By Mary Sell, Alabama Daily News
Retirement Systems of Alabama CEO David Bronner says he was diagnosed with cancer on his left tonsil in May. Now, he is using his experience to encourage others to have regular health check-ups and screenings.
“After six weeks of radiation, five days per week, plus your prayers, the mold on my tonsil had not moved to other areas, which is unusual,” Bronner writes in the September issue of The Advisor, RSA’s monthly newsletter. An advanced copy was given to Alabama Daily News.
He said the cancer on his tonsil is dead. A follow-up scan is scheduled for November his office said.
Bronner, 75, has led RSA for more than 40 years. He said he had no signs or symptoms of the cancer and credits his “hero” dentist for detecting it at a routine appointment.
Bronner, a member of the State Employees’ Insurance Board, encouraged members to use their health benefits.
“Remember the old saying ‘use it or lose it?’” Bronner said in the newsletter. “In health care, you can lose your life if you do not use the benefits provided for you. If I had not kept my six-month dental check-up, it would have been a train wreck for me. If you skip your physical, blood tests, cancer checks or screenings, you are truly asking for an early exit from this world.
“Our state and teacher health care programs cost more than the pensions programs because of the excellent benefits they provide. I implore you to utilize these excellent screening benefits to enjoy a longer, more productive life for yourself, your family and your state.”
In addition to radiation, Bronner also received chemotherapy. He continued to work through his treatment, missing one day of work, his office said.
The American Cancer Society estimates that about 53,260 people will be diagnosed this year with oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers, including tonsil cancer.