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Digital Rectal Exam Message of NFL Hall of Famer, Mike Haynes

Posted Dec 19 2010 12:00am

Mike Haynes, an NFL Hall of Famer, is doing a lot of good in showing that a real man like him can be open about the need for an annual digital rectal exam (DRE) to detect if you might have prostate cancer.

As a fellow prostate cancer survivor and author of Conquer Prostate Cancer, I have had several conversations with him. As such I  know he is genuinely concerned in offering his forthright message that men should routinely have their prostates checked out annually through a DRE and PSA testing starting at age 40. This is in keeping with the age standard set by the American Urological Association two years ago. Kudos to CBS 8 (San Diego) for its fine interview with Mike! 
If you’d like to hear Mike’s interview see and read the CBS write-up that follows.

(CBS 8, December 15, 2010) - Mike Haynes was named to the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team. Chargers fans got tired of watching him wreak havoc on the Chargers offense back in the 80s. These days, he promotes a greater cause, bringing awareness to a disease he was diagnosed with just two years ago.

After a 14 year career with the Oakland Raiders, Mike Haynes was inducted to Pro Football's Hall of Fame in 1997. Two years ago he received some bad news.

"I found out totally by accident," said Haynes.Haynes was told he had prostate cancer, after a spontaneous screening turned up positive. He had surgery last year.

"I was out of the hospital in no time flat. Very little down time," continued Haynes. Now he is not only a cancer survivor, he's a poster child. He's the national spokesman for the American Urological Foundation.

"I became the spokesperson cause I want to help men. We want to try to normalize the discussion we have about prostate cancer," noted Haynes.

Normalizing discussion can be tough with phrases like: digital rectal exam  But Haynes has a passion to get men informed about the disease and advances in treatment.

"In the old days it was almost a sentence to no more sex life, but it isn't anymore," Haynes continued. "I'm a survivor, and I'm doing great. My family will tell you I'm as active as I ever was. It's all good news."

Haynes says one in every six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, which is a higher rate than the one in every eight women who will have breast cancer, yet breast cancer gets far more attention."No one knows anything about the men's prostate, but everybody knows everything about the women's breast," said Haynes.

And while Haynes can inject humor in his cause, he knows prostate cancer is no laughing matter, and he encourages any man over the age of 40 to get checked."The secret is to check it early," Haynes said.

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