Prostate Cancer Symptoms Explained As Joe Exotic Says He Has Aggressive Form of Disease

Joseph Maldonado, better known as Joe Exotic, has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer, according to a letter written by the Tiger King figure.

A letter provided to CNN by his attorney John M. Phillips, Maldonado—who rose to fame in the 2020 Netflix documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness—said a prostate biopsy had been returned with the diagnosis of aggressive cancer.

The tiger enthusiast, convicted in 2019 on animal abuse charges and for his role in a plot to murder longstanding rival animal rights activist Carole Baskin, added: "I am still waiting on the results from other tests as well. Right now, I don't want anyone's pity."

His attorney told CNN: "The PSA test is a blood test used primarily to screen for prostate cancer. It was high. He finally obtained biopsies. They revealed cancer. Medical care is different in a prison environment and fewer options are available."

According to the American Cancer Society, aside from skin cancer, prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer in American men, 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with the condition.

Prostate cancer is also the second-leading cause of death in American men after lung cancer, with estimates suggesting that 1 in 41 men in the U.S. will die as a result of the condition.

The Society estimates that during 2021 there will be 248,530 new cases of this form of cancer, projecting that prostate cancer will lead to 34,130 deaths this year.

The Mayo Clinic says prostate cancer occurs in the prostate, a walnut-shaped gland in males that produces seminal fluid. Though prostate cancer often grows slowly and can be confined to the prostate, some aggressive forms can grow rapidly and spread quickly.

Prostate cancer is most easily treated when it is spotted early, but during its early stages, it can be symptomless, the Mayo Clinic adds.

Once prostate cancer is more advanced it can cause symptoms such as trouble urinating, decreased urine strength, and blood in the urine and semen. Prostate cancer can also cause unexplained weight loss and erectile dysfunction.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that other prostate cancer symptoms include painful ejaculation, and bone pain, particularly in the back, hips, or pelvis that does not go away.

The Mayo Clinic goes on to explain that the causes of prostate cancer are not yet clear, but doctors understand that it begins when DNA in the cells of the prostate change. These mutations cause the cells to divide more rapidly than normal cells.

Prostate cancer spreads to other tissues, or metastasizes, when these accumulating abnormal cells break away from the prostate gland.

Risk factors of prostate cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic, are age, with this form of cancer more common in the over-50s, and obesity, which not only may lead to a higher risk, but also seems to lead to a more aggressive form of cancer.

Family history also seems to play a role in the development of prostate cancer, with men who have blood relatives that have suffered prostate cancer more likely to develop the condition. Men from families with a strong history of breast cancer may also be at increased risk of prostate cancer.

The Mayo Clinic adds that race also seems to play a role in the development of prostate cancer, with black men at an increased risk of both developing the condition and experiencing an aggressive form of the cancer.

The CDC says that treatment of prostate cancer could involve surgery to remove the prostate, radiotherapy to kill the cancer cells, or chemotherapy.

If doctors believe that a sufferer's prostate cancer is unlikely to grow quickly, the CDC says monitoring may be chosen as an initial treatment option, to observe if symptoms develop. They will also monitor the cancer to see if it spreads from the prostate to other areas of the body.

Maldonado's attorney told CNN that the Tiger King star has been undergoing medical treatment and tests for a host of issues. In July, the US 10th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated Maldonado's 264-month prison sentence upon appeal.

Newsweek previously reported that a U.S. 10th District Court Judge had vacated his sentence, but upheld his conviction.

He is currently awaiting resentencing.

tiger king season 2 netflix
Joe Exotic in "Tiger King". Netflix is releasing Season 2 of the show this November. Netflix