Couple plan charity ball as thank you for free cancer check

24 April 2019

When Peter Constable attended a free prostate cancer check at Spire Parkway Hospital, in Solihull near Birmingham, West Midlands, he didn’t realise just how life-changing it would prove to be.

An early discovery that he had cancer of the prostate resulted in an early and successful intervention that probably saved his life.

Now Peter and his wife Sharon, who live in Hockley Heath, are organising a black tie ball to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK.

Fifty-seven-year-old Peter was aware that checks were being carried out at the local Spire Hospital but hadn’t planned to attend – thinking that no symptoms meant no problems.

However, when his neighbours came round for dinner on the evening before the tests he found himself getting some very sound advice.

He explained: “They asked what I was doing the following day. When I said nothing, his wife said ‘well you can go with my husband - they are doing free PSA tests at Spire Parkway and at your age you should get tested’.

“Imagine my shock when two weeks later my GP contacted me to say my results showed I needed further tests. I was then called in to see the cancer nurse who sat my wife and I down and told us that I had prostate cancer.”

They were told that Peter’s two main options were either a two-month course of radiotherapy or an operation to remove the prostate.

“We left very shocked and went away to do some research before making our decision. We received great help and advice from the Solihull Prostate Cancer Support Group and were told about a nerve-sparing prostate removal operation,” he said.

In the end the couple decided on removal and met with Consultant Urological Surgeon Mr Alan Doherty who developed the nerve-sparing prostatectomy procedure.

He explained: “The surgery is becoming increasingly common because prostate cancer is being identified in patients at a much earlier stage than in the past. However, it is only possible when, as in the case of Mr Constable, the cancer is confined to the prostate.

“This means that cancer clearance is achieved while limiting damage to the erectile nerves which lie around the prostate. The main benefit being that the majority of men able to have sex prior to the operation will also be able to do so afterwards.”

Back at work as a Parts and Accessories Manager at Blade Motorcycles in Stratford Upon Avon, Mr Constable said: “My advice to men over 55 - or even earlier if there is a family history of the disease - is to get tested as soon as possible.

“Don’t wait for symptoms and don’t think it won’t happen to you. I’m one of the lucky ones – if we hadn’t had that meal with our neighbours I dread to think how things might have developed.”

Now the couple, along with Sharon Harvey from Flair with Flowers in Studley, are putting their efforts into the charity event to be held at Henley-in-Arden Golf Club on September 28.

It is hoped they also raise enough to sponsor a free PSA Test day similar to the one that Peter attended.

For more information about tickets or to offer raffle prizes for the evening’s big draw please call 07790166756.

Q: How quickly could I have a consultation, and how much would it cost? 

A: It depends on the availability of the consultant you wanted to see, but we pride ourselves on getting you fast access to diagnosis and you can often get a consultation within 24/48 hours. Initial consultation fees vary by consultant, but around £175 is a reasonable guide.

Q: If I need surgery, how quickly could I have it?

A: We have no waiting lists at Spire Parkway, but again, it depends on the availability of the consultant you wanted, but as a guide, and subject to your pre-operation assessment, between one and two weeks. 

Q: I don’t have health insurance, can I self-pay? 

A: Yes, you can. Our self-pay team can talk you through this and explain the finance options that are available, should you wish to explore them. Call 0121 704 5530, or send an enquiry.

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