By Probate Consultants Steven Hall and Chris Rumble
International Men’s Day was earlier this week. It’s about celebrating men and encouraging them to take care of their health. It’s not about “manning-up” and powering through. Too many men suffer in silence and this needs to change.
We both have successful careers in Legal Services, but most importantly, we’ve both survived prostate cancer. It’s this experience that has bonded us together and also encouraged us to speak up and share our stories.
Hopefully by speaking out, we’ll help to bring awareness to other men, colleagues, husbands, fathers – men aren’t immortal, and we need to start talking.
Read our experiences and see if anything sounds familiar.
Regarding the cancer I had little or no symptoms, although looking back now, the writing was on the wall but I just didn’t put two and two together.
I’d experience the need to pee at least once in the night and usually more, sometimes erection problems, and pains in the backside but I didn’t connect them to cancer. I had a urine infection when I came home from holiday, which just wouldn’t go even with the strongest of antibiotics and this is why I was sent for tests. Within three months, I was diagnosed with an advanced prostate cancer.
My message to everyone is make sure you speak to your GP if you have any worrying symptoms – don’t ignore them. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men with more than 47,500 men diagnosed each year. The earlier you catch the symptoms, the more treatment options there are available.
Cancer, me? But I’m fit and healthy! I had no recognisable symptoms, but something just didn’t feel right. I went through a full suite of tests, this led to a biopsy which did bring a tear to my eye. Shortly afterwards, I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, only 1 of 129 that day. I resigned myself to another voyage of discovery… I will beat this.
If I can help just one person to navigate through this rough passage it will have all been worthwhile. Be aware, be positive, be grateful, be a survivor. Test your PSA and live to give another day.
Watch this video to hear more details from our experiences.
Thankfully we’re now both in recovery and hope our stories will encourage other men to take better care of their health. No formal screening tests currently exist but Prostate Cancer UK are working to change this.
There are also plenty of other ways you can raise awareness. You can print the #shirtstowork posters and display on your noticeboards and email your team to get everyone involved with the #shirts2work initiative.