AICR Ambassador: A Cancer Survivor's Journey

robert hess and car

Robert Hess is a businessman, Vietnam War veteran, non-profit leader and a 15-year prostate cancer survivor.

In 2002, with a PSA (prostate specific antigen, a protein that is used to detect possible prostate cancer) of 8.4, he was treated for prostatitis. His PSA went down to 3.4. When he asked for a second opinion to discuss his earlier elevated PSA, another doctor did a PSA test, which indicated a problem. A biopsy revealed two tumors on his prostate gland. After choosing surgery as his treatment option, Robert focused on recovery.

Robert credits his being here today to the prostatitis which sent him to a doctor and the PSA tests that led to diagnosis and treatment. As a career army officer, Robert was taught to develop a “battle plan” and to “take care of his troops.”

Robert’s plan included exercise and eating better. He began a daily exercise regime of biking and researched healthy, cancer-fighting foods. He began adding these foods into his daily meals and slowly his health was restored. He continues to follow this program today.

To take care of his troops, he founded the Prostate Cancer Awareness Project, now a program of the Cancer Journey Foundation, to help other men become aware of how to protect themselves from cancer and get screened so they might receive an early diagnosis.

Recently, he found the AICR website, where he discovered support for his battle plan, and applauded AICR’s commitment to cancer prevention through diet, nutrition and physical activity.

Robert calls himself an “accidental cancer survivor” because he learned that his battle plan is actually backed by science and is recommended by AICR.

Robert is a living ambassador for AICR’s prevention message and guidelines. He uses AICR’s materials to raise awareness to help people along the path to health.

Awareness is the first step to action. “I am happy to be an ambassador for AICR’s message; to spread what they say about cancer prevention,” he notes.

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