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Prostate cancer survivor from Eleva shares his story, hoping it can help save others

Eau Claire (WQOW)- About a year ago, Russell Zimmerman, 65, knew something was wrong.

“You go to the bathroom a lot, you just don’t feel exactly like you did before,” Zimmerman said.

He was diagnosed with prostate cancer, the most common non-skin cancer among men.

“They say most men are going to get it, and I had complete confidence in my doctor. It wasn’t something I wanted, but I had confidence I would overcome it,” Zimmerman said.

In fact, his brother had it, and so did other men in his family, so he went to the doctor often.

“My six-month checkup kept me from going from a high three to maybe a four or a five on the scale. Then it is a major, major deal so if you do your checkups, it’s not perfect but it certainly helps,” Zimmerman said.

HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital Registered Nurse Zac Zenner said taking care of yourself could save your life.

“If prostate cancer isn’t diagnosed in the early stages, it can be life ending. It can be just like any other cancer where it spreads to all the other organs of the body and there can get to a point where there is no treatment for it,” Zenner said.

Zimmerman has been cancer free for months now.

“I wouldn’t say it was a scary at all, I’d just say different experiences teach you to appreciate life more,” Zimmerman said.

He said that’s because of the people who took care of him, and the fact that he took care of himself.

“Don’t cheat your kids or family, go to the doctor, if not for you for them,” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman said he will still continue to get his checkups every six months, and encourages all men his age to do the same.

For more information on prostate cancer click here.

For details on No Shave November click here. 

Shannon Satterlee

Shannon Satterlee joined News 18 in February 2018 as a Multi-Media Journalist.

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