• 34°

Early detection leads to prostate cancer diagnosis for Rowan Sheriff’s Detective

Detective David Earnhardt could’ve waited until he was 50 to request a test for one of the most common cancers among men, but he didn’t. He had an annual physical in December at age 46 and was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Earnhardt, a veteran officer with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, said he really requested the test because of his father, Nelson. His father was diagnosed with prostate cancer, several years ago received treatment and has since been fine.

The test, a combination of a blood test and physical exam, isn’t usually recommended for men until age 50, but because his father had a history of it, Earnhardt asked to be tested.

He has an aggressive form of prostate cancer, but his prognosis is excellent, Earnhardt said.

He sought a number of opinions from different doctors who all suggested he have his prostate removed. If removed, Earnhardt had a 95 percent chance the cancer would not return, the doctors said.

He had a biopsy and cancer was found in two of the 12 test areas.

Earnhardt received a seven on a Gleason score, which is a grading system that shows how prostate cancer tissue looks under a microscope. The scores range from two to 10 with the lower number showing normal tissue and that a tumor is least likely to spread.

Google

Everyone told Earnhardt not to search online, but he didn’t listen. He said he searched for treatments and read stories of others who were diagnosed at an even earlier age.

He found a few doctors — one from Chapel Hill, a urologist from Tallahassee and another from New York. His local urologist recommended a few of the same doctors, as well. All of the doctors suggested Earnhardt have his prostate removed.

The prostate sits in front of the rectum and below the urinary bladder. Some prostate cancers can grow and spread quickly, but most grow slowly.

“The hardest part is knowing that I’m walking around with cancer in me,” he said.

Earnhardt was diagnosed with a cancer usually found in men at least 65 years old.

He settled on a doctor in Florida who’d performed 8,000 surgeries. The Florida doctor doesn’t perform robotic surgeries, but he’s conducted more surgeries than the other doctors Earnhardt found.

The hospital where Earnhardt will have his surgery is outside of his insurance network and his copay will only cover 50 percent of the costs.

Support

Earnhardt said he’s amazed at the support he’s received. He expected moral support, but never imagined monetary support.

His fellow officers are hosting a fundraiser today from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. to help offset his medical expenses. The officers will sell $2 sausage sandwiches, $5 chili beans with crackers and drinks for $1. The fundraiser will be held across from the courthouse beside the Rowan Magistrate’s Office, 118 West Liberty Street.

In addition to the fundraiser being held today, he’s also received funds from the Firemen’s Association and the Rowan Veteran’s Council. Earnhardt volunteered for many years with the Faith Volunteer Fire Department and is a military veteran.

East Rowan Diamond Sports athletic league has committed to an April fundraiser for Earnhardt and Locke Fire Department has also planned a combined fundraiser for Earnhardt and a Granite Quarry fireman diagnosed with lung cancer.

Earnhardt said he’d encourage other men to have regular physicals and check with their doctors.

He’s received strong support from his family. Earnhardt said his wife will accompany him in April when he has surgery. His surgery is scheduled for April 24, and he’ll return home May 1. His mother-in-law and brother-in-law will look after the couple’s 15-year-old son while they are in Florida.

For more information about the fundraiser hosted by fellow Rowan County Sheriff’s Department officers, contact Chad Moose at 704-216-8687.

Comments

Crime

Police: Granite Quarry, Salisbury robberies may be connected

BREAKING NEWS

Knox Middle School closes for one day following teacher’s death

Local

County administers 800 COVID-19 vaccines as those 65 and older become eligible

Nation/World

Biden sworn in as America’s 46th president

Nation/World

Vice President Harris: A new chapter opens in US politics

Coronavirus

COVID-19 deaths outside of congregate living facilities represent growing majority in Rowan

Local

93-year-old man beaten, hospitalized after overnight attack

News

Shot in Salisbury, ‘Goodbye, Butterfly’ debuts on digital platforms

Education

KCS students staying all virtual through Feb. 15

Local

County commissioners table animal carcass ordinance until February

Local

Accommodating cyclists among concerns for Downtown Main Street Plan

Local

City approves wish list of 2021 projects, priorities

News

Justice Department won’t charge Sen. Burr over stock sales

Coronavirus

Health Department schedules first vaccination event for those 65 and older

Crime

Texas man robbed at knifepoint during stop in Rowan County

Crime

Guns stolen from apartment on Lakewood Drive

Crime

Man robs convenience store with handgun, receives $150

Local

Human Relations Council starts day of service, adopts park as part of MLK celebration

Local

Hickory volunteers donate backpacks filled with essential items, sleeping mats to Salisbury VA

Local

City to hear priorities for 2021 Federal Action Plan, approve use of $200,000 HUD grant

Crime

Blotter: Woman faces drug, child abuse charges

Coronavirus

County averaging 118 new COVID-19 cases per day in 2021

News

Political Notebook: Rep. Sasser to chair NC House Health committee in second term

Ask Us

Ask Us: COVID-19 vaccination events have required adaptations, brought frustration