Avera Medical Minute: Phil Schreck speaks out on prostate testing

Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 10:56 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -

Our Dakota News Now Chief Meteorologist has weathered the storm of prostate cancer. Now Phil, along with his wife Kristie enjoy the sunshine on their peaceful back deck.

"I'm married and have kids and wife who's had cancer and cancer in our family. We didn't want to mess with it and decided to get it out but it's a personal decision for everyone," said Phil.

Phil and his doctor discussed options when a PSA blood test was showing a gradual increase of protein from his prostate, indicating a problem.

"They thought that it was pretty slow growing. But once they did get the prostate out and did some further inspection of it, they did see that it was a little more aggressive than they had originally thought," said Phil.

Phil's wife Kristie, a breast cancer survivor was by his side.

"Keeping him comfortable making sure he had his pain medication, making sure he was up walking around I was constantly telling him to keep moving," said Kristie.

Dr. Eugene Park, Urologist at Urology Specialists in Sioux Falls offered expertise and options.

"Phil came to see me kind of like most people do. He was asymptomatic other than his PSA was going up," said Dr. Park.

Although Phil could have chosen to watch and wait, he decided to have his prostate removed.

"I'm actually glad we did because his, his biopsy score wasn't exactly accurate. It actually upgraded to a slightly higher form of prostate cancer," said Park.

Prostate removal surgery usually takes two to four hours.

"I'd say the two most important things to most men when, when they come back to talk to us as they're concerned about urinary incontinence or urinary leakage, and sexual function afterward," said Park.

Outcomes depend on each patient. Treatment can include waiting and re-testing, surgery, radiation, or freezing the tissue with cryotherapy. Knowing where you stand is important. Screening starts at age 55.

"Just get the PSA test, get the prostate exam, so that you know, if you might have something going on," said Phil.

"Now, we can both say we're living examples of what early detection can do for you. It is life-saving," said Kristie.

Phil and Kristie look forward to many years ahead with their family.

"Kids can say both my mom and dad have had cancer, but they're still here," said Phil.

“If anything, it has really brought us closer together and just shown us how much we love each other, and our family, and that’s what’s really important,” said Kristie.

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