ORANGE, Calif. — A man in Orange who has long been an advocate for cancer awareness and fundraising suddenly became a cancer patient himself.

Every year for the past decade, Ron Cambra has been cruising in classic cars as part of an event to bring awareness to cancer that affects men. He has a classic car shop and can’t get enough of the rides.

What You Need To Know

  • Ron Cambra in Orange has been advocate for cancer awareness for 10 Years

  • Cambra was diagnosed with prostate cancer in summer 2020

  • The single probe robot is less invasive and enhances accuracy for surgeons

  • Early detection of prostate cancer increases men's survival by 99%

"I love being around this stuff," said Cambra.

The charity event is called called Cruisin' for a Cure and focuses on prostate cancer.

“A lot of young guys and a lot of older guys there, it’s one of those things where not everyone goes and gets checked," Cambra said.

As Cambra explained, the event makes it difficult to make excuses for avoiding getting checked.

“They do testing there," he said. "They do the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) testing, the index testing there. They bring doctors online."

During his 10 years cruising, Cambra has met a lot of men who’ve had prostate cancer but said he never had issues himself.

“I never thought I would be someone on the other side, but I am.”

The father and husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year.

"I didn’t know what I was going to go through," he said.

Cambra got some answers when he met Dr. Brian Norouzi, a board-certified urologist at Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Orange.

When Norouzi first met Cambra, “he was certainly, like many men, first of all when they come in, he was scared," said Norouzi.

But the doctor helped ease Cambra’s worries when he explained how technology, including a single probe robot has helped make treatment much less invasive.

"Everything heals up so much better," said Norouzi. "And our cancer cures are equally as good, if not better nowadays, with the robot."

There are only dozens of these robots in the world.

“Prior to robot coming out, the open surgeries required people to stay in the hospitals for longer," Norouzi said.

The doctor added that the incisions were also much larger.

“This tool has made it just much more approachable to patients and so much easier for all of us," he said.

As Norouzi explained, while robots are not a new technology, the latest and greatest model allows more precise movement compared to the older models, which had multiple probes that made it more difficult to get into tight spaces.

"[The newest model] makes a big difference in how accurate you can be," he said, adding that the robot technology has helped provide more options to older patients who, the doctor says, they would not consider operating on in the past.

Cambra was the first patient at Providence St. Joseph Hospital who experienced the robot.

"Robots are fixing everybody today," Cambra said with a chuckle.

In less than a week from his surgery in January, Cambra was already back at his classic car shop.

"To still be able to do this and still be with my family is definitely a plus," he said.

According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, men's survival rate is 99% if prostate cancer is caught early.