DUNCAN, OK (KSWO) –September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and one Duncan man who was diagnosed with it is educating men to take charge of their health by learning the risk factors for the disease.
One of six men are diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. While it can be quite serious, if it is found early there is nearly a 100 percent chance for a cure. Cancer survivor Marion Lennox is passionate about spreading the importance of early detection. Whether it be visiting family or over just speaking to strangers he wants to share his story.
Lennox said men need to understand just how dangerous the disease can be. He says he is not a doctor, but dealing with this disease has changed his life and he wants to save others before it's too late.
"I hate prostate cancer. I will do anything to get rid of prostate cancer”, said Lennox.
Back in 2006, Marion Lennox went to the doctor for his annual checkup. Because of his age and the fact that 21 men in his family had prostate cancer, he also asked for a PSA blood test, and it came back positive.
He went through therapy, which included radiation, and was declared cancer-free in 2007. Since then it has been his mission to spread awareness.
"I decided that it's time for someone to step up and do something about this dreadful disease. You can handle prostate cancer, but you have to catch it early. You have to catch it early”, said Lennox.
Prostate cancer often has no early symptoms, so it’s important to go get checked.
" The first symptoms of Prostate Cancer are running to the bathroom all hours of the night, getting up running to bathroom. I didn't have those symptoms and I drank a lot of water”, said Lennox.
He started researching and talking to several officials with the National Cancer Institute, the Mayo Clinic, MD Cancer Center, and the Prostate Cancer Foundation. He used his battle with the disease and that information to educate other men, no matter where he happens to be.
"I have all of these handouts. I pass these handouts to them, to the men and then I go over it with them step, by step”, said Lennox." I can tell you what page this stuff is on, just like these preachers about the scriptures in the bible. I can tell you what page that stuff is on”, Lennox said.
Lennox says most men are afraid to talk about the disease, because of the testing process, and the fear of being diagnosed. He encourages men to get over that fear, because according to the American Cancer Society, about one in 38 men will die from prostate cancer.
"Stage 1 and stage 2 you can handle it. When you get to stage three your kind of sigh. Stage four, brother you in trouble, you are in trouble when you get to stage four of prostate cancer”, said Lennox.
He said he was called upon God to be an advocate for others.
"I want to help African American men, whites, and all men. All men. God put this on my heart to do this. I said I was going to quit, I tried to quit several times, but God says no”, said Lennox.
Lennox will hold an informational session this Saturday, September 17, at the Duncan Senior Citizen Center at North 7th Street in Duncan. It starts at 10 a.m. and it's free to the public.
Today, there are over 2.9 million men living in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their life.
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