By Pat Carragher - May 18, 2022
Former WWE star “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan announced on social media that his prostate cancer has returned. The 68-year-old WWE Hall of Famer said he will undergo radiotherapy this week.
“Reality is here, and I’m afraid I have some bad news,” Duggan shared in a video posted to Instagram. “It seems like my cancer treatment is not over, even after the removal of my prostate last October.”
Duggan said his doctors are optimistic that the recurrence was caught early.
According to Dr. Kosj Yamoah, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology, director of Cancer Health Disparities Research and chief of Genitourinary Radiation Oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center, after prostatectomy surgery the disease recurrence often is found within the area where the prostate was formerly located.
“Following surgery, there are fibrous tissues within the prostate bed that can house cancer cells. Alternatively, following definitive radiotherapy, recurrence will often be within the prostate gland itself,” said Yamoah. “The risk of disease occurring outside the prostate within the surrounding lymph nodes, the bone or elsewhere is the same whether you get surgery or radiation to the prostate, since the distant sites are not treated with either local treatment approaches.”
Yamoah says recent data suggests that disease recurrence is the same stage for stage, regardless of whether patients were treated with surgery or definitive radiation to the prostate.
“The chances of PSA recurrence are based on a patient’s risk group,” said Yamoah. “Low risk is very unlikely, less than 5% at 10 years; intermediate risk is 10%-15% depending on multiple factors, and upwards of 30%-40% or more for the higher risk patients. The chances of metastasis are even lower than the PSA/biochemical recurrences.”
Duggan shared that his treatment will begin with a hormone shot, followed by radiation treatment for eight weeks. According to Yamoah, in patients with recurrent disease, the most common site will be the same location where the prostate was originally located.
“That space often gets irradiated over seven to eight weeks with or without including the surrounding lymph nodes in the pelvis, and depending on other factors, we may add hormones to address any cancer cells that may be elsewhere in the body that we cannot see with our conventional imaging,” said Yamoah. “This approach is very effective when used early on when recurrence occurs, a technique known as early salvage.”
Duggan has been sharing videos and pictures of himself and his wife, Debra, traveling around the country. He said he will continue to “live life.”
“The doctors also said to go ahead and live life, which we’re going to do,” said Duggan. “I’m going to be posting this whole ordeal as I go through it. Hopefully, it will help someone out there, because I know a lot of men, a lot of families, are going to go through this and I know it’s going to help me.”