Dr. Drew Pinsky made a major announcement on Tuesday (Sept. 24): he underwent surgery last July to remove his prostate after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The former “Celebrity Rehab” doctor only told a small circle of friends and colleagues about the surgery, and returned to work after only 10 days. Since his surgery, Pinsky has made a complete recovery, People Magazine reports.
“I’m cancer-free,” Pinsky says. “The erectile function is normal, sex drive is normal, bladder works normally. And I don’t have to worry about prostate cancer.”
Pinsky first learned he had cancer
after returning from a Caribbean vacation two years ago. He felt extremely ill, and fearing he picked up a nasty tropical disease, he went to the hospital. He got better, but his wife suggested he get a follow-up exam which showed he had an elevated PSA — a sign of trouble in his prostate. He was treated for prostatitis — an inflammation of the prostate — but he didn’t get better, so he got a biopsy.
“Lo and behold, I have cancer,” the 55-year-old says. “I was doing ‘Lifechangers’ and my HLN show was going, my wife and I had this great relationship, very active sexually. This could screw everything up. It was a terrible feeling.”
After the biopsy, Pinsky chose to go the route of active surveillance, bypassing immediate surgery and its potential side effects (like incontinence and impotence) for careful and structured monitoring, with additional PSA tests and a pair of biopsies. He waited a full year before undergoing surgery to remove his prostate.
“The floor goes out from under you,” Pinsky says. “It’s like, ‘Oh, crap, I don’t want to deal with it.’ It took me about a year to get used to the diagnosis. But by the time I went to surgery after my third biopsy, I said, ‘It’s time. Let’s get it going.'”