Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and so men are being encouraged to know the symptoms and take action.
North Lincolnshire Council, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust and Humberside Fire and Rescue service have joined forces to back this campaign and raise awareness.
Prostate cancer is the third most common cancer in North Lincolnshire, potentially affecting an estimated one in six men according to the latest figures (2017).
Nearly a quarter of all new cancer diagnoses in males are prostate cancer.
Each year, an average of 127 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in North Lincolnshire.
Most diagnoses are in men aged 50 and over with more than half of cases diagnosed in males aged 70 and above.
In North Lincolnshire around 45 men die of prostate cancer every year.
More than half of men with the disease present in the early stages (one or two). If treated in the early stages, some cases of prostate cancer can be cured.
Symptoms of prostate cancer include:
- Needing to urinate more frequently, often during the night
- Needing to rush to the toilet
- Difficulty in starting to wee (hesitancy)
- Straining or taking a long time while urinating
- Weak flow
- Feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully
Some men can put off seeing their GP due to embarrassment.
Men who have any of the symptoms or are concerned should contact their GP to get checked.
Simon Donnachie, Group Manager for North Lincolnshire said:
“Humberside Fire and Rescue Service has promoted the prostate cancer awareness message over the past five years and continues to support the work of the NHS and North Lincolnshire Council. We are all about protecting our communities and looking after the most vulnerable, so this initiative to raise awareness of prostate cancer amongst our staff and the wider public is a perfect fit.
“We want to inform as many people as possible of the signs and symptoms of the cancer, and the need to get checked out and treated early. This will mean that their chances of recovery could be much better.”
Barry Holmes, aged 69 from Scunthorpe, was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he said:
“When I turned 60, I noticed a poster at my GP Practice which targeted men over 60, inviting them to have a health check, even though I was fairly fit, bit of a fitness fanatic, a regular gym goer and a keen runner I thought I would go along and have my MOT check.
“My GP carried out the check which included discussing my diet, lifestyle, a blood test was taken as part of the routine MOT check, a PSA blood test was taken and the reading came back as 3 on the day. My GP then carried out an internal examination and was happy with the examination.
“I was invited yearly for a PSA blood test, my blood test reading was increasing slightly over the years. My first PSA test reading was three and then over the years the readings were gradually increasing up to 3.5, 4 and then reaching 6 over the seven years.
“Last August my PSA reading had risen to 6 and also I started to notice that I was having to go to the toilet more frequently especially during the night.
“My GP undertook further internal examination which revealed a rough texture on the prostate and a scan was taken at Scunthorpe General Hospital. The results came back showing a dark shadow which needed further investigation.
“Two weeks later I had attended Scunthorpe General Hospital for a biopsy, my results came back and it was confirmed that I had early stages of prostate cancer. On hearing the news I was thankful that it was an early stage and it had been detected.
“I was relieved that I had been continually invited to routine blood tests at my GP practice and that the gradual rise in my PSA was being monitored.
“I was informed on what the next procedure involved and the options available to me, which included surgically removing the prostate gland or having radiotherapy treatment. I decided to have my prostate surgically removed.
“From being diagnosed back in August, I was having the procedure within two months of being diagnosed and in October I went to Castle Hill for the procedure. The procedure was actually quite straightforward involving keyhole surgery. I stayed in for two nights.
“Two weeks after the operation I was back walking, doing gentle exercises at the gym and jogging – not quite my running pace. Six weeks after the procedure I received the good news, the biopsy was contained within the prostate and had not spread and had been completely removed and was given the all clear.
“The main message I want to pass on to other blokes is, it just involves a simple task of you visiting your GP, having a MOT check and a PSA blood test. If you notice any signs, however small you think they be, we tend to brush things off to getting older, so don’t avoid the symptoms, visit your GP.
“It has been a huge relief for me, my message to others is ‘you have nothing to lose, but everything to gain’. It saved me.
“I say if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone else. I’ve happily shared my experience with other male friends, especially my gym/running buddies, encouraging them all to go to their GP and ask for a PSA test.”