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Man chooses an 'active surveillance' approach to prostate cancer

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Jeff Blohm has opted to take an active surveillance approach to his prostate cancer. Jeff Blohm has opted to take an active surveillance approach to his prostate cancer.
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

Besides skin cancer, prostate cancer is the number one cancer to hit American men. This year alone, about a quarter of a million new cases will be caught, and sometimes the best option is to do nothing.

"At dinner that night, it was, guess what, dad's got cancer," said Jeff Blohm.

Those were words the 53-year-old never thought he would have to say, but if that was the bad news, the Warren husband and father also had some good news for his family. When his doctor told him he had prostate cancer, he was surprisingly optimistic.

"He goes, 'I know you don't want it, but if you do have it, this is the one to get because it moves very slow. You've caught it super early," Blohm said.

The prostate gland, about the size of a golf ball, surrounds the tube that carries urine out of the body and plays an important role in reproduction.

Blohm's cancer was caught so early, he is opting to do nothing. It is called active surveillance.

"It still kind of sounds like I'm sweeping it under the rug, like let's not really worry about it right now," Blohm said. "They're like, 'No, no, no, it's far from that. Active surveillance, you'll be coming in here every three months to get an exam.'"

"We know that the survival rates with active surveillance in the proper population can be just as good as if you were treated, and so the key is selecting out those individuals that are good candidates for active surveillance or watchful waiting versus intervention with surgery, radiation or cryotherapy," said Dr. Michael Lutz with the MIU Men's Health Foundation.

Lutz is a urologist, who is behind events like Run for the Ribbon at the Detroit Zoo, which is designed to get men talking about their health and their options.

He said genetic testing tells doctors when they can take the wait and see approach.   

"The more active these cells are, the more that the engines are revving, we know that this is going to be a very aggressive or active prostate cancer, and if the cells are actually very quiescent or quiet, then we know that this is probably going to be a good person just to watch," Lutz said.

Blohm is passionate about many things in life, including his baseball card collection, and he wants other men to know he now has a long future in front of him because he got screened.

"I went at age 50. That's when they say go ever year after that, and I went and I'm sure glad I did because now I've got options," he said.

That is the message the Michigan Institute of Urology is getting out this weekend at Run for the Ribbon. It is an event to benefit the fight against prostate cancer and get men talking about their health.

There is a gala Friday night at Andiamo in Warren featuring Murray Feldman, then the 5K run/walk happens at the Detroit Zoo on Sunday, which is Father's Day. Roop Raj will be at that event.

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