We've just had this in by email from a regular ARRSE user who asked that I share it with you all
......so I thought it was normal, something that comes with old age needing to pee more often...the old stop- start a 'badge of honour' showing my maturing years. How wrong I was!
I really didnt want to go to the doctors well, its embarrassing isnt it? However, as my wife pointed out, 'If we girls give birth, have smear tests and have our boobs squashed and X-rayed, you could at least do your part!' So I was a brave soldier and off I went for the digital examination and although I felt embarrassed, it really wasnt that bad. They also took a blood test (PSA) to check how active the prostate cells were.
My PSA was raised. After a few months of monitoring, it continued to rise. What a shock when a biopsy showed that I had cancer! I felt normal. Looking back now I realise how lucky I was to have it picked up. At least I had a few symptoms but prostate cancer is often a silent cancer; showing NO symptoms. Some men may have a few of the following:
You can see how this may be mistaken for getting older. If you add to this the fact that there isnt a national screening programme for prostate cancer, (even though 35,000 men are diagnosed with, and 10,000 men lose their lives to, prostate cancer every year), this means its down to US, each and every one of us, to make sure that prostate cancer doesnt take us by surprise .yes, thats YOU. Its normally the over 50s that are at risk, so tell your friends and sons too.
- Passing water more frequently often at night.
- Poor flow, or stop-start, even dribbling.
- A sudden urgent need to go.
- Pain when passing water.
- Blood in your urine or semen.
- Pain in the groin.
- Inability to get or maintain an erection.
- Pain in the lower back, spine or hips.
27% of men, who have a nagging doubt about their prostate, wont go to the doctors and I know some of them are reading this. So heres the bottom line.
1. You go to the doctors and you havent got prostate cancer = peace of mind, or
2. You go to the doctors and they find you have prostate cancer = start the treatment and theres a really good chance youll be cured.
Me? I couldnt be happier. Ive had my prostate gland taken out three months ago; in one day, out the next. Where I live they offer the Da Vinci method which is a robotic procedure undertaken by a consultant ( www.davinciprostatectomy.com ). I had a catheter in for one week and then had to retrain my bladder and pelvic floor muscles. The consultant was anxious for this message to reach you out there. As he said, 'Its heart-breaking to tell an otherwise fit 60 year old that he has terminal cancer, for the want of a simple, free test.' So if you havent had a test, DEMAND one, dont be fobbed off and if youre scared, dont be.
But here I am, 3 months down the line, my PSA is zero; looking forward to many more glorious summers and Christmases with my family, and years of reading your spats on the ARRSE!