Prostate sufferer John from Hurstpierpoint says:
“I started my prostate cancer journey by consulting my doctor, as I was having to get up three or four times in the night to urinate. He suggested I had a simple blood test called PSA (prostate-specific antigen). I had further annual PSA tests, which increased yearly for five or six years, although my symptoms didn't change. I was finally diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010.
My initial treatment was monthly hormone injections for six months. I was fortunate that I didn't get any side effects from these, but understand that some men do. This was followed by an operation to reduce the size of my prostate, and then 37 sessions of radiotherapy, carried out Monday to Friday in Brighton. I found these made me feel very tired, and it took another six months after my treatments before I began to feel back to my old self. I still have six-monthly PSA checks, and so far my PSA level has stayed stable.
Whilst I was having the treatments, I had support from the hospital but, once treated, there was no back-up. In 2012 I heard on local radio that Jenny Sanger was starting a Prostate Cancer Support Group in Haywards Heath, now called Mid-Sussex Prostate Cancer Support Group. I jumped at the chance to go to the first meeting, and have attended ever since. The Group usually meets three times a year in the Dolphins Surgery Committee Room. There is a speaker each time, ranging from Consultant Urologists, Nurse Specialists, Exercise and Nutritional Practitioners, etc. More importantly, there is a chance to talk to fellow sufferers about problems we are having, thus giving each other much-needed support. Partners are also very welcome to attend.
Finally, I would urge any man experiencing any trouble with his bladder to consult his doctor. The problem may be minor and easily remedied but, if not, the sooner treatment is started the better the outcome.
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