Francis Collins, Former NIH Director, Has Prostate Cancer

When Francis S. Collins first learned that his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels were rising, he wasn’t particularly worried. A slow rise in PSA levels, which can indicate the presence of prostate cancer, is common in men older than 65, andmost never develop severe disease. However, when the former director of the NIH underwent an MRI about a month ago, the scan revealed an enlarged tumor. By then, his PSA levels had also spiked, and he knew his diagnosis had drastically changed. Now, the 73-year-old scientist has announced that he will have to undergo a radical prostatectomy, a surgical procedure that removes the prostate gland. In a personal essay for The Washington Post, Collins details his journey to a prostate cancer diagnosis and his decision to go public with the news. He emphasizes the importance of early detection and clinical trials, and he highlights the pervasive health inequities in screening and treatments, including among Black men, who have a higher risk of getting the disease and dying from it. By sharing his story, Collins expressed his desire to “lift the veil and share lifesaving information.”

Login Or Register To Read Full Story