Prostate cancer: Dr Hilary outlines signs and symptoms
Kevin Saunderson, 47, was visiting his GP in April 2021 to get his blood pressure checked, when a nurse stopped him for a chat.
The medical professional informed him that he was qualified for a Well Man Blood Test, which can assess base levels of important biomarkers in the blood.
Worryingly, the test revealed he had high PSA levels, which signal a greater chance of prostate cancer.
Kevin, who is a student housing manager, told the Liverpool Echo: “I had no idea what a PSA level was.
“I was then asked to go for a rectal exam, and from that exam, it was identified that my prostate was enlarged.
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“I had a couple of MRI scans; I had a biopsy taking samples from my prostate, and it was identified I had stage two cancer.”
“No one wants to hear those words, ‘I’m afraid it’s cancer’.”
Kevin was only 46 at the time and didn’t experience any warning signs of prostate cancer prior to his diagnosis.
Despite being someone who always looks for a joke in any situation, Kevin couldn’t do that this time and was left in “total shock”.
He added: “I was sitting in the room probably five minutes before I was told about it.
“Then after that, it just doesn’t sink in. You’re just in a blur, so I didn’t break down right away. It was more shock, if anything.”
In March of this year, he decided to have surgery to remove the prostate gland because he was worried the cancer could spread.
While he originally thought it’d be okay to only monitor the tumour, the “anxiety” got to him and he changed his mind.
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Kevin said: “I 100 percent feel I made the right decision. For my own peace of mind, I think it was the right thing to do.”
The 47-year-old is now supporting “What on Earth is a prostate?!” campaign, which highlights the need for heightened efforts to educate men so they can understand their risk of prostate cancer.
He features in the new charity TV advert, in which actor Colin McFarlane addresses “myths and misinformation” about the disease.
While men over the age of 50 are entitled to a PSA blood test, there is currently no screening programme for prostate cancer in the UK and the test might not be automatically offered to everyone.
Kevin added: “One thing I think should be done is to have screening for men. It’s something that should be brought up automatically.
“We shouldn’t have to contact our GP first – it should be standard for a male of a certain age to be called for a simple blood test to see if their PSA levels are high.
“Don’t be scared, just go and get it checked. If we reach just one person with this campaign, we will have achieved something.”
You can find out if you have a higher risk of prostate cancer – and what you can do about it – by using Prostate Cancer UK’s 30-second online risk checker at prostatecanceruk.org/riskcheck.
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