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Mid-South man shares how he beat cancer ahead of Cancer Survivors Day

Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 11:00 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Cancer Survivors Day is this Sunday and a Mid-South man is happy to say he will be among the survivors.

72-year-old Hugh Thompson is an avid runner.

“I ran a marathon in all 50 states and three continents,” said Thompson.

Thompson is a patient of the Methodist Le Bonheur Hospital system. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in early 2020.

“There’s so many Afro-American men that have this disease and have never been detected,” said Thompson. “So, I felt fortunate that my medical team detected that I had prostate cancer.”

Dr. Samuel Riney, a hematologist and oncologist with Methodist, advises patients to consult with their doctors when it comes to screening for and treating prostate cancer.

“It needs to be an individualized decision between patients and their physician,” said Riney.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States, according to cancer.gov. Men 50 and older or men who have a history of prostate cancer in their family are at a high risk of having prostate cancer.

Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) screenings and biopsies can help detect it early, when it is easily treatable. But biopsies have risks.

“There’s the possibility of having impotence, of having urinary trouble afterwards, infection from biopsies. So, it’s not a clear-cut ‘Yes everyone should do it or everyone shouldn’t’,” said Dr. Riney

He says doctors can help patients make that choice.

Thompson says a PSA screening helped him catch the cancer early on. He was treated with radiation therapy, and officially beat cancer on his birthday last year.

“September the 11th was the day that I rang that bell. And that was a great moment in my life,” he said.

Thompson hopes to eventually run a marathon on every continent.

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