This time last year we were in Istanbul, Turkey, and I was half way through the month of Movember.
For three weeks I had been growing a moustache for Movember to raise awareness of men‘s health issues, such as prostate cancer and other male cancers. This is important to me as I regularly took (and still do) an annual PSA blood test which indicated, in 2005, that I was possibly suffering from prostate cancer.
A subsequent visit to a urologist, who did a biopsy, confirmed that I did indeed have the disease. After more tests to find the extent of the cancer I embarked on a years’ hormone treatment to prepare me for three months of radiotherapy at Southend Hospital, where I had excellent treatment.
After a further two years of hormone treatment I took a PSA test, which showed 0.2 indicating that my prostate cancer had been virtually eradicated. I still have my annual test as I want to continue to monitor my body – so far, so good.
That is why I am keen to support Movember and also to be involved with Prostate UK, who were so helpful and supportive during my illness.
In 2009 I took my prostate proselytisation to Trafalgar Square where I stood on the Fourth Plinth for an hour to raise awareness of prostate cancer whilst running a wine tasting!
Earlier this year I went to a meeting of Prostate UK where Professor Roger Kirby, one of the world’s leading prostate surgeons, told us about what happened when he developed prostate cancer last year.
You can read a good article in The Guardian by Simon Garfield telling Roger’s story.
“Prostate cancer has not been short of publicity recently, and Kirby is one of the reasons why. The fact that the disease is now regarded as both common and a common topic of conversation is partly thanks to Kirby’s proselytising and fundraising. He has written more than 200 research papers on the prostate and several books, including one called The Prostate: Small Gland, Big Problem. He estimates that he has removed more than 2,500 prostates since the mid-1980s.”
The important message is be aware of your body, check yourself and don’t hesitate to consult your doctor. You can also contact Prostate UK who provide excellent advice and support.