PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter opened up about having surgery for an early phase of prostate cancer in December.
The tough decision had come after monitoring the disease for four years.
He kept his diagnosis private, even from his own family. But now he wants to share his story in hopes of saving other men, especially Black men who are most likely to die from prostate cancer.
He said it all started right after he left office in 2016 when doctors noticed his PSA levels were off. But at that time, Nutter said he chose to keep on with business as usual given the situation wasn't pressing.
He also described the fear he has in alarming his wife and adult daughter.
"If I didn't admit it to anybody, then I didn't have to admit it to myself," Nutter said.
Then in September of 2020, he underwent surgery for appendicitis and doctors later discovered his PSA levels had skyrocketed. He said surgery was the best and safest option.
"Early detection is key. It gives you the widest range of options," he said.
Nutter is now cancer-free. He will have to go in for routine screening every six months in the near future, and then after two years just yearly.
His mission now is to educate Black men like himself to stay on top of their health and get routine screening for prostate cancer.
Mayor Nutter said having cancer has changed his perspective on life. He described appreciating the little things in life and takes great pride in now having a bird feeder.
He also said that he will continue being an advocate for Black men staying on top of their health.
"It's a choice between living and having a good quality of life or dying from prostate cancer," Nutter said.