SAN ANTONIO – Eastwood Community Baptist Church Deacon Earl Jamison has a history of cancer in his family.
“My mother died from cancer. My brother died from cancer,” Jamison said. “The doctor told me, ‘You’re a candidate for cancer. But it’s not there yet.’”
As Jamison got older, he would routinely have benign polyps removed from his prostate. In 2014, Jamison noticed something wasn’t right.
“My side kept pushing out. And when I went to the doctor at BAMMC, he told me I had a hernia,” Jamison said.
Though painful, the hernia may have saved Jamison’s life. When he went in for hernia surgery, the doctors discovered an even bigger issue -- prostate cancer.
“When you have prostate cancer, you don’t know, you don’t feel it just like a normal person,” Jamison said.
The cancer was in its early stage, and 30 days following surgery, Jamison was back on the operating table.
“They said the best way would be to go in and clean me out. And that’s what I agreed to,” he said.
While successful, the surgery left Jamison with some issues.
“I have what they call a leakage. I have to wear pull ups,” he said.
Jamison, 74, counts his blessings knowing he beat the disease, unlike his brother.
“He waited too long and there was nothing they could do,” Jamison said.
With a renewed lease on life, the deacon spends his time helping Pastor Andrew Roberts run their beloved East Side Church, where they pray for the healing of others as chaplain of a Disabled American Veterans chapter.
Jamison is a walking testament of early detection who has a message for men.
“I don’t want you all out there to wait too long, to where the doctor can tell you, ‘Well, we can’t help you,’” Jamison said.
He recently got a clean bill of health following his yearly checkup.
An American Cancer Society study showed the five-year survival rate for men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer is nearly 100%. ACA urges men 40 and over to get checked.
Click here for more information about cancer that affects men.
Several male anchors, reporters and others at KSAT 12 are participating in the No-Shave November campaign, a month-long journey during which participants forgo shaving and grooming in order to evoke a conversation and raise cancer awareness.
If you would like to donate to the No Shave November cause, click here.