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Marshall police chief slowed, not stopped, by cancer

April 10, 2012
By Per Peterson , Marshall Independent

MARSHALL - Rob Yant knows it could be worse.

Yant, Marshall's police chief and director of public safety for more than 14 years, was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer and is taking time off to deal with his affliction.

You have cancer "are not words you want to hear, but from what I've learned prostate is one of the more survivable cancers," said Yant, who is 59. "I personally don't want to make a mountain out of a molehill."

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancers among men, according to the American Cancer Society. The ACS estimates more than 240,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012 and roughly 28,000 will die from it. About one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.

"The doctors have provided me with some information about it and I've searched the Internet, too," Yant said. "I've had people come up to tell me their thoughts and prayers are with me, and some have told me about people they know with prostate cancer and that person is doing well. It's just not something most people talk about even though it's happening a lot more than we would know."

Yant's cancer showed up in a routine blood test he took last month at Affiliated Community Medical Centers in Marshall. A second blood test showed a rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) number. PSA is a substance produced by the prostate gland.

Elevated PSA levels could indicate prostate cancer or a noncancerous condition such as prostatitis or an enlarged prostate. He was in Rochester last week for a second opinion that confirmed his cancer.

Yant has a history of cancer on his father's side, but that's a result of heavy smoking which led to lung cancer.

For now, Yant is taking some time off for treatment but plans to be back at work this summer. An avid motorcyclist, Yant said his doctor told him his cancer shouldn't interrupt his planned motorcycle ride in July.

"I do know it's very common in men these days," he said. "It usually gets you when you're older and you usually die from other health issues or old age. I guess in some of us it turns up a little sooner."

Nearly two thirds of American men are diagnosed at age 65 or older, and it is rare before age 40, the ACS said. The average age at the time of diagnosis is about 67. More than 2.5 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives are alive today.



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