Veteran 91X DJ Steve West is open about his upcoming prostate cancer surgery. On a recent Resurrection Sunday show, West told his listeners why he would not be on the air in February. He expects to be back on the air in March.
"If the surgery goes well, I'm looking at a full recovery.... This is quite common surgery. John Kerry, Bob Dole, Roger Moore have all had it."
West, a British expatriate, was one of the original DJs when 91X flipped to a modern rock format in January 1983. West won't give his age but says, "Once we reach 40, every man should get a prostate exam once a...year."
In West's case, it was a routine physical and blood test in July that caught the doctor's attention. "I felt fine. I had no physical symptoms of any kind. Based on the blood test, the doctor called me the following day to inform me that my PSA [prostate-specific antigen] level was high. He said he wanted me to see a urologist. On examination, the urologist found a lump. They took a biopsy. They found one side of my prostate was well involved [in cancer], and it had gone into the other side. It was aggressive."
West said he had options: traditional radiation treatment, chemotherapy, surgery, hormone therapy, or cryotherapy.
"At the time of my diagnosis, Pfizer coincidentally was running clinical trials to study the use of monoclonal antibodies for prostate cancer treatment. The urologist got me into the study. I'm undergoing this along with hormonal therapy. Now I know what PMS feels like. It makes you really cranky."
West has appeared with other DJs to get the word out. "Jerry Orbach and Johnny Ramone both succumbed to their battles with prostate cancer."
West continues to operate his 24-hour " '80s with Attitude" online radio station daygloradio.com.