Mike Clements spent his professional career putting his life on the line as a police officer.
He needed all that courage to win the fight for his life -- and now he helps others facing similar challenges.
Clements is a Richland native who worked as a police officer in Astoria, Ore., then spent 22 years in the Richland Police Department, retiring in 1998.
Seven years later, his doctor noticed his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels had spiked and was concerned. More tests confirmed Clements had prostate cancer.
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"I had no physical ailments, no indications," he said. "I had nothing to complain about. It was just a routine exam."
After the initial shock, Clements prepared for battle.
"I was convinced I was in good hands, and we were going to defeat it," he said. "If you have a positive outlook and do what you're asked to do -- no matter how humiliating it will be -- the outlook will probably be good."
Radiation treatment and 96 surgically implanted isotope seeds destroyed the cancer, and at age 64, he remains free and clear.
To help others facing the same battle, Clements serves as a mentor, especially to men who might have trouble asking for help. He led a prostate cancer support group that morphed into a general cancer group. Now he works with others one on one.
"Sometimes, the macho thing gets in the way," he said. "We don't want to talk about the infirmity. If you're male and you live long enough, you're going to get prostate cancer."
Anyone who would like to meet individually with Clements can call the Tri-Cities Cancer Center at 783-9894.
-- Andy Perdue: 582-1405; firstname.lastname@example.org.