Hugh Larkin never suspected he had any health problems.
The Livonia resident was fit and in good shape. Working as a firefighter in Royal Oak and playing hockey during his time off left him feeling good. It wasn’t until he went to a physical with his doctor three years ago and found he had developed prostate cancer between checkups.
“A little over a year before, I had none,” Larkin said. “So it was quite surprising.
“I just felt like I was on a normal path like everyone else. So it was quite the disruption.”
Larkin, a lifelong Livonia resident, will be one of many people who attend this year’s Run for the Ribbon 5K, which takes place Father’s Day at the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak and is put on by the MIU Men’s Health Foundation.
Larkin isn’t a runner, but is going to support the cause and be with others who have taken on prostate cancer.
When he was diagnosed in 2014, it took him, his wife and his children by surprise. The cancer had grown to either stage 3 or stage 4 and lesions were beginning to appear on his ribs.
Larkin immediately began treatment, which included chemotherapy, radiation and estrogen injections, which are designed to starve the prostate of testosterone.
Luckily, Larkin began seeing some immediate positive signs: his prostate specific antigen, or PSA, number began to go down, indicating the treatment was working.
“Each chemotherapy I took, my number went down,” he said. “So that was a positive sign.”
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