One in Six Men are Likely to Contract Prostate Cancer. By Randy Barber
One thing you can be sure about in an ageing men’s group like ours is that at least one of us will have had a brush with prostate cancer. In our Ageing Men’s Group three of us have been affected and one of them is me. It’s said that one in six men over 60 will get it, making it the most common cancer in men.
Most of the time, a man will develop some early symptoms of this disease, but not always. I didn’t for example. I just happened to ask my GP to test for it when I was having an annual check-up and bingo! My reading came back as slightly elevated, enough for my doctor to send me off for a biopsy. I duly went along to the urology department of my local hospital fully expecting that this would be a false alarm because I was feeling absolutely fine and everything “down there” was working as it should be. It came as quite a shock when prostate cancer was confirmed.
That was six years ago. Since then, I’ve had successful treatment and so far the cancer hasn’t returned. I still get regular tests.
Not long after I was diagnosed I contacted Prostate Cancer UK (See under ‘Links’) which is the main charity which funds research into this condition and which supports men who have the disease. I was so impressed with them that I became a volunteer and I now help with their fundraising and I also do one-to-one phone conversations with men who are referred to me on the basis that my experience with prostate cancer is similar to their own.
What I’d like to say to men, especially those over, say, 50 is be aware of the dangers of prostate cancer. Find out the basics of this disease and ask your GP about your risk of getting it. Definitely have any problems with peeing checked out. Some of the tests they do are a little, shall we say, intrusive but they’re not really anything more than slightly uncomfortable and they could save your life.
Talk to other men about it. Chances are you’ll be surprised how many of your mates have experience of prostate problems and it definitely helps to know that others are going through the same thing that you might be.