Everyone was saddened to hear the news about journalist and presenter Bill Turnbull’s death this month. Bill had prostrate cancer and had campaigned for more awareness and encouraging men to get checked for the disease. With this in mind we are very pleased to have Trevor Walker provide a blog this month, discussing his experience, in his own words.
I have been an awareness volunteer for prostate cancer for some years – why? I was saved by catching it early.
First some brief facts
- Around 12,000 men will die from the cancer in 2022
- Sadly 1 in 8 men will suffer from it – this can be higher for men from some ethnic backgrounds (1 in 4 black men)
- Like all cancers it should be caught early but 80% of men – like me – do not have symptoms in the early stages of the cancer
- It runs in a family and is more usual in older men
But I am going to tell you a story.
In early 1996 I had a well mans’ medical which included a PSA blood test. Duh! What’s that I thought? This indicated I had the cancer and other tests confirmed it. It turned out to be aggressive and in 1998 I had to decide what to do. Today there are more alternatives available but these were limited then so on the basis “better bled than dead” I had it removed. Things went quite well until it returned 10 years later and I had radio therapy (then as now, I have a PSA test every 6 months – it saved my life for a second time!)
This left me with a few minor problems but eh! I am alive and kicking and annoying folks 26 years later! What’s more in the year of my op, 1998 my beloved grandson was born and from when he was 3, because of our daughter’s sad health issues, we brought him up and he is now 24, lives with his lovely partner and teaches in a local secondary school.
Next year we celebrate 60 years of excellent married life. Two wonderful experiences along with many others I would not have been alive for had I not had that PSA test.
So ladies and partners I do not normally advocate nagging but in this case I will make an exception. If your man (or dad, brother whatever) has symptoms, is vulnerable e.g is black, or if prostrate cancer is in the family, or any man over say 50 – please do nag and nag again for him to be tested! Quite simply you could save his life.
And men, don’t be a mug and just shrug. Go and have the blooming PSA test!!!
You know it makes sense and hopefully you will be here for your loved ones and have fun with them, see them grow up.
Everyone remember “better tested than permanently rested! “
PS If you want an awareness stand / talk or info just ask email@example.com
Further information is available from the following organisations: