Dave on diagnosis

Story
Published: 08 July 2020
Dave carries his golf clubs to his car.

Six years after Dave lost his wife to ovarian cancer, a health check revealed he had prostate cancer. Undergoing further tests to see if the cancer had spread, a tumour was discovered in his kidney.

'Like many men, I almost ignored it.'

I was offered a Health/Wellman check at my GP surgery. I have to confess – like many men, I almost ignored it. As far as I was aware, I was fit and well. I was working as postman and walking eight miles a day. Since my wife had died of ovarian cancer, I promised my children and new partner I would look after myself – so I went.

My initial result was low haemoglobin. Further tests showed my PSA (the prostate-specific antigen) was high at 20. That’s when my GP referred me to the hospital. I met with a urology consultant, who did a digital rectal examination, that then led to me having a biopsy. After the biopsy I had to wait two or three weeks, which was not a pleasant time.

'The consultant was very considerate in delivering the results.'

The consultant was very considerate in delivering the results, but I knew it wasn’t good news when someone else came into the room and sat behind us. He told me that I had prostate cancer.

Fortunately, the cancer was very low grade and not aggressive, but the initial reaction was terror. My only experience of cancer up to that point was watching my wife die from the disease. I just lost it completely.

My situation changed again when scanning to check if my prostate cancer had spread. A suspicious lump was noticed on the back of one of my kidneys, which proved to be a tumour.

I had my prostate removed, and have since received the news that I have a clear margin and my PSA is 0.01. I went back in hospital to have my kidney removed. As both cancers were caught early, I do not require any further treatment and my consultants don’t expect me to need any.

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