Anchorman Sam Dick retires at Lexington’s WKYT-TV; he went public with his prostate cancer, surely saving the lives of others

Sam Dick goes public with his cancer. (WKYT-TV image Tuesday, from broadcast several years ago)

Sam Dick, a familiar face to millions of Kentuckians over a record 34 years as evening anchor on Lexington television, did his last newscast Wednesday night. Thousands of Kentuckians remembered him as the man who used his own case of prostate cancer as a teachable moment that surely saved lives.

The story began with “Three words from my doctor that changed my life,” Dick said. “We found something.” Soon, he shared his journey, through surgery, follow-up tests and, after the cancer returned, radiation treatments.

“The first few times, I was pretty anxious and a little nervous about it,” Dick said in a story by Garrett Wymer, broadcast Tuesday evening on WKYT-TV. “I definitely said some prayers. But after about five or six days of the radiation, I got more comfortable, and actually, I try to take a nap.”

Wymer reports, “He used his platform to open up a dialogue, talking about the importance of annual prostate exams and early detection. . . . It was personal to Sam even before his own diagnosis. His father, David, passed away after a 17-year fight against prostate cancer. He pushed Sam to get annual exams, starting in his 40s.” David Dick was a former CBS News correspondent who directed the University of Kentucky journalism school.

Going public with his story made Sam Dick a resource for other men battling prostate cancer.

Rusty Parsons told Wymer, “Sam’s response was: ‘This is my phone number. Call me.’ We talked and we talked, and I cried. and he said the words that came out of his mouth was: ‘I’ve been through everything you’re going through. You are normal. There is nothing wrong with you.’”

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