Prostate cancer is one of those conversations that very few men are ever comfortable having with anyone! As we get that little bit older, things change. That’s part of life I suppose. The eyes struggle more to focus on small print than they ever used to, parts of conversations are missed especially when there’s a lot of background noise, and those hangovers hurt more and last longer than they ever used to.
They’re all changes we seem to accept and adapt to, accepting a certain inevitability about it all. However, there are some changes that really shouldn’t be just accepted as part of growing older.
Jeffrey Archer’s Prostate Cancer Diagnosis
I read with interest an article written recently by Jeffrey Archer, describing his diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. He was, to a lesser or greater extent, symptom-free, but had made a habit of having routine annual health checks at his local GP. Back in 2014 a blood test result came back and his doctor highlighted that his PSA (prostate specific antigen) levels were a little high at 6.8. This didn’t really mean much to him at the time but it proved to be an extremely significant and valuable discovery.
PSA is a protein produced by the prostate gland and can be the first indicator that something’s not right. Detecting raised levels of this protein can give time to discuss options to prevent the worst outcomes.
It proved to be a life-saver because he followed up and underwent surgery to remove the Prostate gland before the cancer developed further and risked spreading to other parts of the body. Despite what he described as a somewhat uncomfortable procedure and recovery, he now feels healthier than ever and is helping a nationwide campaign to promote the message to everyone to get checked. Don’t wait until you get the symptoms and certainly don’t wait until it’s probably too late to have a good solution.
Regular Health Checks
I have to admit that I’m not the most proactive when it comes to health matters. It’s Mrs C who generally initiates any suggestions to check things out. It’s not that I dislike visiting the doctor or anything like that, it’s just that she seems to put a far higher priority on some things than I do. I’ve always been an advocate of ‘leave it a few days’ to allow the body to do what it is very effective at – healing itself. This is definitely the best practice when it comes to things like coughs and colds, stomach upsets and those notorious ‘bugs’ – viruses that make you feel generally unwell for a couple of days. However when we reach an age where the risks of the more sinister conditions are greater I’m slowly coming around to her way of thinking.
There are a lot of years left in me yet. I certainly don’t want to spoil them by not keeping on top of the potential ‘nasties’ and dealing with them promptly before they do any lasting damage. So I’ll be off for a biological MOT soon and will keep my fingers crossed that I’m actually as healthy as I feel. At least then I won’t have the excuse that I ignored the risks and carried on regardless, unaware of a ticking time bomb inside.