Half of us will have cancer at some time in our lives. By far the most common is prostate cancer for men and breast cancer for women. These exceed lung, bowel, ovary and testicular cancers by a factor of 2 or more.
I never asked for a PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) test, but I got one anyway when my GP checked me over one day. The result was high, so did I mind if he did a rectal examination. I said it would be OK if he promised not to enjoy it any more than I would.
‘You’ve got cancer there. It’s a decent-sized lump but still in the prostate, hasn’t spread. We’ll zap it with radiotherapy; surgery is not a sensible option. It’s 99% curable for five years, and you might die of something else in the meantime.’ My doctor is a straight-talking man, I was pleased not to be offered surgery. When I was a junior doctor, I assisted in prostatectomy operations and looked after the patients afterwards. I was called up most nights to deal with blocked catheters or excessive bleeding. Later on, many of the men suffered urinary infections and other complications. [Read more…] about Cancer Ward – My Story