"Young and the Restless" star Eric Braeden revealed that he's currently undergoing treatment for cancer and has a message for other men in the wake of his diagnosis.
In a 13-minute video posted to Facebook April 21, the 82-year-old opened up about his health journey over the past few months, starting with his recovery from knee replacement surgery.
"Whilst recuperating from the knee surgery, I began to have problems with my prostate," he said. "I hate to be this personal, but I think this may be good for some older guys who may or may not listen to this. It’ll happen to them."
"Your prostate grows as you grow older. Period," he said. "Everything grows. All the wrong things grow as you grow older. My prostate, I'd had some problems with it before. It manifests itself by you having to pee a lot. And it got to the point where I had to get up almost every half hour."
The German-born actor said he went to see a urologist, who recommended that he undergo a procedure called a UroLift. The treatment uses tiny implants to lift and hold prostate tissue so that it doesn't block the urethra, according to UCLA Health.
However, Braeden said he was forced to temporarily hold off.
"Meanwhile, the urination problem became so bad I couldn't pee," Braeden said. "And that, my friends, I can tell you, is one of the most painful experiences I've had."
Braeden said he returned to the doctor with complaints of pain and being unable to urinate, which led the doctor to insert a catheter. After a few days, the catheter was removed and the doctor used a camera to evaluate Braeden's bladder, which at the time, appeared clear, he said.
"This was six weeks or two months before something more serious happened," he said. "So...he didn't relieve the problem, only momentarily, only symptomatically."
After one night of difficulty urinating, Braeden said he went straight to a nearby hospital and was "serendipitously" met with a doctor who was a pioneer in the UroLift.
After the catheter was in place, Braeden came back three days later, when that same doctor did another check on his bladder.
"The same methodology used by the other urologist, but six weeks prior. And he looks at it … and he says, 'That spot on the screen.' He says, 'You have cancer.'"
The doctor then proposed they do the UroLift and, while undergoing the procedure, he would remove the cancer.
"Needless to say, I was taken aback, but I was determined to deal with it," Braeden said.
Initially following the surgery, the doctor said he believed all the cancer had been removed. But about a week later, the biopsy revealed that Braeden still had some cancer cells that needed further treatment, he said.
The actor explained that for six weeks, he'll be undergoing immunotherapy. Braeden said the doctor warned him that his body could respond with flu-like symptoms to show that it's fighting the cancer, which would be "a good sign."
"So I didn't have a really bad reaction the first day," he said of his first infusion. "It was OK, a little flu-sy, but not bad. And it got better as the days went by."
Braeden has also undergone his second infusion, which he said made him feel "a little weak," but overall, OK. "It's not bad. Hopefully it stays that way," he said.
He explained that he now works out "in a reduced way," and that this new way of exercising has been a "difficult thing to learn as an athlete."
"Difficult to learn to slow down," he explained. "To do it, but do less of it. That there’s always this ambition where you got to go hard. Just do it. And I’ve learned now to listen to my body more and not go all out."
Despite the recent diagnosis and ongoing treatment, Braeden remains positive.
"I will lick this," he continued. "This pass at it ain't gonna get me. I'm gonna get it, alright? And I'll be in top form again soon."
Braeden said he is still able to work and added, with tears welling in his eyes, that he appreciates the support he's received from fans.
"So if any of you have someone in the family who goes through this, support them," he said in closing. "It can work out."