Belafonte, known among other things for his album Calypso, was born in March 1927. When he was 69, he had a successful battle with prostate cancer. He spoke openly about his condition at the Hoag Cancer Center in Newport Beach.
Belafonte, who had surgery to cure his condition, had problems with incontinence – which is common among prostate cancer sufferers.
But he did manage to get past this ailment.
He said at the talk back then: “Because I was tenacious about doing the [curative] exercises, after one year it no longer existed.”
Treatment for incontinence
If men leak urine after having prostate cancer, they can be given treatment to help with it, states Prostate Cancer UK.
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Despite this risk, the star announced publicly that he and his wife still enjoyed a degree of affection that “unifies” their lives.
It was his doctors at John Hopkins University who decided that Belafonte would undergo surgery.
At the time, the star had a lot of fear. He said he was constantly thinking about questions like “What if they opened me up and found that it wasn’t contained?”.
Like many men who develop the condition, he never expected to develop the condition himself.
“Not that I thought myself untouchable, I just thought myself untouchable. God would not smite me.
“After all, I was doing good work, I was kind to my neighbours, I raised my children best I could,” he said at the talk.
Prostate cancer surgery
There are a couple of different types of surgeries used to remove the prostate.
One is robot-assisted keyhole surgery in which the surgeon makes cuts in your lower stomach area and removes the prostate.
According to Prostate Cancer UK it involves putting a lighted tube with a camera on the tip into your body.
This helps the surgeon, who is controlling a set of robotic arms from another room, see what he is doing.
Symptoms of prostate cancer
The symptoms of prostate cancer, which include incontinence, blood in the urine, and erectile dysfunction, are not noticeable until the cancer is large enough to press against the urethra.
One way you can find out if you might have prostate cancer is using a PSA or prostate-specific antigen test. Although the NHS does not have an official screening programme using these tests, they can help identify when a bladder is unhealthy.