Campbell River Mayor Andy Adams became known as Captain Chemo for his ability to handle chemotherapy treatments with little or no symptoms. His cancers have cleared and he has since become a vocal advocate for men to watch for cancer warning signs. Photo contributed.

Campbell River Mayor Andy Adams became known as Captain Chemo for his ability to handle chemotherapy treatments with little or no symptoms. His cancers have cleared and he has since become a vocal advocate for men to watch for cancer warning signs. Photo contributed.

Campbell River’s mayor shares the story of his battle against cancer

Andy Adams has twice fought off the big C and is a vocal advocate for watching for warning signs

Campbell River Mayor Andy Adams knows all too well the devastation cancer can have, facing both prostate and lung cancer in recent years.

Adams’ first experience with cancer came after his brother’s diagnosis with prostate cancer that led him to have his prostate-specific antigen numbers checked. Adams was referred to a urologist and diagnosed with prostate cancer and had his prostate removed in 2013.

Then, just 18 months ago, Adams received another bout of bad news when during a routine x-ray exam, doctors found shadows on his lung. It was lung cancer and Andy was referred to BC Cancer – Victoria where he learned his upper lobe would need to be removed.

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During Adams’ treatment journey, he was fondly referred to as ‘Captain Chemo’ for his ability to handle the chemotherapy treatments with little to no symptoms other than weight loss.

“It was interesting to wear a loose-fitting shirt to conceal chest tubing and drainage reservoirs during the Canada Day parade that summer,” Adams remembers. “Thankfully, I was able to attend most city meetings and functions. I only missed one council meeting through all of this, maintaining my almost perfect attendance record as mayor!”

In the months since, both Adams’ cancers have been cleared and he remains a vocal advocate for men to watch for the warning signs.

“More men need to take their health seriously and not be afraid to visit a doctor when something doesn’t feel normal,” says Adams. “It’s important we continue to raise awareness that getting a test is a precautionary, painless and simple thing to do. Take it seriously and don’t put it off, it could literally save your life.”

The BC Cancer Foundation partnered with the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, including The Eagle 97.3 FM, to raise funds that will advance care for patients like Andy Adams, and 6,000 others who will face cancer this year on Vancouver Island.

A Day to Break Down Cancer took place on Nov. 18 across Pattison Broadcast Group radio stations on Vancouver Island. This special broadcast event was designed to rally the community and every dollar raised will stay on Vancouver Island advancing research and innovations to care at BC Cancer, directly impacting outcomes for individuals affected by the disease.

“BC Cancer’s researchers, care teams and patients need us now, more than ever. With your generous support, we can bring hope to families facing cancer and ensure every patient has the best treatment available,” says Sarah Roth, president and CEO, BC Cancer Foundation.

For more on how to donate to the BC Cancer Foundation, click here.

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