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Staying positive with prostate cancer

From Brian Campion

Just over a year ago I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. If I had listened to my wife, I could have been diagnosed six to nine months earlier. But we men don't listen to our wives as much as we should.

The only symptom I had was when I heard running water. I found I had to run to the bathroom which got more urgent as the months went by. My wife eventually made me see a doctor. Luckily he was on the ball and after an examination he referred me to the hospital. After further tests and several weeks later, it was eventually confirmed I had prostate cancer. Luckily it had not spread outside the prostate.

The worst thing was waiting for the results as I didn't know how bad it was. Like most men I admit to being ignorant about prostate cancer. Although I knew I had a prostate, I had no idea where it was located until the examination by the doctor.

My PSA level was 70 and my Gleason score was 6. After a few months on hormone therapy and 37 trips for radiotherapy I have just been told my PSA is the lowest that could be measured.

After the initial shock wore off, I have adopted a very positive attitude. Worrying about it meant I wasn't able to focus everything I had towards beating it. I am absolutely convinced this has helped with my positive result. My family have been brilliant throughout and have provided much needed support and love.

I have received the very best of treatment from all of the brilliant NHS staff who have been involved. And I have made many new friends through my experience. I know of someone whose PSA. was just a little higher than mine and he is unfortunately no longer with us. So I consider myself very lucky indeed and give thanks to all who have helped with my treatment.

I hope my story will give others hope. Try to be positive. I know it's so easy to say but it has not only helped me - I am sure it stopped my wife and the rest of my family worrying about me too.

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Updated: 8 November 2011