Jim Bennett has been battling prostate cancer since March 1993, and his success can be credited to the active role he takes in his treatment. In the spring of 1993, Jim's wife of 27 years, Alma, suggested he have a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood count test during his annual check up. The level came back elevated, but for three years his biopsies were negative. As his PSA blood count continued to rise, Jim traveled to Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1996.
After rigorous testing, he learned that more than half of the biopsy cores taken showed signs of cancer. He was diagnosed with locally advanced prostate cancer, and in September 1996 underwent a radical prostatectomy. The next year, his cancer reoccurred and he was put on intermittent hormone therapy. This was followed in 1998 by radiation and seed implantation. The PSA was then held at bay until April 2001, and he was put back on hormone therapy. In September 2004, the PSA began rising again and estrogen was added to enhance treatment. The PSA count has since held steady for two years.
Throughout his battle with prostate cancer, Jim's wife Alma has stood by his side. She heard about a conference in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1997 featuring Robert Urich as keynote speaker, and urged him to attend. Jim took Urich's message to heart – you have to keep trying, be your own advocate, ask questions, and maintain hope – as he actively continues seeking information and new treatment options.
Jim has used his experience to help provide education to other men struggling with the disease by founding a Huntsville-based Man-to-Man, Prostate Cancer Education and Support Group. The group meets monthly and is sponsored by the American Cancer Society. He finds great satisfaction in knowing the group has provided many men with the answers they need, and is empowering them to take control of their treatment.