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Coaching for early detection

Mike Keenan

Mike Keenan at the 2019 Cruisin’ for Cure
Canada car show in Brampton where
he spoke about his prostate cancer experience.

Mike Keenan developed his hockey coaching skills through a 40 year hockey career that included leading the New York Rangers to a Stanley Cup victory in 1994. Now he is using his skills to tell his prostate cancer story and coach men about the importance of early detection.

Exercising and taking care of his health were always part of his routine. So it was natural that in his 50s, he added the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test. He says: “It’s a routine test that I had been doing for about 15 years. And it turned out that it was very valuable to me.”
In spring 2018, at age 68, Mike’s PSA levels rose. A prostate cancer diagnosis followed a series of other tests. His reaction? “It blindsided me, I was perfectly healthy, no symptoms and all of a sudden I was detected with cancer.”

Over that summer he learned about the different treatment options and decided on low-dose seed implant brachytherapy, which he underwent in September 2018. This one-time procedure implants 80-100 radioactive seeds, each the size of a grain of rice, directly into the prostate. Each seed releases radiation steadily over several months.

Happily, the treatment was successful. A year later, there are no signs the cancer has returned.
Now, Iron Mike talks about his prostate cancer experience whenever he can. The Stanley Cup winning coach is coaching men to take the PSA test that saved his life.

“It’s a blood test, it’s not invasive and it could save your life. So be proactive, the earlier the detection the better. The better opportunity you will have to live and fulfill your life with your family.”

His advice to other men going through treatment: “Stay fit, eat well and listen to your doctors. I think it’s important to listen to what the professionals have to say and how they can treat you and how they can support you with great knowledge. Knowledge is power about the cancer that takes away the fears.”

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Posted: 2019-10-03 9:25:02 AM


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