THE ACKERMAN ADVANTAGE Learn What Makes Us Different

Call (904) 880-5522 Pay Your Bill
Select Page

Understanding Prostate Cancer: Lessons from OJ Simpson’s Cancer Journey 

Ackerman Cancer Center

April 12, 2024

In May of 2023, OJ Simpson announced he was battling cancer, only noting that he was receiving chemotherapy. It was unclear which type of cancer he was receiving treatment for until February of 2024 when it was revealed that Simpson was facing a prostate cancer diagnosis. 

Dr. Scot Ackerman joined WJXT to provide expertise on Simpson’s diagnosis and the potential challenges he faced, highlighting the importance of early detection in combating Prostate Cancer. 

Signs and Symptoms of Prostate Cancer 

Prostate cancer often disguises its symptoms as benign or other malignant processes, until it is in its late stages. Typical signs of prostate cancer include: 

  • Erectile Dysfunction 
  • Urinary Frequency

It’s only as the cancer progresses that more alarming symptoms arrive such as: 

  • Blood in the urine 
  • Bone pain – this is an indication that the cancer has reached an advanced stage 

 Early Detection is Key 

Prostate cancer is frequently asymptomatic, leaving men unaware of their condition until it’s too late. This sheds light on the critical role of screening, where early detection significantly improves the chance of survival. While most men are diagnosed at an early stage with a cure rate exceeding 95%, there is still a possibility that 1 in 20 men will face an aggressive form of prostate cancer, especially when detected at later stages. 

Screening Methods & Risk 

So, what can men do to arm themselves against prostate cancer?  

Regular screenings are important, such as: 

  • Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood tests 
  • Digital Rectal Examinations (DRE) 

Factors such as ethnicity and family history can further elevate risk. African American men are twice as likely to develop prostate cancer, and those with a family history of prostate cancer are also at a higher risk. Men at high risk are recommended to begin seeking screenings 5-10 years earlier than men at average risk. 

Treatment Options 

Generally, prostate cancer is caught early, and treatment may be one of the following options: 

  • Active Surveillance – physicians will continue to monitor low-grade tumors and address other treatment options as needed 
  • Surgery – surgery to remove the prostate most often includes a Prostatectomy 
  • Proton Therapy – Proton Therapy precisely targets the prostate and spares surrounding organs from exposure to radiation, therefore eliminating major side effects and reducing the risk of secondary cancers 

Treatment options for prostate cancer are promising, even in advanced stages. Chemotherapy and hormone therapy have also shown efficacy in managing metastatic cancers. With vigilant surveillance and appropriate interventions, long-term survival outcomes are achievable. 

OJ Simpson’s battle with prostate cancer serves as a reminder of the importance of proactive healthcare and early detection. Through awareness, education, and timely screenings, we can continue to arm men in the fight against prostate cancer. 

Watch the full interview segment with Dr. Ackerman and WJXT here 



Back to Blog Home