Prostate Awareness 1: Two New Projects, April 12, 2012

Today went to the consultant and heard that I have ‘the man thing’ – prostate cancer.

Although this can affect young men, seems the average age is around 67, which I am now. Fortunately has been caught early. So time to research the options, do more tests and settle on the treatment.

Being an educator, begin to think: ‘How can I use this? How can pass on knowledge that can help other people?’

This is an opportunity. Apart from discovering more on the journey, it is a chance to share stories about the many people who are doing positive things in life.

So the first project is to write a blog about these positive activities. At the same time, will also describe the second project, the treatment journey. May be useful to men who go through a similar process in the future.

So here goes. Starting from the first signs, back in November.

Annual Health Check in November 2011

Went for my annual health check at the Nuffield Hospital in Cheltenham. Have a superb doctor who does it each year.

A couple of years ago my blood pressure was high. So embarked on deep breathing exercises and managed to lower the BP.

Check for prostate cancer. This year the rectal examination showed no lumps, but the prostate increased in size. My PSA had gone from 4.0 to 7.0. Almost doubled in a year.

Whilst there is controversy about PSA tests (for Prostate Specific Antigen), a raised level can be an indicator of Prostate Cancer.

Could be a one off reading, but recommended I have another PSA in around 3 months.

Next PSA in February

New PSA taken. This time was 9.0. Cause for concern. Local GP did rectal examination. Again, no lumps. But recommended I see a Urinary Consultant in Hereford.

Meeting Mr Jha

Went for check on March 22 at the Nuffield in Hereford. Met Mr Jha, the consultant.

He was friendly and knowledgeable. Said that, in his job, it is vital to have a positive attitude. He gave a good overview of the procedures and then, if anything found, the possible ways forward.

“Ah, now the part you have been looking forward to,” he said, preparing to do the rectal examination. “Whoever made men made them difficult to examine.”

Mr Jha said no lumps found. So, if any illness, probably localised. But he recommended a biopsy.

Have read lots about the pluses and minuses of having a biopsy. But decided to go ahead.

The Ultra Sound Scan and Biopsy

Off to do the Ultra Sound Scan and Biopsy at Hereford. Wonderful staff. Made me feel at ease.

Given drug an hour before. Then spent half an hour on the table being examined. The nurses and doctor very supportive.

Given the images. No tumours visible. So, if illness there, then again told it will probably be localised. Will get results of the biopsy in ten days.

Takes some time for the anaesthetic to wear off. Some soreness for the next 24 hours, but otherwise few complications.

Back on the road and working straight away. Will be two weeks before get the results.

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