Barry Bostwick is a long way from his Tony nominated role as the legendary "Danny Zuko" in the original Broadway production of Grease, he shed his sideburns and tight jeans, as well as his comb, to become the stately, good natured, well dressed, well intentioned Mayor Randall Winston on the hit television series Spin City. He gets laughs playing an inept New York City mayor incapable of handling a crisis. But off the set, Bostwick successfully handled a real crisis with character and courage-prostate cancer.
"When I was first diagnosed, the entire issue of cancer was new to me," says Bostwick, who also starred in the cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show. "I didn't have family members who'd dealt with this before me, and initially I was scared to death."
The medical team decided the best course of action in this case was to remove the prostate. The operation was performed in July of 1997. "There's a lot of second guessing for patients when it comes to treatment options for this disease," says Bostwick. "Sometimes I still wonder if the surgical option was absolutely necessary in my case, but you never know. With a wife and children, I have no reason to want to gamble with my life."
Bostwick understands that many men avoid screening for prostate cancer because of real or imagined fears of the side effects of treatment.
Barry has been very outspoken about his bout with prostate cancer. On behalf of the American Cancer Society, President Clinton presented Barry with the "Courage Award" in recognition of his determination to reach others about the importance of early detection.
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