It's been more than three years since I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and I'm happy to report that I'm still here.

Indeed, I started reporting about my journey with this disease almost from the moment it entered my life, having written a series of columns about going through surgery, radiation and all the fun stuff that comes along with it.

That kind of openness not only provided me with a writer's release valve, but might have helped other people deal with similar maladies along the way. At least that's what people tell me.

Because of all that, I've become the unofficial poster boy for prostate cancer in the Lowcountry, a title I gladly accept and wholeheartedly embrace.

Been there

Over the years I have met and talked with hundreds of guys whose lives suddenly were changed by prostate cancer.

Hardly a week goes by that I don't receive a few calls from men, or the wives of men, who have been diagnosed and need someone to talk to.

Well, I'm that someone, because someone was there to talk to me when I needed it.

And I've become a regular at Roper Hospital each week where I visit with people going through treatment in the oncology radiation waiting rooms and guys on the seventh floor who have just come out of surgery.

While the doctors and nurses know all the technical stuff to save lives, there's no substitute for somebody who has been there.

The first thing I tell people is that I'm not a doctor, I'm not a preacher. I'm a cancer survivor. And we go from there.

Many thanks

For the record, September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, which is why Roper Hospital sponsored the second annual Ken Burger Prostate Challenge golf tournament Wednesday at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island.

As the tournament host, I would like to thank the many staffers from Roper who made the tournament happen, the folks at Kiawah, and many local businesses whose generosity allowed us to raise money for prostate cancer research.

If there's a bright side to getting prostate cancer, it's the knowledge that you're not alone and it's not an orphan disease.

It receives a lot of attention from a lot of smart people who are trying to make the future better than the past.

To that end, Roper is producing a collection of my columns about prostate cancer in a book called "Inspirations" to help patients, families and physicians explore the human side of cancer.

For more information, call the cancer center at (843) 724-2734.

All of which further promotes my unintentional image as the poster boy, a position I gladly and humbly occupy for my well-being, those who are already members of this club, and those who are yet to join.

Reach Ken Burger at kburger@postandcourier.com or 937-5598 or follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Ken_Burger.