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Dallas Raines, ABC7 meteorologist, talks beating prostate cancer

December 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Meteorologist Dallas Raines has spent his career tracking and chasing tornadoes and hurricanes, but the day he was diagnosed with prostate cancer marked one act of nature that took his life by storm.

"It was shocking to be honest," Raines said. "Because I felt fabulous, and I just couldn't believe it."

In 2005, Raines felt he was in the prime of his life.

"Well you eat well, you exercise, but, you know, that can only go so far," he said.

Raines says his experience and news of Governor Brown's excellent prostate cancer diagnosis Wednesday reminds men that early detection gives them the luxury of having options. Men's health experts agree.

"Prostate cancer is not like breast cancer or colon cancer or pancreatic cancer," said Dr. Shahin Chandrasoma. "It's a very slowly progressive, indolent disease that a patient might not know he has for 10 years."

When it's caught early, the standard treatments include surgery, radiation or do nothing at all -- just watch and wait.

"I don't think there is a right or wrong answer, it just comes down to a discussion between the patient and his physician as to what he thinks is the best option is for him," said Chandrasoma.

Brown chose radiation. Doctors say his risk for any lifestyle side effects is very minimal. Raines recovered from surgery with flying colors.

"I enjoy outdoor activity, weight lifting, tennis golf. I like to play," Raines said.

Earlier this year a government task force urged men not to get regular PSA screenings. The panel basically said for the lives it did save, there were more men who underwent unnecessary biopsies, treatments and undue anxiety. While Raines admits the process made him anxious, not knowing would have been worse.

"Everybody has anxiety, no matter what you do, because that's life, because we're all obeying the second law of thermodynamics, that means we're all dying," Raines said. "We just don't want to die too fast."

Raines advises talking to your doctor about your risk factors and really consider getting screened, at least to have a baseline. And if you do get a diagnosis, only pick the strategy you feel most comfortable with.


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