It also occurs more frequently in African American men, and African American men are more likely to die from the disease.
Dr. Edwin Posadas explains risk factors for prostate cancer and who should be screened.
Current recommendations suggest that men begin speaking with their doctors about screening for prostate cancer at age 50, but there aren’t any specific guidelines about when to get screened because research hasn’t yet proven the advantages outweigh the risks of screening.
Prostate Cancer Screening Options
John a great example of the importance of screening to detect prostate cancer. As he wrote in his memoir, “They discovered [cancer] during a check-up…My doctor noticed the level of prostate-specific antigens in my blood had gone up slightly and sent me to an oncologist for a biopsy. It came back positive.”
Current recommendations suggest that men begin speaking with their doctors about screening for prostate cancer at age 50, but there aren’t any specific guidelines about when to get screened because research hasn’t yet proven the advantaged outweigh the risks of screening.
Screening tests for prostate cancer include:
- Digital rectal exam, wherein a doctor or nurse inserts a gloved finger into the lower part of the rectum to feel for lumps on the prostate.
- Prostate specific antigen test (PSA), or a test that measures the level of PSA in the blood. PSA is a substance made mostly by the prostate that may be found in an increased amount in the blood of men who have prostate cancer.
- Gene 3 (PCA3) RNA, which measures the amount of PCA3 RNA in the urine after a DRE. If PSA has been determined high, and a biopsy has shown no cancer, high amounts of PCA3 RNA may lead to another biopsy and may help diagnose prostate cancer
- Transrectal ultrasound, a procedure in which a probe that is about the size of a finger is inserted into the rectum to check the prostate.
The Surgery Decision
There are differences of opinion when you’re considering treatment for early stage, high-risk prostate cancer. Some facilities believe surgery is the way to go, as long as the disease has not spread.
Dr. Patrick Swift, Clinical Professor of Radiation Oncology at Stanford University Medical Center on surgery and risk management and
Others feel the change in the quality of life has to be balanced against the potential that you’ve improved the overall outcome. “That’s a very serious conversation (patients) should have,” says Dr. Patrick Swift, Clinical Professor of Radiation Oncology at Stanford University Medical Center,” and it involves choosing between surgery or just having radiation with hormone therapy.”