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I’m no hero!

User
Posted 04 Sep 2021 at 22:07

Recently I agreed to be the ‘Face of Prostate Cancer’ in my Organisation where I have worked for 36 years.

My journey from diagnosis to Radical Prostatectomy began in 2019 when a Queens Nurse joined my Organisation Occupational Health Unit and began screening for Prostate Cancer.  I had a PSA test in 2019 and due to Covid had surgery Jan 2021.

So far, 6 lives have been saved through this screening including my own.  I will forever be grateful to this Queens Nurse who is so humble, she is no longer just a colleague, she is someone that will be my friend for life.

Having worked in my public sector Organisation (with approx 2,000 staff) for so long, I was approached due to working in so many Divisions and Departments over the years.  Initially I was unsure and took time out to think about it.

A few weeks ago I finally agreed to be professionally interviewed on camera which, this week was published on our internal intranet website.  In the video I explain how I had no symptoms and how this simple blood test saved my life.  I encouraged all men over 40 to come and have this PSA blood test, no matter how busy they were.

My organisation has committed funding to continue carrying out PSA blood Tests on all men OVER 40.  I will be attending all of the up and coming screening events across the all geographical areas of my Organisation to offer support to men just like me that didn’t quite understand what the blood test was for.

Since publication of the video internally, the response has been overwhelming from not only  men and women that I have previously worked, but men saying how the video hit hone and that they will definitely now make an appointment to attend one of these screening events or from the ladies, they will ensure their husbands, partners and boyfriends make an appointment with their GP.

I never thought my Prostate Cancer could bring anything positive into my life, but since I have now become actively involved in Prostate Cancer identification and prevention with my colleagues, if this saves even one life, my involvement has been worthwhile.

I also want to say I regularly read posts on this website and the people who respond to those, like myself, who was anxious, scared, fearful and all the other things that  run through our minds, each and every one of you really do make a difference!

Kind Regards and continued health to all that either has Prostate Cancer or supports someone with this condition.

 

Neil

User
Posted 04 Sep 2021 at 23:33

Well done Neil,  I must admit I've told no-one about my operation.  Although I sometimes think I should.

You were caught with a lowish psa and a low level Gleason which sounds promising.   They took a long time from psa test to biopsy but after that your timescales were pretty similar to mine.   Although your psa wasn't that high.

I can't say I've heard of Queens Nurses.   I have a Macmillan Nurse.  I had one at the diagnosing hospital and another at the hospital that did the op.   I'll have what hopefully will be my discharge telephone appointment in December.

Perhaps you can put the video on YouTube or liaise with Prostate Cancer UK and let them use it as an example.

All the best, Peter

User
Posted 05 Sep 2021 at 09:14

Sorry to put a damper on your thread but despite diagnosis following a random psa test at the age of 65 I continue to harbour doubts about the wisdom of

universal screening from the age of 40. 

https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/health/prostate-cancer-and-problem-psa-testing

User
Posted 05 Sep 2021 at 10:01
Maybes not 40 but I,m all for universal testing at 50(for both Pca and Bowel cancer) .2 blood tests that could save thousands of lives = no brainer. I know people can have these tests at 50 now but something needs to be put in place ,much like smear testing ,where folk are almost obliged to have them.System at present is not fit for purpose although I do realise the extra work load needed to conduct these tests and all the false positives etc but surely catching folk earlier is much more economically viable than the alternative.
User
Posted 05 Sep 2021 at 16:50

Have to respectfully disagree with you on this one, Galahad. The arguments for universal testing aren't as clear-cut as they are for cervical cancer. Yes, many of us here (me included) were diagnosed due to a test when completely asymptomatic, but testing everyone would result in massive over treatment for many men who have prostate cancer but will die with it, not from it. Not to mention that there just isn't the capacity within the NHS to suddenly start treating millions of extra cases of prostate cancer every year.

Chris

Edited by member 05 Sep 2021 at 18:01  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 05 Sep 2021 at 17:39

This video is interesting. 

https://youtu.be/yNzQ_sLGIuA

I understand the nuances of the screening argument better for having watched it. 

 

Dave

User
Posted 06 Sep 2021 at 06:27

Arrrch, takes me back to about 2008 when there was what was termed 'The Great PSA Debate'. There was a large meeting wherein bodies and interested parties representing patients attended. There was a motion that essentially called for all men not already diagnosed or PSA tested by the time they were 50, to be invited to have a PSA test with men at particular risk being tested earlier. The motion was proposed and seconded by two well known doctors and opposed by two equally well known doctors, one of those opposing being Bollinge's favourite consultant Dr P at the Royal Marsden, who incidentally was also my doctor there. Initially, just about 100% of the invited audience supported the motion but by the time a vote was taken this figure had dropped somewhat. One of our members did attend and report on the meeting. However, the UK Government along with many other Governments decided at various times that on balance the arguments against PCA testing, together with the practical difficulties of treating leading to many people, most of whom would be unnecessarily damaged by treatment, meant this would not be adopted.

Every few years this subject is raised and the arguments for and against PSA testing debated here. Some members, like the late and much missed member Barry Barrington (Top Gun) , who became instrumental with the support group he formed in actively getting men PSA tested. The arguments for such testing and against it have not changed significantly in the interim. Much more needs to be learned about the disease and to be able to know which men would benefit from testing and treatment.

PS Sorry if I have mis-spelt Bollinge user name.

Edited by member 06 Sep 2021 at 06:33  | Reason: Not specified

Barry
 
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