A Message from Steve Brown

I want to have a word with all of you in the Iceman community about a touchy subject.

It’s October now and the time of year when Bell’s Icemania kicks into high gear. Soon it will be November and guys will start growing mustaches and beards for Movember in support of men’s health.

My father was an alcoholic who died of prostate cancer at the age of 53. By the time they caught it at age 46, his cancer had metastasized to his bones. He battled for seven years before succumbing to the disease.

Throughout my adult life, I felt that his cancer was a direct result of drinking gallons of Tanqueray and Fresca and that I could avoid it if I led the healthy active lifestyle of a cyclist and imbibed only moderately.

Imagine my concern this past January when during my annual physical we discovered that my PSA level was 9. “There must have been some kind of mistake. Let’s check it again”, I thought. Another test came back at 8.3. My primary care physician referred me to a urologist, and I received word that I was positive for an aggressive form of prostate cancer in June (delayed 3 months due to COVID-19). Kikkan Randal’s story of winning an Olympic medal with Jessie Diggans (Nordic skiing team sprint) and discovering breast cancer a month later kept me from denying that it was possible for a healthy person to have cancer.

I am now recovering from a radical prostatectomy and, so far, everything looks good. I am counting the days until I can ride my bike again (38). Turns out that my cancer was genetically inherited and being a lifelong athlete wasn’t going to change that.

Don’t put off your annual physical and if it’s been a few years since you’ve seen your doc, get on it now. Friends, don’t let them slide. If they can’t make an appointment on their own, do it for them. This is the year to do it since the Bell’s Iceman is on hiatus and you have some extra time to look after your own health. I know I am glad we’ve addressed my situation before it had a chance to spread.

Prostate cancer may be a slow growing disease but it’s always better to catch it early. Just ask my father.