Cancer survivor in Lincoln begs others to get checked early

Published: Jul. 24, 2021 at 10:32 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The National Cancer Institute reports that Black men are twice as likely to die from prostate cancer than men of other races. One Lincoln man beat that statistic and is hoping others can do the same.

Aaron Davis is a former Husker football player, a father, a husband, a motivational speaker and an amateur golfer. Another role he recently picked up is that of a cancer survivor.

Those three words, ‘You have cancer’ is news no one ever wants. “When you hear the c-word: cancer, it changes your life real fast.”

At 47 years old, that’s what happened to Aaron Davis, “I remember when [my doctor] came in the room. His face was different. Something wasn’t right.”

Davis always got regular physicals, but the one on April 3, 2021 was different.

“There was a lot of fear and a lot of anger. I’m 47 years old. I’m active. I stay in shape. I work out, but cancer doesn’t care about that.”

On May 3, 2021, he got the diagnosis of stage 2 prostate cancer.

“It was like listening to Charlie Brown’s phone conversations. It was just ‘whomp whomp whomp.’ I didn’t hear anything.”

The deadly disease is something Davis said runs on both sides of his family. His mom had breast cancer and his dad had prostate cancer, too. Knowing the statistics, he took the news and started weighing his options early.

“When you don’t have a choice but to fight, you fight,” Davis said.

Choosing a less invasive option to chemotherapy or radiation, Davis had surgery using robotic prosthetics. “I have six incisions across my abdomen right now, and they removed the entire prostate. It’s about the size of a walnut.”

The procedure was quick but left Davis depending on family for support. “I couldn’t walk on my own. I couldn’t use the restroom on my own. I had a catheter going down my leg. I couldn’t get out of bed on my own.”

The combination of early detection and faith is what Davis said saved his life.

“If it’s early, there are choices. There are options. When you don’t go in, and you’re in stage three or four, you will begin to eliminate options in order to recover.”

Davis said during his battle, he went through all kinds of emotions: anger, fear and denial. He told us it was encouragement from his family, friends and complete strangers that not only kept his spirits high but helped him fight through.

The main thing he wants others to take away, “I’m begging you. I’m pleading you. Go get your physicals. Go get your screenings. Go get your check-ups.”

Like Davis tried to stress, early detection is key. Lincoln has several places where you can go and get screened.

Here are a few options:

Bryan Health

CHI Health St. Elizabeth

American Cancer Society of Lincoln

Cancer Partners of Nebraska

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