Boise & Garden City

Longtime Boise radio personality off air for cancer treatments

Mike Kasper
Mike Kasper

Longtime Boise radio personality Mike Kasper will be off air for at least several weeks, following surgery and other treatment for prostate cancer.

Kasper, who has been in local radio for about three decades, is a host of the Mix Morning Show on MIX 106.

“I talked to him yesterday,” said Kate McGwire, who co-hosted the Mix Morning Show with Kasper for 15 years until taking a job with Ada County in January. “Mike is a very optimistic person. He’s got an awesome attitude for things like this ... He’s not doom and gloom.”

In a video and blog post on the radio station website, Kasper said he’s been having annual prostate exams and getting blood tests for about the last four or five years. A year and a half ago, his doctors told him tests indicated he needed a biopsy to test for cancer.

He said he felt blindsided by a positive diagnosis for cancer.

“Unfortunately for me, it ended up being a high grade cancer and a fairly aggressive form of cancer,” Kasper said in the video. “So I have to do something about it fairly quickly. And over the last month and a half, I’ve been seeing doctors and radiologists.”

“Truthfully I’ve seen more doctors in the last two months than I’ve seen in my entire life, and I don’t mean that figuratively,” he said.

Kasper was scheduled to have surgery Tuesday to remove his prostate and the lymph nodes in his hips. He said many have asked what his symptoms were. He did not notice anything out of the ordinary.

“I feel as good now as I’ve ever felt. If I hadn’t been getting yearly checkups and having bloodwork done I wouldn’t have any idea that anything was going on,” he said.

Kasper said his prognosis is good because they caught his cancer early. He encouraged other men over 50 to start getting checked.

And, he acknowledged the difficulty of confronting the diagnosis.

“It’s very interesting, that if someone told me I had a 90 percent chance of winning the lottery, I would think that is amazing, I’m going to win the lottery,” he wrote. “My doctor told me I have a 90 percent chance of being cured and for some reason, 90 percent doesn’t seem like a high enough percentage to feel comfortable with my chances. I realized, as optimistic as I usually am, I was focusing on the 10 percent instead of the 90 percent.”

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men after non-melanoma skin cancer, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2012, the most recent year statistics are available, 177,489 men in the United States were diagnosed with prostate cancer. It is the second most common cause of death from cancer among white, African American, American Indian/Alaska Native and Hispanic men, the CDC says.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller