Mr. Jerry Knight, PHEN Ambassador, Jackson, MS
Mr. Jerry Knight shared his story at the fourth session of the PHEN 2023 Summit. His father died from Stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer in 1996 at 67 years of age. His mother began urging him to get screened regularly due to his father’s death. He began screening and continued to do so until he lost his health insurance in 2012. When he obtained insurance and got screened in 2014, his doctor found his PSA score had risen to 9.0.
His primary care physician had sent him to a urologist who then saw that his PSA level had grown to 24.0. Then, his doctors completed a biopsy and diagnosed Mr. Knight with Stage 3 prostate cancer. After a CT scan, he found out his cancer did not spread outside of the prostate. As such, his doctors recommended removing his prostate to become cancer-free. In 2015, he underwent a robotic prostatectomy. Afterward, his doctor recommended 32 rounds of radiation therapy to be safe.
While sitting in the waiting room between his rounds of radiation, Mr. Knight read prostate cancer information and decided to form a prostate cancer support group. With the help of staff from the American Cancer Society, he formed a self-help group in which patients provide awareness and support during their monthly meetings. Mr. Knight spoke at events and passed out flyers across his city to raise health and wellness awareness as well as the importance of early detection screening.
In 2022, his PSA level rose to 0.2 and his cancer was detectable again. Mr. Knight pushed for his urologist to complete a PET scan, which showed a small amount of cancerous tissue in his pelvic area. Then, Mr. Knight underwent 25 rounds of radiation therapy and hormone injections. As of March 2023, he is once again cancer-free. Mr. Knight explained he believes God spared his life to help save other lives as an advocate.