I realised that the key had to be detecting cancer early, so when I was 60, although feeling very fit and well, I started having an annual PSA test. The reading was slightly higher than it should have been. Two years later, I had it tested again and it was still rather too high. I spoke to my doctor again and decided to consult a urologist. There were many tests: blood tests, a biopsy, two scans, a test to see if I had other urinary problems and then: “Well, you have early stage prostate cancer. “ I was very concerned but quite calm. I felt that there was time to take further advice, do some more study and then to make a balanced decision.
During this time I was given a copy of an American book: “How to survive prostate cancer” by Dr Patrick Walsh [note to readers: whilst Peter found this book useful, PCRC has not read or fact-checked ‘How to survive prostate cancer’ so the charity is unable to officially endorse it]. It is a long comprehensive book and I read it carefully. I finally decided that the best option was to have my prostate removed and in February 2008 the operation was done, robotically and skilfully in London. It’s a serious operation. It has side effects and there is a recovery time, but it worked totally.