After the world learned of Cal Ripken Jr.’s news that he had been diagnosed – and successfully treated for – prostate cancer back in February, discussion turned to what both Cal and his physician did for early detection to discover the deadly disease and how to properly treat it.
Although Cal did not exhibit traditional symptoms, a trip to the urologist detected a normal, but slightly rising PSA level over the course of several years. And while this did not warrant a reason to get a biopsy, another option was presented. Cal’s physician introduced him to a new test called the ExoDx ™ Prostate test because he fit the intended use: age 50+ years, PSA level 2-10ng/mL, and considering an initial prostate biopsy.
The EPI test is a simple, non-invasive urine test that helps bring clarity to the prostate biopsy decision. A score below the cut point of 15.6 indicates a reduced risk of finding high-grade prostate cancer while a score above that informs a greater risk of finding high grade prostate cancer to which then, a decision can be made to proceed to biopsy.
According to Cal, the “ExoDx Prostate test was a moment of clarity for me”. Despite being the “Iron Man”, Cal had some anxiety with the unknown, but the test and its results brought him, “the confidence to know what I needed to do next.”
Cal, now 60, is fully recovered from prostate cancer and is using his platform, nationally with Exosome Diagnostics, to create awareness and build education in men over 50 years of age around the ExoDx Prostate test, which played an important role in the management of his cancer.
The Exosome Diagnostics’ “Fight Like Cal” website explains that Cal’s EPI score was above the cut-point of 15.6, so both he and his physician decided to immediately go through with the biopsy procedure, right before the COVID-19 pandemic, when elective surgeries were cancelled. Dr. Ron Tutrone of Chesapeake Urology said, “I believe this test might have saved his life”.
“When I was first diagnosed, I had all of the reactions most people had – concern, fear, uncertainty. Fortunately, Dr. Tutrone and my medical team was fantastic and because of the ExoDx Prostate test, I had my biopsy and caught my cancer in the very early stages. After recovery, I thought this would be an opportunity to utilize the platform that baseball has provided me to encourage others to take this simple test and work with their doctors to determine the best course of action.”
Learn more on how the ExoDx Prostate Test became a ‘moment of clarity’ in Cal’s journey to beat prostate cancer:
The month of September is Prostate Cancer Awareness and is great timing to lift awareness as the partnership will focus on the need for men to visit their doctor, while encouraging men to proactively take action and interest of their prostate health. Even the “Iron Man” himself was susceptible to prostate cancer, so early detection is key.
Cal recently joined MSNBC’s Meet The Press Daily with Chuck Todd to discuss his treatment and to spread awareness to others.
Check out these additional national media stories:
CNN – Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. says he is “cancer free” after February diagnosis