Savannah Mayor Van Johnson shares details of cancer diagnosis

Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 4:24 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 12, 2022 at 5:21 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - During his weekly news conference Monday, Savannah Mayor Van Johnson took a moment to share publicly how he has personally been affected by prostate cancer.

The Mayor revealed he was diagnosed with stage one prostate cancer following an annual screening.

Using his platform as a public official, Savannah Mayor Van Johnson got personal at Monday’s news conference, sharing his journey through prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Mayor Johnson said it was after an annual checkup in 2020 that he learned his PSA levels, or Prostate Specific Antigen, was abnormally high.

And after a biopsy, he learned what he was up against.

“On my way from home to City Hall, I received a call and heard the words that no one wants to hear: you have cancer,” Savannah Mayor Van Johnson said.

Mayor Johnson says he didn’t have any indicating symptoms, but attributes early detection and follow up testing to having a number of treatment options to choose from to battle the disease.

“I just finished my third follow up, and my PSA levels are now within normal range.”

The Mayor says it’s his hope that sharing his story will encourage men in the community to consider screening, especially if they’re at a higher risk.

“We especially place emphasis on those who are underrepresented, who don’t always see out the care that they need, and don’t always get the care that they need. We too are here to recognize risks, early risks, and to encourage and recommend screenings and when they’re needed earlier,” Dr. Rita Livingston King said.

“I’ve learned that you go through tests to have a testimony. And it’s not a testimony unless you tell it.”

To find out more about prostate cancer screening, look for this story on our website.