During November, the Movember campaign strives to encourage men to report to their physician if they are worried about any…
During November, the Movember campaign strives to encourage men to report to their physician if they are worried about any aspect of their health, since early treatment of prostate cancer conditions can have a very positive outcome.  Tom Hope is living evidence, due to regular routine investigations, he discovered that he had prostate cancer and is now under surveillance to ensure it is kept under control.
“During 2009 on an annual visit to my doctor to check my blood pressure, he took blood samples that I assumed were part of a regular annual check,” said the 71-year-old. “About a week later, he contacted me to say that there were some high blood tests and he would like me to visit a urologist to have them checked out.
” At this point, I do not realize what the readings were, or what they may mean, but I visited the urologist who explained what the prostate gland was, what function it performed and what PSA prostate specific antigen readings represented. Due to a jump in PSA readings from 2.9 to 4.5, my doctor was concerned and it was known that I would undergo a biopsy that should clarify the reason for the increase of PSA. Then I was asked to come back to the urologist and bring my wife with me. “
Only 62 at that time expected the father’s three to know that he had cancer and had to make difficult decisions about whether to be treated or not, which could lead to side effects.
” During the visit, the consultant informed me that I had low prostate cancer, “says Meath.” It was a total shock that I had no symptoms or problems with my urinary function and I was given the opportunity to take a prostate (which meant a risk of incontinence) or active monitoring, which means that you received a blood sample every six months to monitor my PSA and visit my urologist every six months and get a digital rectal examination (DRE) to monitor the cancer status.
“I talked about the options with my wife and decided to follow active monitoring because I did not want to risk incontinence. I could always choose an operation at a later time if I changed my mind if it was absolutely necessary and I explained also my decision to my three grown children.
“But the most challenging problem was to accept that I had prostate cancer – I did not cause it, I do not drink or smoke and exercise regularly. However, it was unlikely that I would have trouble or kill me. “
The fact is that Kevin Hagan, Cancer Prevention Manager of the Irish Cancer Society says most men do not die of the condition, but it is still important to be vigilant.
” Most prostate cancer exists when they are early, many are slowly growing and symptoms can not happen for many years if they happen at all – and men with early prostate cancer are unlikely to get any symptoms, “he says.
” Since early prostate cancer usually does not cause any symptoms, is often identified by regular checks. If you are over 50 years of age, see your doctor every year for an investigation. If you have family history, you should receive regular checks from the age of 40, as your doctor can check the possibility of prostate cancer when you have no symptoms. A control should include a digital rectal examination of the prostate gland and a particular blood sample called the PSA blood sample.
“Although there are many men living with prostate cancer, most men do not die – and in most cases it can be cured or kept under control.”
The main treatments for prostate cancer are active monitoring, radiotherapy of external radiation therapy, hormone therapy, brachytherapy, surgery, chemotherapy and vigilant waiting – and each case is individual.
The best treatment depends on a number of things, such as the stage and degree of your cancer (how much your cancer has spread and how fast it grows), any symptoms you have, your overall health, your age and your personal preference, says the expert. “And with improvements in treatments, the five-year survival rate for prostate cancer is now over 90 pc.”
“Although prostate urinary symptoms may be a sign of prostate cancer, they are more often caused by a malignant prostate enlargement, which is common when you grow older.”
Tom Hops prostate cancer was discovered because he was vigilant to go for routine checks. He was also diagnosed with a malignant skin melanoma that was caught and treated early for the same reasons.
Today he is healthy and healthy and encourages other men to be aware of their bodies and seek help if something is worrying about them. And to also participate in routine investigations and find out as much about healthcare services available to everyone
“My oncologist commented that I was lucky to identify my skin cancer early, so often it’s only when cancer has spread to others parts of the body as it is identified, “says Tom, retired as Finance Manager in Barnardo in 2013.” Over the years, I have found great faith and support to meet and talk with other men who had been diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer and lived normal lives 15 years or more after diagnosis.
“I attend the ICS Annual Conference each year to keep up-to-date on the treatment options so that if I have to decide for a treatment, I am fully aware of the available options. In May 2013, I became part of their support services that spoke with patients referenced from the ICS Help Desk or the Easter Care Center. In 2014, I joined Men Against Cancer (MAC) – a support group for men diagnosed with prostate cancer and became part of its committee.
“I’m also a member of several other committees and now nine years later two further biopsies, both of which came back and my PSA moves in the range 2.7 to 7.3, so I’m really well due to early detection . “
⬤ Prostate cancer happens when normal cells of the prostate gland change and grow to form a lot of cells called tumors.
⬤ Early prostate cancer usually does not cause any symptoms. It usually only causes symptoms when it has become large enough to interfere with the bladder or pressure on the urine drainage tube, causing urinary tract problems.
⬤ These symptoms are called prostate urinary problems and include slow urine flow, difficulty in starting or stopping the flow, passing urine more often, especially at night, pain when passing urine and the feeling of not emptying the bladder completely.
⬤ In Ireland, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men after skin cancer.
⬤ Every year over 3 300 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer here. This means that seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime.
⬤ Uncommon symptoms include pain in the lower back, hips or thighs, difficulty in getting or holding erection, blood in urine or semen.
⬤ It is important that you visit your doctor if you have any concerns or if you have any of these symptoms so that they can be discussed and assessed.
⬤ For more information visit cancer.ie or contact a cancer nurse at 1800 200 700, email [email protected] or drop in one of 13 dental clinics in hospitals across the country.
⬤ Movember collaborates with the Irish Cancer Society and is the premier contributor to prostate cancer programs. Funds help provide information, support and care to those who suffer from prostate cancer, as well as funding vital cancer research.
⬤ To get involved check movember.com
Health and living