Anon – Aberdare

I was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 57 not having experienced any problems or ill health.

 

In 40 years of working I think I had only ever been sick for 2 weeks.
I had gone to see my GP for painkillers for a painful hip and back, to enable me to finish a building job I was doing before Christmas and he suggested that I return in the New Year for a routine MOT, i.e. blood tests.

 

I was pretty complacent about it and never intended to make such an appointment, but my WIFE did it for me and I went along for the tests … cholesterol, diabetes, and PSA – which I hadn’t heard of.

 

Within two days the surgery had contacted me regarding the result of the PSA test.
I had a DRE and was referred to a Consultant Urologist.
Following on from there I had a needle biopsy (which confirmed the presence of cancer cells) and scans, and was asked what I wanted to do. The options were – “watch and wait” ; surgery or radiotherapy.

 

In the meantime, we had researched other options and I decided I would try brachytherapy and went to Leeds where this particular procedure was being done.
I had a course of Zoladex injections for a few months to try and reduce the size of the prostate in readiness for the procedure .. but unfortunately in my case it was not successful (prostate was too large) and the nbrachytherapy was not an option.
I then underwent radiotherapy at Velindre hospital and experienced very few side effects.

 

What I would say is – thanks to my GP I was lucky for this to be diagnosed in its early stages, BUT at the time, I didn’t know, and it wasn’t explained to me that such pain in the pelvic area ( the reason for my visit to the GP) could be as a result of prostate cancer extending outside the prostate gland itself.

 

I wouldn’t have been so complacent if I’d known or it had been explained to me.
Also, when attending the hospital.. I appreciate I was not one of the worst cases.. and I also apprecite any decision had to be mine – but I felt at the time that the professionals couldn’t make up their mind which course of action was best for me.

 

I know that a high reading in the PSA test in itself is not necessarily indicative of cancer, but it is the only method we currently have and it is a starting block or a marker.

 

Since having been diagnosed I have urged as many men as possible (over 50) to request this test. BUT, I would urge caution here… if you don’t want to know the answer, or cant handle the results of the test, this can be a problem.

 

I think there needs to be much more publicity about the PSA test.
Like most cancers, if it is detected early enough the long term outcome is far better.

 

Before having the biopsy I asked for a guesstimate of the chances of my having prostate cancer on my PSA readingat the time and was told 30%… I appreciate it was only an educated guess… but it proved to me how important it was to have the biopsy, which detected the cancer.

 

I felt I had to keep asking questions… the information was not given easily… especially when it came to surgery and the risk of subsequent incontinence. It was a deciding factor for me to go for radiotherapy when I was told in answer to my question the risk of incontinence following surgery was 70%. I felt I needed as much information as possible to make an informed decision.

Prostate cancer is the number one cancer among men and accounts for nearly one-third of all cancer cases in men.

 

The survival rate for prostate cancer is rising dramatically every year. When caught early, chances are good for a full recover. With new prostate cancer treatment protocols and earlier detection, there is much new hope for those diagnosed with this cancer.

 

We would like you to get involved and also hear your personal stories about prostate cancer, news, interesting links, and anything else you feel like talking about. No registration required!

Prostate Cancer Stats:

1

Prostate Cancer is the leading cancer in men in the UK

31

The number of Prostate Cancer deaths per day in the UK

130

The number of NEW Prostate Cancer cases diagnosed every day

84

% of men surviving 10 years + after cancer diagnosis

What are we looking to achieve:

To “RAISE THE AWARENESS” of Prostate Cancer in Wales. “EVERY MAN should have access to the treatment that is best for his cancer and his lifestyle.” Leaflets and booklets about Prostate Cancer need to be more readily available across Wales.

To provide A LINK to those seeking where to get ADVICE & GUIDANCE on Prostate Cancer as well as information on events and how to become involved, as the number of men needing care for Prostate Cancer is certain to rise in the next few years.

To improve and provide BETTER FACILITIES, information and meeting places for men and their families to discuss any queries they may have regarding their symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and lifestyle.

The PSA blood test should be at least offered as part of an annual health check for ALL men, it would then be the mans OWN choice as to whether he decides to have the health check offered to him.

If you are interested in supporting us, want to have a chat, find out more information or tell us about your experience / story….Then get in touch with us today.