Don Imus says he has prostate cancer

March 16, 2009 3:18:32 PM PDT
Don Imus says he's battling stage two prostate cancer.

The 68-year-old shock jock made the surprise announcement on his morning radio show, which airs from New York.

Imus says he was diagnosed last Wednesday, but he's voicing faith that he'll have a full recovery.

Imus wondered on-the-air whether "stress" could have been the cause.

But Dr. Leonard Gomella, of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson University Hospital says there is no relationship between the two. "There is no relation that we know of between "life stress" and the development of prostate cancer as no research study has specifically addressed this area."

Imus now works for ABC Radio Networks and cable's RFD-TV. He was fired by CBS Radio and MSNBC in spring 2007 for a racial slur in reference to the Rutgers women's basketball team. He later apologized.


The American Cancer Society projects 186,320 new cases and 28,660 deaths in 2008.(2009 numbers have not been released yet)

· Overall the death date has declined over the last 10 years, probably due to better screening, earlier diagnosis and better treatments.


Unlike smoking and lung cancer we do not know the exact cause for prostate cancer. Some possible risk factors include:

· Genetic and environmental factors are important in prostate cancer development

· Family history: risk is increased by number of effected family members, degree of relation, and age at diagnosis. However, prostate cancer is most commonly not associated with a family history.

· Infection and inflammation may be a possible cause of prostate cancer and is a leading theory at present

· Oxidant stress or "free radicals" in the environment may damage the cells DNA may cause prostate cancer and other cancers

· Western diet that include high levels of meat, dairy, and saturated fat may contribute. Recently, folate supplements have been implicated.

Prevention of prostate cancer is possible with a drug (finasteride) that has been shown to reduce the risk by 25%.

The good news is that the latest treatments for prostate cancer as often very effective if the cancer is found early. In addition, the side effects of these treatments have improved greatly.

Some general treatments include observation, hormonal therapy, cryotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy.Each patient should review their individual tumor characteristics and overall health issues with their physician to determine the best option for them.

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