In an interview with People magazine, Dr. Drew Pinsky reveals he’s been secretly battling prostate cancer for the past two years.
After returning from a Caribbean vacation in 2011, the Celebrity Rehab host noticed some unusual symptoms that he assumed were associated with a tropical disease, but follow-up examinations led to a biopsy that indicated prostate cancer.
“I was doing [my daytime talk show] Lifechangers and my HLN show [Dr. Drew on Call] was going,” Pinsky told People. “My wife and I had this great relationship, very active sexually. This could screw up everything. It was a terrible feeling.”
Pinsky underwent surgery last July to remove his prostate, telling only close friends and colleagues about the operation, and is pleased to report he’s made a full recovery. “I’m cancer-free,” he said. “The erectile function is normal, sex drive is normal, bladder works normally. And I don’t have to worry about prostate cancer.”
Pinsky admitted that, during his illness, he made a better doctor than patient. “I convinced myself I could do my own primary care,” he said. “These are very complicated issues. The message I want to give out is that [cancer treatment] is still an art. So much of the good outcome for me was the result of people following their intuition, including my wife.”
Ironically, Pinsky later found out that the initial symptoms that led him to be examined in the first place actually had nothing to do cancer. “It was probably a red herring,” he said. “I just happened to be extra sick and it just happened to send me to the hospital and my wife happened to have the right instincts.”