The Young and the Restless star Eric Braeden has opened up about the “scary” time his prostate cancer was initially misdiagnosed.
The 82-year-old actor recently spoke withEntertainment Tonight about his cancer battle after publicly revealing his diagnosis in April 2023. Now, the soap opera star wants to raise awareness towards prostate cancer, especially because a misdiagnosis could’ve threatened his own health.
“I was misdiagnosed at first, and then I went to another [doctor] and he said, ‘You have cancer,’” he told the outlet on 3 May.
“The reason that I’m going public with this is to inform people,” Braeden said. “As you get older, your prostate grows and it impinges the urethra. It means you have to go to the potty a lot more than you want to. That is sometimes the beginning of some trouble.”
The German-born actor acknowledged that although “the word cancer is scary” and hearing his own diagnosis was “not good,” he doesn’t want people to be afraid of staying on top of their health.
“I just want men to know not to be scared of that. I want them to know to have your prostate examined, have your bladder examined, have your colon examined,” he explained. “Just acquaint yourself with it and be open about it, so that way you take the fear out of people. A lot of men, me included, would not want to know about it. That’s nonsense.”
The Daytime Emmy winner is currently being treated with weekly bladder infusions, which “stimulates your immune response, hence it kills your cancer cells,” he said. Braeden is in his third week of the six-week infusion process, after which he’ll have six weeks off of treatment.
“At the moment,” he said, “I feel pretty good.”
On 21 April, Braeden revealed in a video that he was recently diagnosed with cancer. In the video posted to Facebook, the actor said his diagnosis came after experiencing problems with his bladder and urination that worsened while recovering from a knee-replacement surgery.
He was diagnosed by a urologist at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, where he underwent surgery to relieve pressure on his urethra and remove the cancer. Braeden said his biopsy results later revealed some high-grade cancer cells, for which he is currently undergoing immunotherapy.
Prostate cancer is a cancer that occurs in the prostate gland, a small gland located at the base of the bladder. It is one of the most common cancers among men in the United States, with approximately 288,300 new cases of prostate cancer in 2023 alone. In fact, about one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society.
While it is not known what causes prostate cancer, there are several factors that may increase one’s risk of developing the disease. The chances of developing prostate cancer rises after the age of 50.
Prostate cancer can also run in some families. Having a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles a man’s risk of developing this disease. Those of African or African-Caribbean descent may also be at greater risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
There are many signs and symptoms of prostate cancer, such as problems urinating, needing to urinate more frequently, or blood in the urine or semen. Signs that prostate cancer has spread to other areas of the body may include back, hip or pelvis pain. However, prostate cancer can be found at an early stage through screening tests, like testing for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in the blood or undergoing a digital rectal exam (DRE).
A person’s treatment may depend on whether their prostate cancer is limited to the prostate gland or if it has spread to other parts of the body. Some of these treatments may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or “watchful waiting” – in which doctors keep a close eye to see whether or not a patient develops any progressive cancer symptoms.