Peter’s Story

Peter Smith shares his experience of prostate cancer

'My PSA has been undetectable since my prostate was surgically removed in 2008 and my consultant surgeon believes I shall never have prostate cancer again.'

I always read the interesting personal stories in the PCRC newsletter with a mixture of emotions. These stories are often written by men who are having a tough time because they have advanced prostate cancer – they suffer side effects of treatment and they may worry about premature death. They are brave to tell their stories so frankly.

 

Because I no longer have prostate cancer, I feel relief. My PSA has been undetectable since my prostate was surgically removed in 2008 and my consultant surgeon believes I shall never have prostate cancer again.

 

Prostate cancer starts in the gland and is initially confined to it. During this period, radical surgery is an option and can lead to a possible cure. An old friend of mine, who will be 88 in December, was always worried about getting prostate cancer. We used to talk about it and I learned more about the disease. He did get it, over 20 years ago, his prostate was removed and his cancer has never recurred.

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.

I never worry about prostate cancer now: my concerns are for those who are less fortunate - those who need better control of advanced cancer, those who want a longer life with their loved ones. For this reason I am a supporter of Prostate Cancer Research: to help those for whom prostate cancer is still a continuing fear.

Patient Voice

If you have been affected by prostate cancer and would like to share your experiences, email patientvoice@pcr.org.uk or click here for more information.

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