My name is Vic Cowell, my story of prostate cancer starts like this…
My wife, through her work scheme was asked to go for a Wellbeing Health Check which she had not undertaken for a couple of years, so decided it was the right time to do this. She then asked me to join her which at first I was reluctant to do due to work commitments, and generally being a man who couldn’t be bothered to waste time having medical checks when I was feeling ok, and had no reason to feel concerned. After several discussions with my wife I finally agreed to go along so we both attended for a Wellbeing Check.
The check was thorough and while I was having mine, a female doctor asked me if I wanted my prostate checked (which was optional) to which I agreed, as I thought I might as well have all the checks done now that I was there. After the doctor checked my prostate, she informed me that it was slightly enlarged which can be normal but to play it safe she strongly recommended that I undertake a PSA test which was a blood test. She enquired as to whether I were experiencing any symptoms relating to prostate cancer, which at the time I was not (getting up in the night to pass urine, not being able to control my bladder).
The test results came back higher than it should be (7.6). I was then referred to a Consultant Urologist, Mr Anand Kelkar who sent me for several scans, tests and also arranged for a biopsy on my prostate which confirmed that I did have prostate cancer and fortunately had not spread outside the prostate due to early diagnosis.
Mr Kelkar provided me with the options available to me; radiotherapy or operate to remove the tumour from my prostate, to which I chose the latter.
Mr Kelkar performed a robotic proctectomy on 8 June 2017 and the operation was a success. Now 18 months on, I am still being monitored by a simple PSA blood test with readings under 0.1.
I am eternally grateful to Mr Kelkar and his team for, in my opinion, saving my life. I can only thank Bupa, the nurses and doctors who all do magnificent work and were all very helpful to me and my wife.
I had no symptoms of this disease so I can only advise all men, once you reach a certain age, to get yourself checked as a relatively simple test may save your life.