Prostate Cancer UK highlights latest treatment innovations
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Aged 67, Tony is eligible for the free NHS Health Check, which involves routine blood tests. “Thinking back to before my diagnosis, I didn’t have any early signs or symptoms of cancer,” Tony told Express.co.uk. “I think [that] is quite common when it comes to prostate cancer,” he added, referencing the lack of tell-tale signs.
A routine blood test revealed Tony had elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels.
While PSA testing can be “unreliable”, says the NHS, elevated levels can kick-start further testing, such as an MRI scan.
Recalling his appointment with a medical professional, Tony said: “I was hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.
“I remember feeling worried about the outcome and concerned about having to tell my friends and family, so I was very grateful to have my wife by my side.
“The nurse who broke the news to us was also very reassuring and positive.”
Diagnosed with stage two prostate cancer, the tumour hadn’t spread elsewhere in the body.
“I remember her telling us that because we had caught it early, and I was fit and healthy, that I should view it as a ‘bump in the road’.
“This was very heartening to me and helped ease the initial shock of the diagnosis.”
As the cancer was detected at an early stage, Tony had time to decide how he wanted to proceed with treatment.
“They advised that I could not take any action and just continue to monitor the tumour as it was so low risk,” he explained.
“Or, if I wanted peace of mind, I could choose to go for surgery and have it removed straight away.”
Tony decided to keep the cancer diagnosis between him and his wife until he had chosen what to do.
“I knew I couldn’t continue to live a relaxed life knowing I had a tumour and so my wife and I opted for surgery,” he revealed.
Sharing the news with friends, family, and work, Tony “felt like a weight was lifted off [his] shoulders”.
Going for the operation in July 2020, the procedure was a success and Tony felt “very supported” throughout his treatment.
Tony added: “I’m really passionate about the NHS Help Us Help You campaign.
“I want to encourage others that, if you are worried about something that you think could be cancer, please see your GP.”
NHS England’s Help Us, Help You campaign is encouraging people who are experiencing potential signs of cancer to come forward to their GP practice to help increase earlier diagnosis and improve outcomes.
If it is cancer, finding it early means it’s more treatable and can save lives.
Prostate cancer symptoms
- Needing to pee more frequently, often during the night
- Needing to rush to the toilet
- Difficulty in starting to pee (hesitancy)
- Straining or taking a long time while peeing
- Weak flow
- Feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully
- Blood in urine or blood in semen.
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