Young and the Restless star Eric Braeden is opening up about the symptoms that led to his cancer diagnosis.
In a recent Facebook post, the 82-year-old actor revealed he was diagnosed with cancer after he began to have problems with his prostate. His symptoms popped up shortly after he had knee replacement surgery a few months ago, Braeden recalled.
“Your prostate grows as you grow older. Period,” the German-born actor told his 132,000 Facebook followers. “Everything grows. … My prostate, I’d had some problems with it before. It manifests itself by you having to pee a lot. And it got to the point where I had to get up almost every half hour.”
Braeden eventually scheduled an appointment with a urologist, who recommended a procedure called a UroLift to help relieve his urinary symptoms. But by that point, he was having even more difficulty urinating, so the procedure was put on hold.
“The urination problem became so bad I couldn’t pee,” Braeden said. “And that, my friends, I can tell you, is one of the most painful experiences I’ve had.”
Instead, the doctor inserted a catheter for a few days so he could urinate pain-free. They also examined his bladder, which appeared fine at the time.
“This was six weeks or two months before something more serious happened,” he explained. “So… he didn’t relieve the problem, only momentarily, only symptomatically.”
One particularly painful night, Braeden opted to go to a different hospital. The doctor who examined him this time happened to be a UroLift pioneer. He also gave Braeden a catheter and examined his bladder.
“[He used] the same methodology used by the other urologist, but six weeks prior,” the actor explained. “And he looks at it … and he says, ‘That spot on the screen.’ He says, ‘You have cancer.’“
Eric Braeden was ‘taken aback’ by his cancer diagnosis.
Needless to say, Braeden was “taken aback” by the diagnosis — especially since his bladder scans had come back cancer-free just weeks earlier. He ended up getting the UroLift from this doctor, who was able to remove cancerous tissue during the procedure.
Shortly after undergoing this surgery, Braeden had another biopsy that revealed even more cancer in his body. He is now undergoing immunotherapy infusions to target these cells. The treatments leave him with flu-like symptoms, he explained.
“It’s not bad. Hopefully it stays that way,” he told his followers.
Overall, the actor is keeping a positive outlook. He hopes that sharing his diagnosis story with help educate other men who may be experiencing similar symptoms.
“I will lick this,” Braeden added. “This pass at it ain’t gonna get me. I’m gonna get it, alright? And I’ll be in top form again soon.”
Many men are impacted by prostate or bladder cancer later in life.
Braeden didn’t specify whether he’s suffering from prostate or bladder cancer, but either way, he isn’t alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the former is the second most common cancer among cisgender American men; the latter affects about 57,000 cis men each year.
Like Braeden, many people with penises experience prostate enlargement as they age. This growth can cause their urethra to narrow, which may result in painful urination, difficulty urinating, or more frequent urination. This is called benign prostatic hyperplasia, and it’s not the same as prostate cancer.
A wide range of conditions can cause issues with urination, so it’s important not to jump to conclusions. However, these symptoms are also associated with prostate cancer.
That’s why the American Cancer Society recommends that men ages 50 and up who are at average risk for prostate cancer discuss screening options with their doctors. Depending on your risk factors, your provider may recommend a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test or digital rectal examination.
“I hate to be this personal, but I think this may be good for some older guys who may or may not listen to this,” Braeden added. “[Prostate enlargement] will happen to them.”
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