CHARLOTTE -- Just three weeks after a radical new surgery to remove prostate cancer, News 14 Carolina meteorologist Matt Morano is back to work waking up viewers with the early morning forecast.
"I was told you're going to feel tired but I'm usually tired at that hour anyway," Matt said with a laugh. "By the time 7 a.m. hit, I was starting to feel it a little bit, but I had my second wind and even now that it's past that hour, I feel quite good actually."
Three months ago, Matt was diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer. That's when he learned about Dr. Ashok Hemal and a new, less invasive type of surgery that boats faster recovery rates and enormous success.
"I think Matt's surgery went really well," said Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Urologist Hemal, a pioneer of robot-assisted laproscopic radical prostetectomy.
A small camera inserted into the abdomen helps guide surgeons to precisely cut out the prostate gland. Morano's surgery lasted only 90 minutes.
"After removing the prostate, I took the biopsies from the surrounding area of the prostate, and we sent it to the pathology department and they reported, while I was still in surgery, that all of the samples look clean," said Hemal.
Initial results revealed the cancer had not spread. Days later, Morano got the news he was waiting for.
"He phoned me three days after I got out of the hospital with the official lab results and I was like, 'great'" Matt said. "Just a big relief."
The news brought mixed emotions. Matt's father died exactly 10 years ago from the same fatal disease.
"I wish my father could have had my doctor, and maybe, maybe not, but things could have been different I think," he said.
Hemal said early and routine cancer screening helped save Morano's life.
"I'm personally very grateful to Matt that he's sharing his story, and this way, he's trying to tell the community that if you have a family history of prostate cancer, that you should appropriately get screened or see your doctor for necessary intervention," he said.
Morano said he's happy to do more than tell people the weather forecast.
"I can educate them on the weather and that's a valuable resource, but one out of six men will have this cancer," he said. "Spend a half hour once a year looking at this issue and it can save your life."