Get Tested – Get Talking – Get Treated.
Helping the newly diagnosed (and those supporting them) to become streetwise about this scary ‘man cancer’ thing and the treatments that will get their lives back on track.
“I’m sorry to have to tell you Mr Colegrove… it is cancer”
I heard these words at the age of 56… my fiancée squeezed my hand…
But I had none of the typical symptoms: an urgency to pee; blood in urine and/or semen; difficulty in starting or stopping; more visits to pee at night; not feeling the bladder had fully emptied. All I had was a blood test which showed a slightly raised PSA (prostate specific antigen) – which hinted that I might have a problem. An MRI scan was followed by a biopsy and so my cancer journey began. By the way, every man in the UK over the age of 50 has the right to a free PSA blood test on the NHS.
After informing me I had cancer, my urologist flipped his notepad over and drew a picture of my ‘inside’ bits, explaining how he would cut my prostate out and, fingers crossed, leave me some nerves! He warned me there was a 40% chance that I would be impotent and a 40% chance of incontinence as a result. My fiancée squeezed my hand again as we listened to this prognosis. The urologist went on to say that radiotherapy might be an option but it carried the same level of risk with the possible addition of bowel problems.
Upset, shocked, frightened… my future had looked so bright. I was just about to retire after 35 years; I’d recently got engaged; I was happy; I was fit and well – or so I thought. The urologist told me that I would have to make a decision in the next couple of months – a choice between surgery or radiotherapy. Almost overnight I had to somehow become an expert on prostate cancer in order to make a potentially life changing decision.
It’s now three years since my decision. I’m cancer-free and I avoided the distressing side effects associated with traditional prostate cancer treatments. I set up the initiative Men Are Talking (www.menaretalking.co.uk and on Facebook) to tell the story of how I became one of the first men in the UK to receive Proton Beam Therapy at the first UK centre in Newport, and to try to help other men newly-diagnosed with prostate cancer.
If you would like to know more, please check out the website or find Men Are Talking on Facebook or contact me directly email@example.com. I presented to NARPO members online last November and would be more than happy to do so again… Prostate cancer is now the most diagnosed of all cancers in the UK; it kills more men than breast cancer kills women. Shockingly, one in six of us men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.