I am a Prostate Cancer UK supporter and have been since 2011 when I was first diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 49. It wasn’t until then that I found out that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK with 40,000 men being diagnosed and 10,000 men dying from prostate cancer each year in the UK.
The most disturbing thing for me, apart from hearing those fearful words “you’ve got cancer” was that I had no symptoms. I thought only ‘old men’ got prostate cancer. I was a fit 49 year old that played sport and knew that you should eat four portions of fruit and veg a day. I didn’t know exactly where my prostate was and certainly didn’t know what it did.
I’m so thankful that I had a routine check-up and blood test because it was initially through my PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test that provided important clues that after further investigation identified that, in fact, I did have prostate cancer. Fortunately for me my prostate cancer was diagnosed as early/low risk which meant that I had a choice of treatment. The danger if you wait until you have symptoms is that the cancer may have advanced to a less treatable stage, narrowing your choice of treatment.
In November of 2011 I underwent Brachytherapy, a procedure where tiny radioactive seeds are implanted into your prostate. Within 2 years of this treatment my PSA score needs to get to 0.4 or below and stay there for 5 years for me to be considered prostate cancer free. There is a long way to go.
To raise awareness of prostate cancer amongst others I am walking 500 miles. Many of these walks are around the perimeter of sporting stadiums within the UK, where men predominantly gather to watch sport a) to highlight just how common prostate cancer is and b) to encourage all males of all ages to be aware of the benefits of adopting a healthy diet/lifestyle and for those men over the age of 40 to routinely have a health check.
They owe it to their loved ones and most importantly they owe it to themselves.
You can donate at www.justgiving.com/david500miles