Dr. Drew Pinsky returned home from a Caribbean vacation with his wife two years ago feeling pretty terrible. He thought he was suffering through a tropical disease – with chills so violent he went to the hospital. And then, just as quickly, it passed. His wife, however, urged him to follow-up on the illness. That’s when he found an elevated PSA – a sign of potential trouble in his prostate. Doctors initially treated him for prostatitis (an inflammation of the prostate). However a biopsy was conducted later that revealed Pinsky had prostate cancer. He told PEOPLE that “it was a terrible feeling,” because all other aspects of his life were going so wonderfully. “This could screw everything up” he thought.
Last July he quietly took care of business – he underwent surgery to remove the prostate. Only a small circle of people knew about it and Pinsky, 55, returned to work within a week and a half. Now, “I’m cancer-free,” says the host of HLN’s ‘Dr. Drew on Call.’ “The erectile function is normal, sex drive is normal, bladder works normally. And I don’t have to worry about prostate cancer.” As PEOPLE explain, “After the initial biopsy, Pinsky opted for what is known as active surveillance, bypassing immediate surgery and its potential side effects, including incontinence and impotence, for careful and structured monitoring, with additional PSA tests and a pair of biopsies…Pinsky ended up waiting about year from the time he first saw Holden until the surgery, the TV host meeting the age and other criteria for the approach (which the foundation calls “Proactive Surveillance”).”