Checkup 13: Cancer screening reveals aortic aneurysm - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Checkup 13: Cancer screening reveals aortic aneurysm

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Frederic Bartlett Frederic Bartlett

Frederic Bartlett keeps in shape with regular walks, either by himself or occasionally with his youngest daughter.

At 75, he holds two full-time jobs, and turns heads with this statement:

"I am one of the few people that can say they are glad that I had prostate cancer," he said.

It's because screenings related to Bartlett's prostate cancer revealed a more imminent threat: an aortic aneurysm.

"I had absolutely no inkling of it," he said.

His physician, Dr. Richard Chitwood, reveals the problem.

"Where it's darkest is the area where there is blood flow and where it's haziest is mostly clot," he explained. "If an abdominal aortic aneurysm ruptures, the risk of dying from dying from that is 80 to 90 percent. If you make it to the hospital with a ruptured aneurysm, you have about a 50 percent chance of survival and there is a good portion of patients with a ruptured aneurysm that never make it to the hospital."

Chitwood made a surgical repair, and a follow-up ultrasound revealed the fix is working.

It's the same trivascular screening that can reveal blockages in your carotid artery, an aortic aneurysm or even peripheral arterial disease in your limbs.

"You don't know that you have one until something bad happens. The value of the screening exam is to know that you don't have one of those issue," said Dr. Chitwood.

"I am lucky how many people have this unlikely series of events that really turns your life around," said Bartlett, who is now fully recovered and ready to take on a new job.

"Hopefully I will live until I have some grandchildren. My oldest daughter has been married two years now and when the phone the phone rings I'm like, 'am I getting some good news? You know?!" he laughed.

Sunday, July 13, 2014, sign up for a $79 tri-vascular screening through St. Vincent Health. Or call 317-583-7793.

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