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June 18th, 2010
09:09 AM ET

Country singer reveals he has prostate cancer

By Miriam Falco
CNN Medical New Managing Editor

Singer, songwriter and former lead singer of the legendary country-music band Alabama, Randy Owen, was diagnosed with prostate cancer earlier this year, according to a published report released Thursday.

He revealed his condition at a meeting of his fan club in Fort Payne, Alabama, last weekend.

According to a press release, the 60-year old award-winning singer and songwriter was found to have an elevated prostate specific antigen (PSA) level during a routine physical. According to the National Cancer Institute, “The amount of PSA may be higher in men who have prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or infection or inflammation of the prostate.”

Dr. Ronald Wheeler, director of the Diagnostic Center for Disease in Sarasota, Florida, and one of Owen’s physicians, says Owen was treated with high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU).

“Standard of care for prostate cancer is radiation and surgery” says Dr. Brantley Thrasher.

He adds prostate cancer is a slow growing cancer and sometimes watchful waiting is the recommended treatment.  Thrasher is the chairman of Urology at the University of Kansas and spokesman for the American Urological Association.

He says HIFU is not common in the United States because it still being tested in this country.  The American Cancer Society agrees. On its website, the group describes it this way:  “One promising treatment, known as high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), destroys cancer cells by heating them with highly focused ultrasonic beams. While it has been used more in Europe, it is not commonly used in the United States at this time. Studies are now going on to find out if it is safe and effective."

Thrasher says prostate cancer is very treatable nowadays if caught early, so he says the message here for men is: Get tested and have a conversation with someone who knows about all the treatment options.

Owen says he plans to resume his concert tour to promote his latest solo album in mid-September, according to the published report.

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soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Connie

    My Dad was 66 years old when he was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer. He had problems for years but, never went to the doctor. He died a horrible death...all because he refused to go to the doctor....Men...heed the warnings...go to the doctor before it is too late!
    Goodluck Randy, I know you will be well taken care of....just glad you were smart enough to have a PSA...

    June 19, 2010 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Ken L

    I had Theraseed implants (66 of the little boogers, Think it was Paladium) back in 1996. There was ultimately some nerve damage, but Levitra works very well. The trick here is early detection & early treatment. Surgery is no longer the "gold standard"...there are lots of other, equally effective procedures. God bless ya, Randy! Looking forward to many, many years of great country music from ya!

    June 20, 2010 at 08:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Carl

    I too have had the cryo procedure. I only had the side frozen that the known cancer was in. That preserved the nerves on the opposite side for errections. I actually questioned wheter the doctor had done the procedure because I had no pain and spent the next two days walking arround a car show. An unexpected bonus was no longer having problems getting up to void. So far I don't see the down side of this procedure.

    June 20, 2010 at 11:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Bob

    I found I had Prostate cancer about 2 years ago when I had my annual physical. I did a bit of research (not uncommon, I'm a PhD and decided upon the surgery. All has gone well, and I hope to remain cancer free, but as to whether on not that ultimately proves true, only God knows.
    There are other treatments, and I wanted to keep them in reserve in case the cancer returns.
    God bless you, Randy, and thanks for the years of entertainment.

    June 20, 2010 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. jon

    Randy, there is a great surgeon at Vanderbuilt, whose name I can't recall at the moment but you can easily find out. He's the go-to guy in the US. Find him and get that prostate removed.

    June 20, 2010 at 15:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. judy

    Randy, Two weeks ago my brother who is your age had Robotic surgery on his prostate , he had the procedure done on Friday and went home on Saturday, he is doing VERY WELL! He recieve his pathologist test and he is free and clear of cancer.
    I wish you well.

    June 20, 2010 at 18:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. JillG

    The US testing is always way too long. My daughter has cancer and is alive & cancer decreasing due to chemo medication being used in England & Germany, testing in US. Sometimes you have to go with your gut feeling, weighing the odds. I like Randy Owens music-wish him well.

    June 20, 2010 at 19:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Bill

    Some of these comments are misleading. I had a radical protatectomony on 3/20/03 (the day we invaded Iraq), I just had a PSA done and I am fine.

    Some prostate cancer is more aggressive than others, the age at which a man is diagnosed makes a big difference, the race of the man matters,
    the stage of the cancer matters (Gleason score) and the type of treatment matters. There are a lot more treatment procedures now then just seven years ago. About a year after I had open surgery, robotic surgery began being used. If I were diagnosed now I'd have the robotic surgery and I wouldn't have there permanent side effects. I also got a second opinion about which treatment option.

    I just want to say to all men – make sure you get a PSA every year, it is your responsibility. If your a woman who knows a man tell him to get checked. Men do not like to go the doctors. I went to get a prescription for allergy medication (which is now over the counter) and the M.D. said it was time to do a PSA. The PSA was 15, sky high. I was very, lucky, blessed.

    Some of the men who had prostate cancer are: Harry Belafonte, Bill Bixby, James Brown, Robert DeNiro, Sen. Bob Dole, Louis Farrakhan, Robert Frost, Rudy Giuliani, Robert Goulet, Merv Griffin, Alec Guinness, Langston Hughes, John Kerry, Timothy Leary, Phil Lesh, Nelson Mandela, Roger Moore, Laurence Olivier, Jerry Orbach, Linus Pauling,
    Colin Powell, Johnny Ramone, Telly Savalas, Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Earl Woods: (Tiger Woods' father), and Frank Zappa.

    June 21, 2010 at 07:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • debrapope

      the procedure that is done now by nutrition2000 is called the (E PROCEDURE) it puts the cancer asleep, as best i can understand -and cost less than $450.00–ck it out

      July 10, 2010 at 17:05 | Report abuse |
    • debrapope

      the procedure that is done now by nutrition2000 is called the (E PROCEDURE) it puts the cancer asleep, as best i can understand -and cost less than $450.00–ck it out

      July 10, 2010 at 17:05 | Report abuse |
  9. Julia

    Aw! I love Randy Owen and Alabama. It made me sad to read this, but I'm wishing him the best because I know he can beat it.

    June 21, 2010 at 13:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Bob

    No treatment is 100% sure to work. However if the cancer is confined to the prostate, I do not see why anyone would want to leave it in their body. I had mine removed over 2 yrs ago. My doctor did nerve sparing surgery and I am continent and have normal sex like I did pre op, even without medication, pumps, or injections. It can take up to 2 yrs for the nerves to heal. The treatment often depends on the stage of the disease. Removal does not necessarily mean your sex life is over.

    June 25, 2010 at 00:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Sarah69696969

    Apologues if I wander off the point,
    but maybe you need it, I recommend – http://www.iveryhealthy.com/niconot/faq.php =)

    June 29, 2010 at 13:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Bill

    i just finished radiation treatments for prostate cancer. 46 is young to get it but it does happen. Having surgery is no guarantee cancer can't come back. I chose radiation (IMRT) because the effectivity is now the same as having surgery. If ultrasound was available to me then thats the option I would have had done.

    July 1, 2010 at 18:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. debrapope

    randy-go to this website-www.nutrition2000.com-(there out of hong kong) if what they have does not stop it–so called medicine nerver will-

    July 10, 2010 at 16:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. debrapope

    sorry randy-these folks-www.nutrition2000.com- said that with any type conventional tretment-the cancer is back in over 85% of all men within 17-36 months–regardless of the gleason- do not do somthing stupied–please contact these folks-

    July 10, 2010 at 16:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. debrapope

    i am so sorry- the procdure that is done now by nutrition2000 is called the (E PROCEDURE) it puts the cancer asleep, as best i can understand -and cost less than $450.00–ck it out

    July 10, 2010 at 17:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Paul SA Lowe

    As long as they caught it , if it is still stage 1 or 2, Randy stands better than a 95% chance of permanent cure - debrapope go peddle your Hong Kong foo somewhere else.

    For the rest of you who do not have cancer, research 2000 IU vitamin D3 a day; 400-800 mcg sulforaphane a day. Check those out on google/yahoo/alltheweb etc.

    July 27, 2010 at 19:50 | Report abuse | Reply
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